Super Bowl column: Giants


Appalachian State beating Michigan, Stanford beating USC, the Bears beating the Packers on a frozen Soldier Field were all great football upsets that occurred this past season. Another game is about to be added to this list: the Giants beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Here is why the underdog Giants will upset the Patriots this Sunday:

A Sack Hungry Defensive Line: If the Giants are going to win, they are going to need a big performance from their defensive line, especially their ends. If Osi Umenyiora can keep up his torrent play, which netted him 13 sacks during the regular season this year, the Giants should be able to keep Tom Brady on his toes and force him to make some mistakes.

Michael Strahan coming off the left side removes the Patriots’ ability to double team both ends. Nose tackle Fred Robbins has a motor that never stops running and also can get a surprising amount of pressure on the QB, especially for a big guy.

The Right Attitude:It’s easy for a team to get caught up in the fun and frenzy of the Super Bowl and forget about the task at hand. The Giants don’t seem to be falling into that trap. On Monday, when their plane landed in Phoenix, most members of the team chose to wear black suits.

“Just a sign of unity. That’s all,” Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce said in a press conference Monday. “Now you’re seeing a team that’s about as tight-knit as you can get. You talk about teams that win Super Bowls. It’s the team that wins the Super Bowl; it’s not one individual.”

Meanwhile, members of the Patriots spent media day Tuesday joking with reporters, taking marriage proposals, and fielding predictions from a turban clad member of the press who referred to himself as “The Great Swami.” Randy Moss even had the audacity to proclaim that he was the fastest receiver, quickest receiver and strongest member of the Patriots team.
Right now it looks like the Giants are the team that has their eyes on the prize, while the Pats seem to be enjoying a vacation. Belichick was even wearing sandals at the pre-Super Bowl media day.
Pressure is on the Pats-Right now the Patriots are in a pressure cooker – and it’s set to high. The Patriots know that if they win this game and go 19-0, they will likely be remembered as the greatest NFL team ever. If they lose, their dominance will always be the subject of debate. As a 12.5 point underdog the Giants have no expectations on them to win, a fact which should let them play a more relaxed game.

Eli’s Coming: Eli Manning has always been called immature and inexperienced, but he seems to have come of age during this year’s playoff, leading the Giants to three remarkable road victories over some of the top teams in the NFC. In fact, Manning has led the Giants to 10 straight road victories. The last time the Giants lost away from the Meadowlands was Sept. 16 when the Packers beat the Giants at Lambeau Field.

Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, who caught 11 passes for 154 yards in the NFC championship game against the Packers, recently made a bold prediction that the Giants will beat the Patriots by a score of 23-17. I’m going to agree with Burress in his prediction for Super Bowl XLII:

New York 23, New England 17