Saturday, February 4, 2012
Guest Writer: Ryan Saunders "Super Bowl XLVI 2012"
Tomorrow millions of people will gather around TVs all over America to watch commercials and eat copious amounts of food. There will also be a football game being played, the Super Bowl to be exact. For many people this will be the first and only game they watch this season. If you are one of these people who are attending a party but haven’t been paying attention to football this year and aren’t sure of things like which Manning brother will be playing, it’s the younger one Eli, or aren’t sure why Chris Canty’s helmet looks like supervillian then this article is for you. I will briefly cover the teams and issues to get you caught up to speed and surprise the football enthusiast at your party with you knowledge.
First up are the Giants. They have won 4 games in a row and are playing great football right now. They had to win the last game of the regular season against the Dallas Cowboys just to get into the playoffs and now, playing every playoff game on the road, have reached the Super Bowl. They have done this with a combination of a great defensive front four, arguably the best in football, and brilliant play from quarterback Eli Manning. The defensive has amassed 9 sacks in 3 games and constantly harried the opponents’ qbs. Eli Manning is playing the best ball of his career and has been brilliant on 3rd down. The Giants are a staggering 44% on third down and Eli Manning has a Quarterback Rating of 103.1 in the postseason.
The Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. That is all you really need to know. They are the all-time winningest quarterback – head coach combo in NFL history. They have won 3 Super Bowl’s together. Bill Belichick is one of the greatest football minds ever; he is constantly getting guys that will play hard in his system and winning games with them. This year his new offensive wrinkle is his two dynamic tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. These two guys have given New England a unique and almost unstoppable offense this year. The Patriots are averaging 419.5 yards of offense per playoff game this year, 2nd only to the New Orleans Saints and during the regular season averaged 428 yards per game, also 2nd to the Saints.
In order for the Giants to win tomorrow they must find a way to take away either Aaron Hernandez of Rob Gronkowski. If they can find a way to take away one or both of these dynamic New England tight ends they can win. Rob Gronkowski injured his ankle two weeks ago in the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. He claims that he will be fine but it will be impossible to know for sure until game time. They can do this by putting pressure on Tom Brady and making him make poor decisions. It will be difficult to fluster him but the Giants front four are capable of it. For the Patriots to win, they must stop Eli Manning on 3rd down. If they can’t get the Giants offense off the field then Tom Brady can’t score. They can do this by forcing the Giants into 3rd and long situations and taking away his favorite targets of Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.
In Super Bowl XVII these same two teams battled to an epic conclusion. The undefeated New England Patriots fell to the scrappy underdog New York Giants. An incredible play by Eli Manning and David Tyree helped to make the game one of the most memorable in Super Bowl history. Hopefully, tomorrow will be just as epic. This year’s game has the ability to be just as good. The teams are very evenly matched and the Patriots are looking for revenge for Super Bowl XVII, the only Super Bowl Brady and Belichick have lost. Seeing as how it is impossible to write or talk about the Super Bowl without making a prediction I will make mine here: New England Patriots 38 New York Giants 35.
-- Ryan Saunders is a graduate student at Baylor University's illustrious Truett Seminary , he graduated from Gardner-Webb, he is aspiring to graduate from Truett with an MDiV with a concentration in sports ministry, his home town is Durham, North Carolina.
We hope you have a fantastic Super Bowl Sunday!
Love from your humble blogger,