02-01-2008, 11:40 AM
On The Game Day Roster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Overstated - understated
I wish I had taken one of our posterís advice and just switched off the media over the last 2 weeks. But I guess I am addicted because I had to check this board at least 3 times a day, CHFF and Pats Planet twice a day, tune into WFAN, M&M, HBO and even though I swore not to ESPN. What was so disappointing was how the same stories kept reappearing and being restated. What was surprising was the number of stories that didnít make it despite the feast of airtime.
So it got me thinking on the things overstated and understated and I would welcome other postersí thoughts and contributions:
Giantís pass rush Ė the single most talked about factor all fortnight. I respect the Giantís D-Line (and think that Tuck is the best part of it), but it seems that most pundits are hanging their hats on this one to win the game for the Giants. As CHFF pointed out yesterday 4 sacks in the last 4 games is not particularly impressive, especially since they will be facing for the first time the Pats O Line with all their starters (plus Kyle Brady).
Eliís QB rating Ė 2nd most asked question of the week has been ďhas Manning got over the hump?Ē (wow Ė just like his brother last year) and ďis he now a legitimate QBĒ. He has played competently in the last 4 games, Iíll even concede well at some stages in each of them. But he has also shown signs of his inconsistency, especially at the end of the 2nd quarter against the Pack, and he has been fortunate to have escaped being picked off several times in the playoffs. But that 0 INT is all too commonly raised as an indication of his arrival on the QB stage. I always thought that BB/Pees gave him vanilla D (soft serve) for week 17. I suspect they are going to confuse him dramatically on Sunday.
Giantís running game Ė many have tried to talk about the 1-2 punch of Jacobs and Bradshaw, and I have to admit that the rookie has looked decent in the few games he has had significant play time. However I canít think of many games that have been won by the tandem. If anything they are competent to good, but nowhere near Taylor/Drew-Jones or Tomlinson/Turner. I do think that this may be the least of the overstated factors because I am haunted by memories of poor tackling by the Pats D in several of the games this year. Either one of the RBs could break one open and score, they might even be able to do so twice, but it is the slow way to get the points and is unlikely to happen in the 4th quarter.
Patriotís D is old and slow Ė other than the 3 Wise Men (Seau, Bruschi and Harrison) and the two slightly younger LBs (Vrabel and Thomas) the D-line and secondary are young and athletic. Once BB has played with Eliís head a bit with exotic schemes who else would you want in there other than the wisest of players to capitalize on his inevitable mistakes?
Patriotís Turnover advantage Ė this is the one I least understand, because it is the one statistic that tends to determine the winner and loser. The more Turnovers you have the less likely the win. The Pats were 2nd in the league on turnover differential and the Giants a long way down in the minus part of the standings. Yes Brady had a bad game against SD, but he almost always compensates the following week. Luckily the secondary came up big with two interceptions of Rivers to limit the damage and that helped win the game. At the Superbowl in addition to Manning there will be two rookie offensive players playing for the Giants (Boss and Smith) and they will be heavily pressured into coughing up the ball.
Patriotís Special Teams Ė not a single mention of this one all week. BB has always said that is a game of 3 phases and here again the Pats have the advantage, although I wish Mitchell was still there rather than Ventrone. Still with Washingtonís speed and the blocking and tackling of Izzo and Alexander I canít see Hixon repeating his feat on week 17. I am sure that BB will have heavily loaded the Humble Pie with that one (I do think the Pats were off guard on that one Ė the penalty on Moss/Maroney contributed but I think it was more due to the fact that the team lost focus as they celebrated tying the TD Reception records). I think Hobbs, Welker and Andrews have a better chance of a big play than their counterparts from NY). Finally I would rather depend on the Ghost than Tynes on a must win FG, even though Laurence shares my birthplace (Scotland).
Patriotís D line Ė this group is not just understated but almost disrespected, partly because of the overstatement on the other side of the ball. For goodness sake name me a better front three (including the rotation of Jarvis) in the league. I am hoping that they are going to come out angry on Sunday.
OK all these can be seen as homer opinions so just to show that I do think the Giantís have their share of under appreciation I will addÖ
Giantís secondary Ė not by a lot, but they are far from being the worst that the Pats have faced all season. Ross is a great pickup and has outperformed his more lauded rookie counterpart in NY, Revis. Certainly in the playoffs it is this group that has brought home the bacon, and is my second concern if Brady is off. I am less enthusiastic about their safeties but they deserve to be there and deserve a little more respect.
Giantís WRs Ė I know Plaxico has got 90% of the attention this week, but he did have a spectacular game in GB, and he is very talented. But I also think that Toomer has been largely ignored and he too can be dangerous. Even though I questioned the rookie receiver/TEís they have done pretty well in the run up to the big game. This may also be compensatory opinion because the brilliance of the Patriots WR corps has nearly almost but not quite been overstated.
In summation I think the Pats have a huge advantage in this game. However I will take nothing for granted because despite everything the Giantís still have a chance. I just think itís a tiny one.
Last edited by Buchanty; 02-01-2008 at 11:44 AM..