Last minute post. No big write up here.
Honestly, I had a harder time picking this game than any other this year. The Giants were my surprise pick for the playoffs, and you’ve got to love the mojo they’re riding heading into this one. I’m a steadfast Eli believer and would love to see him win his second Super Bowl in as many chances. But then there’s this other side of me that sees all this love the Giants are getting with Brady and Belichick on the other sidelines wanting to win this game more than any other in both of their lengthy careers.
The Patriots defense has played much better of late and will be a big factor in this one. Watch out for Vince Wilfork and the disruption he presents up front forcing Eli out of the pocket more than scripted. I look for Aaron Hernandez to have a big game. Gonkowski will/should be limited, and I look for Corey Webster to lock down on Wes Welker outside. Hernandez should be a big focus of the offense. I also look for BenJarvus Green Ellis to be the other key offensive factor for the Patriots; calling for around 75 yards and a TD on the ground from him in this one.
Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz get most of the attention in the Giants passing game, but I’m looking for both Mario Manningham and Jake Ballard to come up with big plays tonight. If the Giants are smart they’ll look to take advantage of Manningham deep on Julian Edelman any time the bi-directional player is on the field for the Patriots. Ballard has been a security blanket of Eli’s throughout the year, and I like his chances of getting a red zone TD tonight.
This should be a tremendous way to cap off the year.
Final Score –
MVP – Tom Brady
Aaron Hernandez, Deion Branch, and BenJarvus Green Ellis score for the Patriots. Branch scores the first TD of the game, and Hernandez’s score proves to be the game winner. Manningham, Ballard, and Victor Cruz score for the Giants. The key play of the game turns out to be an Ahmad Bradshaw fumble, caused by Jerod Mayo, picked up by Patrick Chung and returned inside New York territory, setting up Hernandez’s game winning score.