The long wait is nearly over. The re-match to end them all takes place this Sunday in Indianapolis. It’s the Giants taking on the Patriots for all the marbles and Al Dannity is ready to break down Super Bowl XLVI.
Turnovers will be crucial
Ball security, or rather creating a lack of it, is going to be a key factor on Sunday night. Super Bowl betting fans are well acquainted with the fumble-free streak of BenJarvus Green Ellis. The less talked about story that should prick up your ears concerns the Giants. Eli Manning has shown brilliant decision making through the post season. As a result he’s only given up 2 interceptions in his last 5 games, having tossed 15 in his previous 14 starts. For all their woes on defense, and there are many, the one area where the Patriots excel is in forcing turnovers. By winning the turnover battle, New England could paper over their defensive fragility and give the offense an opportunity to win the game.
Patriots must mix it up
Rarely will that New England offense encounter a defense as imposing as the Giants. Tom Brady suffered against an elite defense the last time out but he survived with help from a shanked Billy Cundiff field goal. To win on Sunday, New England must utilise all their weapons to keep the Giants guessing. Rob Gronkowski’s ankle injury means we can expect to see more of Aaron Hernandez against Big Blue. I also expect Stevan Ridley to take some of the focus off the Law Firm in the running game. Don’t be surprised is Bill Belichick has schemes planned involving Patriots who barely featured in the regular season.
Diehl must raise his game
Protection on offense starts from the moment the ball is snapped. The Giants have one massive headache in this regard as once a play starts, it’s time for David Diehl to take his beating. The left tackle was moved to guard this season before adjusting back due to an injury to Will Beatty. The results have been quite discouraging. Diehl has given up more QB pressures per snap than any other offensive tackle this season. Even the way Diehl gets beaten is a cause for concern. A massive 43.4 percent of the pressures he has surrendered have come on his inside, giving opponents a quick route to the backfield. So far Eli Manning’s Houdini act has kept the Giants winning despite Diehl’s displays. Counting on it to continue through the Super Bowl is a big ask.
The Giants realised in Super Bowl XLII that in order to claim the prize you have to go out and attack your opponent relentlessly. They were tactically aggressive and got their reward. I expect a similar approach to come out on top this Sunday. The difference this time is that I expect it to come from New England. I expect the Patriots to open early on offense and to target Manning relentlessly. The Giants will give everything they can back but I don’t see it being enough. I like the New England Patriots to lift the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night.
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