There are two areas of the game in which the Giants hold an advantage — their rushing offense and defensive front four. That being said, New York will have to outplay the Patriots in almost every other facet of the game if they hope to win.
p. One key to the Giants’ success will be their defensive front’s ability to get pressure on Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady. Although the Giants ranked first during the regular season in sacks, they have only managed three sacks during their playoff run. If New York fails to put significant pressure on Brady, the two-time Super Bowl MVP will light up the injury-depleted New York secondary. Expect the Giants to use a good mix of blitz packages throughout the game to keep Brady out of rhythm.
p. On the offensive side of the ball, the Giants’ success will hinge on the play of quarterback Eli Manning. To win, the Manning who scorched Green Bay, not the erratic, indecisive player he has been for most of his career, must show up in Glendale. Wide receiver Plaxico Burress has also played well throughout the Giants’ playoffs run, and the Giants will need Burress and Manning to continue firing on all cylinders to challenge the Patriots juggernaut defense.
p. Couple the improved play of the Giants offense with one interesting Super Bowl trend, and the case for a Giants victory becomes even stronger. Of the last five Super Bowls in which the two teams played each other during the regular season, the team that lost the regular season matchup has gone on to win the Super Bowl four times. In the teams’ regular-season contest in week 17, the Patriots had to overcome a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 38-35.
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