Super Bowl XLVI: Preview
We are now just one day away from Super Bowl XLVI. The New England Patriots are set to take on the New York Giants and it all kicks off tomorrow night starting at 10:30 pm on Sky Sports 1. The game will also be shown on BBC 1 starting at 10:55 pm.
I shall now give my preview for the game along with my prediction for the outcome.
Key battles to watch out for during the game
1. Tom Brady vs Giants pass rush- The first key battle to watch is Patriots quarterback Tom Brady against the Giants pass rush. The Giants fearsome pass rush has to be one of the main reasons why they have gotten to the Super Bowl. Their best pass rushers are Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka.
The Giants will use a different number of these players on every play and they each head into the game with the same goal: Get pressure on Tom Brady. Brady will have to be at his best if he is to avoid this Giants pass rush and find his targets down-field.
2. Rob Gronkowski vs Kenny Phillips- This will be another key battle to watch out for. Gronkowski has been cleared to play despite suffering an ankle injury in the AFC Championship Game. While he is almost certainly not 100% healthy, he should still cause problems for the Giants defense.
I expect Giants safety Kenny Phillips to be given the task of covering Gronkowski throughout the game as I don’t see any of the Giants linebackers having the coverage skills to to stop him. Kenny Phillips must have a better performance in this game than he did in the NFC Championship Game when he allowed 49ers tight end Vernon Davis over 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
3. Giants wide receivers vs Patriots secondary- This is where the Giants should have the upper hand. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham should all have big games as they go up against this poor Patriots secondary.
Although they have stepped up in the Playoffs, the Patriots secondary is still a weakness that the Giants and Eli Manning will be looking to exploit. Devin McCourty and co. will have to play the games of their lives if they are stop the Giants wide receivers.
4. Giants rushing attack vs Patriots defense- The Giants had the worst rushing attack in the NFL during the Regular Season with just over 89 yards per game on the ground. However, they have improved in the Playoffs and are averaging 117 yards per game on the ground.
I feel that if the Giants are going to have any chance of winning this game, then they simply must get over 100 yards rushing. That’s going to be a tough task for Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, especially considering that the Patriots defense held Ray Rice and Ricky Williams to just 89 yards rushing in the AFC Championship Game.
5. Bill Belichick vs Tom Coughlin- Alas, the battle of the Head coaches. Tom Coughlin won this battle the last time these two teams met in the Super Bowl and something tells me that Bill Belichick will be extra motivated to avenge that loss. Bellichick is known for his rigorous preparation for games and I see that being no different for this one. Coughlin is known for looking angry and confused as he watches on from the sideline.
Although Coughlin is great in his own right, I thinks it’s clear who the superior Head coach is. If the game is to come down to a battle of wits between the two Head coaches, then it is certainly advantage to the Patriots.
I’m afraid it all comes down to this: Can I really see Brady/Belichick losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl again? Sorry Giants fans, but I’m afraid the answer is no. Giants 23 Patriots 27
So there is the preview and prediction, hope everyone enjoys the big game. Thanks for reading.