Super Bowl Trend Spotting
The last couple of weeks I've looked at how SD (average) and JAX (terrible) faired when playing on turf. The SB is a little different since both the Pats and NYG are turf teams. Since the SB is au naturale, how did the teams do on grass (no Moss jokes please):
Pats played only one game on grass, a 49-28 pasting of the Fins. Can't do much with a sample size of 1 against the worst team in the league.
Giants are another story. They were 6-0 on grass...2-0 in the playoffs. Well that doesn't seem like a good sign. Digging a little deeper, you can readily see how the Giants want the SB to play out.
The average score of those games was about 20-15. The interesting thing is that all of the games played out in a very narrow range:
Giants: High (24) - Low (13)
Opp: High (20) - Low (10)
In the regular season on grass, the Giants averaged more than 3 sacks per game...but almost half of those came against the Bears. In those 4 games, they generated 0 interceptions. To their credit, the Giants have 4 interceptions in their grass playoff games.
So what to make of this...IMO, the Giants are comfortable playing a slower, smashmouth game. A grass field helps keep games from becoming a track meet. The Giants don't need turnover, sacks or a big advantage in 3rd down conversions...they just play a clean game, gradually wear you out and physically win at the end.
I believe that the Pats must do whatever than can to amp up the pace of the game, especially early. If this starts to smell like a game in the low-mid 20s, I expect the Giants to gain confidence as the game progresses. If it looks like a shootout, I expect the Giants to press and eventually wear out, commit errors and fall behiind.
Assuming Brady is OK, I would expect a spread offense early to set a fast pace. Also expect the defense to play less conservative early than we've seen recently. The faster the Pats can put the game on Manning's shoulders, the better. He seems to enjoy getting moral victories against the Pats.
Re: Super Bowl Trend Spotting
Re: Super Bowl Trend Spotting
When asked about this trend BB responded.
My opponent is not the grass. I am not going to worry if it long or cut short, I am not concerned if it is rye grass or bermuda grass. The grass is not my opponent. I focused on the New York Giants Football team. That's who we are playing next. And that is what I am focused on the New York Football Team, they are tough team and we need to get ready for them.
(actually I made it up, but you know thats what he would say, if a reporter asked him such a question)
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