It’s Week 9 in the NFL season, and there are several make-or-break games ahead.
Can’t spell “elite” without “Eli” - This win validates Eli Manning’s legacy since it marked his second Super Bowl victory over possibly the greatest head coach-quarterback tandem of all time in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Eli can no longer be questioned for labeling himself an elite quarterback earlier this season. He can no longer be called the “other” Manning. What better venue to stage a passing of the torch moment than to have Peyton’s younger brother capture the big one at Lucas Oil Stadium, where no one thought a Manning would be lining up behind center this season?
Super Bowl XLVI Predictions
Danny Lee: Giants 27, Patriots 21 - New England’s defense held strong against Baltimore in the AFC title game, but the Patriots will be stepping up in weight class against a Giants team boasting a red-hot quarterback and receiving unit. Bold predictions: Victor Cruz reels in 100-plus yards to go with a pair of touchdowns to take home the Super Bowl MVP trophy, and “Eli > Peyton” trends worldwide on Twitter.
Aaron Fischman: Patriots 27, Giants 24 - New York is playing inspired football thanks to its feisty defensive line and its red-hot quarterback, who has thrown for 11 touchdowns and 1 interception over his last four games. Although the Giants will be tough to beat, I expect Brady and company to avenge its Nov. 6 defeat at the hands of these Giants. Also, the Patriots’ previous Super Bowl loss is fresh in their minds. For those worrying about Gronkowski, he’s a tough player, who will make a significant impact despite the injured ankle – even if his main contribution is playing the role of decoy.
Jeremy Bergman: Giants 26, Patriots 23 - Every Super Bowl the Patriots have played in under Bill Belichick has been decided by three points; I don’t see that trend changing here. In a battle between bend-but-don’t-break defenses, a lot of yards will be racked up, but most drives won’t reach the goal line. This one will be about trading field position and field goals late, up until Lawrence Tynes boots the Giants to another win in the last four minutes.
Will Robinson: Patriots 30, Giants 27 - Football is a rational sport, in which that the team with the best matchups and best strategy to exploit said matchups typically win. And yet, football analysis can be so irrational. Therefore, the Patriots will win Super Bowl XLVI for the following irrational reasons: because Tom Brady and Bill Belichick do not want to lose again to the Giants. They will win because Eli playing in “The House that Peyton Built” seems like a terrible idea. But most of all, New England will band together and win in the memory of Myra Kraft, the late wife of owner Robert Kraft. Fighting for something larger than one’s self has a way of enhancing performance.
Jacob Freedman: Giants 27, Patriots 21 - Unfortunately for Tom Brady and the Patriots passing attack, one unit is not going to win this game by itself. The Giants hold the advantage in almost every other unit, which means Eli Manning will continue to burn through opposing secondaries, the Giants’ relentless pass rush will harass Brady all game, and Tom Coughlin will hopefully earn at least a year off the hot seat with his 2nd Super Bowl win.
Andie Hagemann: Patriots 35, Giants 28 - The New England Patriots have all the pieces to the puzzles to clinch a fourth super bowl win under head coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots beat the Giants mathematically as New England averages 428 yards per game (317.8 passing yards). Brady has an arsenal at his disposal. If tight end Rob Gronkowski is permitted to play, the Patriots will not be struggling in racking yardage especially with fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez. I expect a high-scoring passing game from both ends, something that has been lacking in Super Bowl games.
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