Those were the days: Want to see them again--Run The Ball!
Tom Brady, arguably the greatest QB in NFL history, if limited to the role as a game manager in perhaps the most important game of his career—yes, that is the secret of the New England Patriots victory over the Giants.
I can already envision the outrage I will receive for saying such blasphemy from New England Patriot fans.
Beloved Patriot fans, if you want to see Tom hoisting that Lombardi trophy above his head for the fourth time, then you're going to need to see an offensive game plan where Tom Brady is handing that pigskin about 70 percent of the time into the bellies of his running backs or his twin Dikta-like tight ends.
This will be the only way the Patriots will beat The New York Giants. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick must do what opposing teams often attempt to do against them—control the clock and keep QB Eli manning of the New York Giants off the field.
Two reasons: First, the Patriot Defense won't be able stop Eli Manning or the Giants running game, and secondly, and maybe more importantly, the Patriot running game is a seldom-seen commodity that, in this writer's mind, is the poison to slay the Giants defense.
I have watched both teams all season. Given the reality that the New England Patriots have a below average defense, and the fact that the better teams in the league have adapted to the Patriot offensive scheme, a stout running game is the needed elixir to give the Pats the strategic advantage they will need against a team that is more well balanced then they are.
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The Giants are licking their chops at the thought of Tom Brady standing back in the pocket for a typical day of 40 or more passes.
The Patriots' brain trust, Coach Bill Belichick, would be wise not to grant this wish and do just the opposite. The vaunted Giant pass rush that stomped the Pats in their last Superbowl meeting will begin to slow down in the fourth quarter after a heavy dose of a run attack that was unexpected—then some of that Brady passing magic can be applied safely.
All year long the Patriots have tinkered with the run game like a kid trying to put together a model airplane. When things didn't go right, like any youngster, you call on dad to put things together and solve the problem.
Likewise, when in a need for a quick fix, Tom Brady would call on Bill Belichick to just let him stand back and sling the ball, and all would be well in Patriot Nation.
The Patriot running game had success, but Coach Belichick gave up on it too quickly—after all, having Tom Brady is a hard addiction to break.
The fact is the New England Patriots have some dynamic runners, including bruising tight ends that can bring hell-on-turf. Coach Belichick must kick the Brady habit and put some trust in his run game.
The genesis of my thinking is years in the making of watching The Patriot machine, but I only need to point out two games this year to make my point where no amount of directional help from mastermind Bill Belichick or Savior Tom Brady would work.
Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants, masters in defense, employed what has been Tom Brady's Kryptonite: press coverage.
A dose of the Steelers and Giants running game kept Brady and Belichick studying passing schemes and formations from which no answers came forth. The Patriots lost both games with hopes and prayers that they would never have to see those teams again.
Well, as its turned out, they got half their wish. The Pittsburgh Steelers were ousted by the Denver Broncos, but as things often go in life, God will provide some of the heavy lifting but you have to work for some of your miracles.
The New England Patriots can beat the New York Giants by carrying a work-like attitude to Super Bowl XLVI, running the football about 70 percent of the time. Sometimes you win by losing some of the obviousness that opposing teams expect from you.
The Giants have one of the best pass rushes in football. The Patriots, if they play their normal scheme, will play right into the strength of their rival. This is a game where Tom Brady has to be small—handing the ball to his runners often in order to win the game.
The New York Giants will plan their whole defensive scheme with the idea that Tom Brady is going to do what Tom Brady always does: throw and throw some more.
The New York Giants, the team who stole perfection and NFL God-hood from both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, are poised to again destroy another Superbowl dream from the dynamic duo.
There is only one way to stop them—Tom Brady, you must become small—The New England Patriots must run the ball.