By Doug Halberstadt
It’s arguably the largest spectacle in professional sports, and it’s less than four days away. The biggest professional football game of the season, also known as Super Bowl XLVI (46), will be played this Sunday, Feb. 5, at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis.
The two teams that have earned the right to call themselves conference champions are the New York Giants from the NFC and the New England Patriots of the AFC.
These two teams met one another in Super Bowl XLII (42) Feb. 3, 2008. The Patriots were a perfect 18-0 heading into that game. The Giants entered that game as 12-point underdogs. They exited the game as Super Bowl champions and ruined the Patriots’ shot at a perfect season. The final score was 17-14.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was crowned the MVP based primarily on his last-minute heroics. He threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left in the game to secure the victory for the Giants.
This will be the fifth trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history for the Giants. They are 3-1 in their previous four trips. This will be the seventh time the Patriots have been in the big game. They have a 3-3 Super Bowl record.
This year, the Patriots finished the regular season with a 13-3 record. The Giants were 9-7 during the regular season. The two teams had six common opponents. They both played the Jets, Dolphins, Bills, Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins. New England went 8-1, the Giants 6-3 against those teams. They played one another during week nine of the regular season. The Giants won that game 24-20.
This year’s game should be strikingly different from the one four years ago. I don’t see the score being anywhere near as low. The 17-14 score might be repeated, but I’m thinking it’ll be at the end of the first quarter, not the game. I highly doubt Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of their high-powered offense will be held to just two touchdowns over the course of 60 minutes.
The same holds true for Manning and his offense. I think both of these quarterbacks would be comfortable throwing the ball 35 or more times if necessary. Those types of numbers could lead to a very high-scoring Super Bowl. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a game where 60 or more points are scored.
For one reason alone, I’m taking the Giants. It has nothing to do with the records or the stats of either team. I don’t like Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. I’m not a big fan of the Giants team, either, but I do like Manning. I’m going with the Giants 35-31.
Another nice thing about the Super Bowl is, even if you’re not a fan of either team, there are always the commercials!
From the Feb. 1-7, 2012, issue