In the aftermath of last weekend's classic set of games, we now have the rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl with the New York Giants facing off against the New England Patriots.
This game should be a tight one, and I, along with all football fans, am really looking forward to kickoff on February 5th. So, here are five bold predictions for this year's big game.
Both defenses seem to be hitting their stride at exactly the right time. The Giants' defense has been lights-out during this post season and they have definitely played at an extremely high level.
The Patriots' defense, much maligned during the regular season, has responded well to the criticism and has done a solid job in the playoffs, causing turnovers and doing an overall good job.
So, having said all that, I believe that this game will be a high-scoring shootout. Tom Brady, although not having played his best game against the Ravens, will step up on the big stage and have a huge game (Look for 400-plus yards).
Eli Manning has been tearing it up and will likely do the same. I see these teams going back and forth, scoring a lot of touchdowns. Both teams have been good in the red zone, so they'll definitely put up a lot of points come next Sunday.
If you asked most people, they would probably tell you that Bradshaw or Jacobs will lead this game in rushing. Well, I think the leading rusher will be BenJarvus Green-Ellis of New England. Green-Ellis had 68 yards on only 15 carries and added a touchdown. If he can get into that 20-carry area, I see him easily approaching the 100-yard mark.
The only reason I say this is because both teams have benefited significantly from special teams errors this past week, and both teams are bound to commit a critical mistake of their own.
The Patriots got lucky when Billy Cundiff missed a chip shot that would've sent the game into overtime. On the Giants' side, all that needs to be said is if they beat New England, they should call up Kyle Williams and ask the 49ers' WR for his ring size because he deserves one after basically handing the game to the Giants last week.
Someone will mess up and muff a punt or kickoff late in the game that will potentially cause their team to lose. These teams have simply been too fortunate on special teams recently for it not to happen to them.
I have to admit, I've been extremely impressed with the play of Eli Manning over the past couple of months. He's certainly earned the right to be mentioned within the scope of "elite" active quarterbacks.
Now, going into the rematch against New England, a team Manning has beaten already this year, I think he'll play really well. However, for some reason I see him throwing a critical interception or fumbling in the fourth quarter, causing the Giants to lose.
Eli has played almost too well, and I just see him screwing up in this one. Maybe it's because I don't want to see him have more rings than his brother, but he'll turn the ball over late in this game.
Seeing as how this is a list of bold predictions, I'll go out on a limb and say that the Patriots will win by at least ten points. I've come to appreciate Brady and Belichick this season, mainly because half my fantasy team was on their offense. Honestly though, I see them winning this game and scoring a late touchdown to ice it and put them up by double digits.
I do think that this will be a great game and I'm really looking forward to it.
Bold score prediction: 41-30 New England.
Smart score prediction: 35-31 New England.