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Giants Patriots Super Bowl XLVI Game Preview

Well, it’s finally here. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Super Bowl XLVI. Giants. Patriots. We’ve discussed it for the past two weeks; all of our content is on the site, be sure to check it out. But, after all the talking, we can finally play. Super Bowl Sunday, Giants are in it. What could be better?

INJURIES:

GIANTS:

Probable: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), S Tyler Sash (foot), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), CB Corey Webster (hamstring), LB Jacquian Williams (foot)

PATRIOTS:

Questionable: OT Marcus Cannon (ankle), S Patrick Chung (knee), LB Dane Fletcher (thumb), TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle), DT Kyle Love (ankle), G Logan Mankins (knee), LB Ron Ninkovich (hip), LB Brandon Spikes (knee), OT Sebastian Vollmer (flu/back/foot), WR Wes Welker (knee), LB Tracy White (abdomen)

Probable: WR Deion Branch (knee), C Dan Connolly (groin), S James Ihedigbo (shoulder), OT Matt Light (flu), WR Matthew Slater (shoulder)

The big injury news, of course, is Rob Gronkowski. He will play tonight. No one really knows how his ankle is, except for Gronk himself. Will he be 100%? Will he be 50% How well he feels, and if he can play to his normal level, is a huge story line for this game.

The Giants are relatively healthy, although Jacquian Williams was in a walking boot. Still, for a Super Bowl team, they’re pretty good.

GIANTS OFFENSE:

The Giants offense was exposed a bit against the 49ers, in that a relentless pass rush throws them off their game. Still, we know what they can do. They are a vertical, down the field team, who employ three top wideouts who get to catch a ball from an elite QB.They are not a great running team, but any Tom Coughlin team will be balanced; they will run the ball even when it looks like they can’t, much to the chagrin of their fan base. But that’s who the Giants are. They’re balanced. They will take shots down the field, work both sides of the field. They will convert well on third downs. They have dynamic threats in Cruz and Nicks, both of whom are capable of turning a 10 yard catch into a 40 yard play. Eli Manning has become elite this year, no question about it. He has improved in the subtleties of the game, such as moving in the pocket, throwing on the move, keeping plays alive for just an extra half second longer. He has an elite arm, and has been much more accurate. Throwing to those elite receivers helps too. The Giants don’t possess the best offensive line in the world. The interior of the line is substandard, as Kevin Boothe is best suited as a backup, and David Baas is really struggling in an injury plagued season. Someone like Vince Wilfork will cause problems. But Manning’s movement in the pocket helps negate that a bit. This is an elite offense, despite their struggles against an elite pass rush. They can put up points with the best of them, and tonight will be no exception. They can and will score, in bunches, because that’s what this offense can do.

There are some questions about tonight. Do the Pats try to “bulls-eye” Victor Cruz, taking him out of the game so he can’t beat them? And if so, does that leave room for Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham to be in single coverage? Or is the secondary so weak that it won’t matter?

GIANTS DEFENSE:

The Giants defense certainly hasn’t had the best year, but they have been much better of late. It all starts with the pass rush. Jason Pierre-Paul has been playing at an all-world level. He changes games with his pressure. There’s also Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, both of whom are finally healthy and playing like it. Osi has been explosive in the playoffs. He will spend a lot of time in the backfield. Matt Light, the Patriots left tackle, is not as good as he used to be, and will struggle against Osi. Don’t forget about Mathias Kiwanuka and Dave Tollefson who provide a pass rush inside and out. Chris Canty and Linval Joseph compose a good run stopping duo, which will need to be active against a good run game. The linebackers are the weak spot. Who’s going to cover Gronkowski? Boley? Williams? Or is it going to be Rolle or Grant? What about Aaron Hernandez? Who’s going to stay with Wes Welker on all those inside routes? Lots of questions about how to stop this high flying Patriots offense. The big key is making Tom Brady uncomfortable, rattled, so he doesn’t have time to throw the ball. Then all the questions above don’t really matter.

GIANTS SPECIALS TEAMS:

Specials teams has been really good of late. Coverage has been good; not enough can be said about Devin Thomas and his play two weeks ago. Steve Weatherford is a weapon, and has been so good at pinning teams back. Lawrence Tynes isn’t the best, but he does have a history of making big kicks in big games. The return game hasn’t been good in years, seemingly, but keep an eye on Jerrel Jernignan. I feel he’s close to breaking one.

THE PATRIOTS:

The Patriots are here every other year it seems. They are the definition of a dynasty; one more win cements their legacy. They are dynamic on offense, as always. Tom Brady is elite, as we know. He has so many weapons, starting with Rob Gronkowski. Aaron Hernandez is a star in his own right, and Wes Welker is always productive. That’s not to mention a pretty good run game, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. Watch out for Woodhead; he’s going to be featured a lot on screens and draws to try to negate the pass rush, and he’s so shifty that he could cause problems. Like the Giants, they can score in bunches, and probably will. It’s an elite offense and the two tight ends will give the Giants problems.

Their defense isn’t as good. Their secondary is below average; they gave up almost 5,000 passing yards in the regular season. They have a good front seven, led by Vince Wilfork, who is so dominant on the line. But the secondary is an issue. Julian Edelman is a wide receiver, who’s playing corner back. He’ll likely be matched up on Victor Cruz. Their secondary is what has to be exploited, and it will. They don’t really rush the passer too well, but they’re good at stopping the run. They’re a decent defense, but they’ll have issues with the high octane offense.

PREDICTION:

I’ve thought long and hard about this. There are so many variables. How healthy is Gronk? Do the Giants rush the passer effectively? Will the Pats run game counteract that? Who covers Hernandez? Do the Giants wideouts go crazy? Which QB plays better? Which team makes that one crucial mistake? Hard to know. We won’t know until game time. And we can overanalyze it to death. So what do I think happens? I think it’s close, and I think it comes down to the last minute. But I think it’s the Giants on top. FINAL SCORE: Giants 24, Patriots 20. MVP: Jason Pierre-Paul

COVERAGE:

We have a Super-sized edition of coverage today. We’ll be Tweeting tonight during the game. Follow for our trademark instant analysis. During Halftime, instead of listening to Madonna, come to the site for a Super-sized Halftime Thoughts, where will breakdown the first half, and tell you what to expect in the second. And then make GiantsGab your stop after the game for all the post game info and analysis you need. GiantsGab is Giants central!


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2 Responses to “Giants Patriots Super Bowl XLVI Game Preview”

  1. […] Giants Patriots Super Bowl XLVI Game PreviewGiants Gab (blog)Vegas releases LeBron James Super Bowl betsCBSSports.com (blog)Bleacher Report -International Business Times -NBC17.comall 3,746 news articles » […]

  2. Cd says:

    WOW substandard o-line…non-existent holding penalty on Boothe…Superbowl Champions…thats all that needs to be said!

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