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Midweek Superbowl Thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Jan 25, 2008.

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  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I was planning on waiting until just a few days before the SB to post this, but I have a funny feeling that we are all just going to be burnt out at that point. I will try to look a little deeper if I have time (although my track record is pretty lousy these playoffs so you may not want me to :D ) but this is what I have for now.

    * I posted this in response over at footballoutsiders to the litany of Giants fans that seem to believe that the Giants were always a top team.

    * People are tripping over themselves looking to break out all the historical comparisons for this SB matchup. As I have said before, the team that I think they most resemble is the 2003 Panthers, which is promising for NY because that team maintained their play through the SB.

    The games that I have heard many compare this matchup to are the Buffalo/NY game in 1990 and NE's first SB. Both paired efficient, tough defensive teams against unstoppable offensive juggernauts that also had some playmakers on defense. Myself, I can totally see the comparison, with the exception of one major detail.

    Bill Belichick is on the wrong sideline.

    BB was prominantly involved in taking down both of those offensive giants. Coughlin is a fine coach and I'm sure that his staff is full of competent guys as well. But I have little doubt that if you took BB off of either prior underdog the favorite's chances of winning would have improved greatly. Then, go one step further and add Bill to the favorite.....

    * By now we all know that NY's approach to the first NE game was a major catalyst in their playoff run. Obviously they derived significant benefit from that game.

    However, I have a different take on that, now that the teams are facing off once again. I personally believe that the earlier matchup was actually NY's best played game in their last month; better than the GB game, better than the TB game and most certainly better than the Dallas game. Anecdotally, I have noticed that when one team plays at their highest level against an oppenent, it is a major advantage to that opponent if they face each other again.

    Some examples of this are Pitt/NE on Halloween of 2004, Indy/Pitt the following year, NE/SD this year. I'm sure you could easily find examples disproving this, but it seems to have played out how I expected it when I notice it. I just think that NE has an edge in the fact that they saw NY's best up close while NY saw NE at about a C+ level.

    * Piggybacking on the previous though and similar to last year's Indy playoff game, NE has the advantage of not being surprised by NY's improved play. Just like I thought last year that some teams were surprised by Indy's improved D and failed to make adjustments, I think that NY's playoff opponents - TB and Dallas, anyway - may have been caught offguard by NY's elevated play. NE will have the benefit of both better persepective and 4 games of film.

    I'm still not sure what I think about this game, but I'll let you know when I figure it out. As always, I welcome your thoughts.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
  2. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    good stuff. I go back and forth between feeling supremely confident and a little bit worried. I think this team CAN blow their doors off, if they just play well. So far, though, we haven't seen a complete game in the post-season. Glendale would be an ideal spot for that.
  3. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Your point about the Pats beating the Giants "A" game is a good one--NY really did play an excellent game, and the Pats beat them, in NY, without 40% of their starting O-Line (or Kyle Brady), the Giants w/a special teams TD, etc. All of this bodes well, I think, in a rematch.

    I honestly don't think the Pats have played at the top of their game--felt that they were really challenged, and needed to step up--since the second half of the Pittsburgh game.
  4. dante828

    dante828 Rookie

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    Great post as always. The Super Bowl that I think most aptly compares to this one is Super Bowl 20. The Pats make a run in the playoffs, winning three road playoff games that everyone thought they would lose, only to face a dominating juggernaut in the Super Bowl. Granted the Bears dominated on defense and the Pats on offense, but I think this Super Bowl is the closest comparison....I would like to hear any thoughts on what makes them different. I know the Grogan/Eason situation is not present here, but I would also like to know other differences, especially Pats fans who have a better memory of the season since I was 5 at the time.
  5. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Rookie

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    I don't have access to the FO premium database, but I might be able to get it. my guess is that the NE game was easily the best the Giants have played all year per DVOA.

    that said, most traditional or even advanced stats are going to sell the Giants short b/c they are playing much, much, much better now than they did all year.

    their last 4 games they played like an elite team, right up there with Jax, SD, etc.

    the question is if they can keep it up for 1 more, or if they will revert to their form from the majority of the season. I don't think any sane person doubts that the Giants are a big dog, it's just a question of us facing a Jax quality team or, say, a Tampa Bay quality team
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Another stat I like is Red Zone. We struggled early in the year and against the NYG defensively but overall it's a good stat for us.

    Regular season (ProFW only has cumulative for that), the stats are :

    Offense : Patriots 69.4% TD in Red Zone, NYG 54.5% TD in Red Zone.
    Defense : virtual tie between the two.

    Playoffs :

    Offense : Patriots 70% TD in Red Zone, NYG 63.6% TD in Red Zone.
    Defense : Patiots 33% TD allowed in RZ, NYG 62.%% TD allowed in RZ.

    The playoff numbers have a very small sample size, the regular season looks good for us as the only way I see the NYG winning is by winning the Red Zone battle and the turnover battle.
  7. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    One difference is that the '85 NE team made a living running the ball and then collided with a team and a defense structure that stoned the run.

    I don't really see as large a matchup edge in NE's favor. NY's CBs have improved and they have an excellent pass rush, so that helps them against NE's passing game. Their DL and LBs are good run stoppers. Offensively, the Giants like to run, but they can pass it as well and, frankly, NE's defense isn't going to have as dominant an advantage as Chicago against any team.
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Regarding sacks, something interesting is that in the last 6 games, Umenyiora, Tuck and Strahan have combined for 3 sacks. I know sacks don't always represent pressure but 3 sacks in 6 games for their big three is interesting. They (those three) had 32 sacks for the year which means they had 29 sacks in the previous 16 games.
  9. dante828

    dante828 Rookie

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    Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts. I see your point, though the lead up seems similar, this matchup is closer then the last one, though if things start to break the Pats way, I can still see a blow-out happening very easily, especially if Manning reverts in any way. Then, there is no way that offense can keep up with us. Of course, I thought the same think about Delhomme, so you never know.
  10. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rookie

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    I agree with this line of thought, Oswelk. I would add that NE rarely is surprised by any opponent's level of play, as they always expect their opponent to play their best when they meet. This excellent attitude removes many chances of surprise, as NE can match the level of play they've practiced for and anticipated from the other team.

    As for the Giants, I think your point that the game against NE may have been their best is well reasoned. However, the circus atmosphere for the Super Bowl is really the wild card from the constant media pestering, the 24-hour parties, and the schedule shift when everything is drawn out much longer on Super Bowl Sunday. I believe I know how NE will react. I'm going to be very interested in how the Giants react.
  11. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    * The Pats offense hasn't "blown its wad early" (thanks LoMo) and still has some new and different looks it can roll out in the SB. Stretch run play. RB middle screens against the heavy blitz. Fake WR screen stop-n-go in the red zone. TE deep post. All things the Pats have done in the past but not this year. I expect to see one or more next Sunday.

    * Brady's injury. Moss' legal troubles. Shrinking point spread. All perfectly timed to keep the "Pats should kill the Giants" and "Perfection" and "Dynasty" headlines from the front page. The Giants are 12+ point underdogs and yet you don't get any feelings of disrespect.

    * The Giants' jabbering shows they aren't ready for this stage. Emotion and momentum can get you to the SB, but preparation and execution win it. The "almost beat them before" talk is especially surprising considering they were down by 10 with under 5 minutes to go. The Giants need to think more like the Eagles (onside kick, 4th down conversions, multiple unique pressure packages) and less like the Jaguars (just play our game and execute perfectly). If the Giants really think they can just "clean up a couple of mistakes" and beat the Pats, they have a surprise coming.

    * The "Eli flipped the switch during the week 17 game and is now a top QB" is one of the best game-within-the-game advantages for the Pats. Hearing that daily for 2 weeks puts a tremendous amount of pressure on Eli. As good as Eli as been the last month, his best during that time won't be enough to win next Sunday. "Elite", "Franchise", "Leader", "Poised", "Confident"...all that does is raise expectations. If Eli delivers, I'll be the first to give him props. I'm not holding my breath. Remember, it wasn't that long ago that Eli threw 3 TD passes to the wrong team.

    * The Pats have a disturbing trend of losing focus midway through the game. I used to love when they would score in the final 2 minutes of the first half, take the opening kick in the second half and score to take control of the game. Not so much of that lately. Cowboys, Colts, Ravens, Giants...all games that could have gotten away from the Pats with one key mistake in the 4th quarter. Dug a hole with lackluster play but managed to wake up and make the plays needed to win. Resilient? Yep. Recipe for disaster? You betcha. Something I'll be watching for next Sunday? Big time.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
  12. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree. The Giants played at a different level that night. I also thought that the Pats were jumpy that cold night in the Meadowlands. I think the significance of trying to get to 16--0 and the surrounding hype got to them at the beginning, especially when they were falling behind. But they snapped out of it with 22 unanswered points.

    I think that the SB is a more familiar venue to the Patriots, with 21 SB veterans on the squad, and that it won't happen in Glendale.
  13. karran_s

    karran_s Rookie

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    The Pats will take advantage of NY's secondary.. I don't think they will cover Moss as well as the Jags or the Bolts... Moss will get more open in the SB and will have a great day .. I predict a minimum of 2 TDs for Moss, 1 for Welker and 1 for Maroney..
  14. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Good stuff as usual, particularly the Giants stats.

    Frankly, I am one that easily gets nervous about a game - particularly with stakes this high - but I am feeling pretty confident about the game. Much like I was going into the Jags game, I was nervous about SD and I was right to be as it turned out. But statistically, talent-wise, the Giants just don't match up - so where's the advantage going to come? Certainly won't be scheme with BB on our sideline.

    We weren't playing with a full deck on our last meeting, McD was handcuffed by having no Kyle Brady and the entire rightside of the OL out. Pees defense was very vanilla in the first half, and they adjusted and starting becoming more effective. They use that as a starting point this time. If our special teams tightens up, we don't give up that kickoff return for a TD. So I'm seeing the Pats score one more TD, let up at least 2 less TDs and wipe out the ST TD for the Giants - what's that get me to...about 45-21 ish. That's what I'm feeling right now.

    I really think we are going to put up that #, and there's no way the Giants can keep up the way our D is playing right now.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
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