Super Bowl 2012: Why Tom Brady, Patriots' Offense Simply Can't Be Stopped
The time is finally here. The time for the New England Patriots to get the revenge they've been longing for.
We all remember Super Bowl XLII. We all remember Eli Manning's heroics. We all remember "the catch."
Now, four years later, the Patriots are ready to prove to the world that they are football's greatest franchise.
The two football clubs have their pasts, and will collide in Indianapolis to settle once and for all the questions that were left up in the air after their last postseason match-up, but only one will rise to the top.
That one will be the New England Patriots, and here are five reasons why.
Two Words: Tom Brady
Love him or hate him, Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. Add to the fact that he has had one of the best years of his career, and you've got the New York Giants' secondary shaking in their cleats.
With such an illustrious portfolio of MVP trophies and Super Bowl rings, career-high numbers are hard to come by these days for Brady. But the Patriots' quarterback set new highs in both passing yards and completions this season.
Brady can pick apart a defence at will and proved that against the Denver Broncos' secondary in the divisional round of the playoffs. With the Giants' 29th ranked pass defence, Brady doesn't seem to have too much of a challenge on his hands.
Two More Words: Bill Belichick
Anyone associated with football knows the name Belichick.
Belichick isn't just a coach to this Patriot team anymore, he is their puppet master. The way he uses his weapons is brilliant and almost unparalleled around the league.
With a full arsenal of healthy receivers and an improved running game from years past, Belichick will have one of the best offences he's ever taken to the Super Bowl.
The defensive-minded coach also serves as the Patriots general manager, which has allowed him to draft to his liking and mold the team into a more defensive-minded crew than they brought to the table last Super Bowl appearance.
Belichick better bring another one of his famous short-sleeved hoodies to Indianapolis if he wants to be dry after his post-game Gatorade shower.
The Big Man
A little-known tight end by the name of Rob Gronkowski was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. Last year, he had 42 receptions. This year, Gronkowski more than doubled that number. He had 90 catches and 1,327 yards, with an average gain of 14.7 yards. That is tremendous for the second year tight end. Against the Broncos, he tied a postseason record with three touchdown catches. I can only imagine what he will do with his opportunities against the Giants.
The Bigger Man
Vince Wilfork is a beast. But don't let his size fool you. Wilfork is about as athletic as a 325 pound man could be, and he uses every ounce of it to his advantage. His ability to wear down the offensive line will open up opportunities for Patriots' linebackers to get to Eli Manning later in the game. There's no doubt the Patriots' top tackle will be double teamed throughout the game, but Wilfork is no stranger to the challenge. Wilfork has recorded 6 tackles and 2.5 sacks already through two postseason games, and the Giants' line has no chance of keeping those numbers the same after Super Bowl XLVI. Look for an exciting matchup between Wilfork and New York Giants' running back Ahmad Bradshaw when they hit the turf in Indianapolis.
An Improved Running Game
Finally the New England Patriots have a legitimate running game.
For years, New England has been a passing team, and only a passing team.
But to be successful in the NFL, a solid running game is essential. This year the Patriots have done a good job of staggering pass-run ratio, and players like TE Rob Gronkowski have reaped the rewards.
Against the Patriots, defences can't help but focus on Tom Brady as he steps on the field. But now with the improved ground game lead by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, teams must be aware of quick handoffs and a deadly play-action passing game.
With New York's defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora both banged up from their matchup with Frank Gore and company, look for New England to pound the ball early to open up the lethal downfield pass.
Although the Patriots have one the best head coach-quarterback tandem in pro football history, they're still humans. Humans that make mistakes, especially under pressure.
The last time New England saw a Super Bowl appearance was under drastically different circumstances.
A perfect season of 19-0 has yet to be accomplished, and none of us could imagine the amount of pressure those Patriots had to have felt that game.
This time the stakes are a little different. There are no records to be broken. There's only a Super Bowl to be won.
With numerous offensive weapons, a bolstered defensive squad, and a team looking for revenge after a long four year wait, the Patriots are set to run over the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.
This team simply cannot be stopped.