New England Patriots: 5 Reasons They Will Win Super Bowl XLVI
Not many Super Bowl matchups compare to the one taking place about a week from now.
For New England, there is more than a fourth Super Bowl victory on the line.
The Patriots are looking to avenge a Super Bowl XLII defeat to the hands of the Giants, which had ended New England's run at a perfect season.
Although the Patriots are downplaying the rematch, everyone knows this team will be bloodthirsty for revenge.
Everyone has to acknowledge the exceptional play from New York over the past month, but their run will end in Indianapolis.
Here are five reasons New England will be raising the Lombardi Trophy and celebrating their fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history.
Offensive Line Play
No doubt, the New England offensive line is one of the best in the NFL.
Not only will they need to play extraordinarily well next Sunday, these guys must dominate the game up front.
With Logan Mankins, Matt Light, and Brian Waters leading the way, Tom Brady will be able to have just enough time to put points on the board.
These players proved themselves against Baltimore in the AFC Championship game, protecting Brady from the Ravens fierce front seven.
Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and Mathias Kiwanuka are going to try and pressure Brady as much as possible, but this offensive line is simply too strong this season.
After only allowing 32 sacks this season, New England will win the battle against the tough Giants defense.
Patriots Wide Receivers vs. Giants Secondary
Everyone knows the Patriots secondary can be questionable at times, and that is being polite. But, what people may not realize is what type of statistics the Giants secondary put up throughout the regular season.
New York ranked 29th in the league in pass defense, allowing over 255 yards per game through the air.
With New England's offensive line winning the battle up front, increased pressure will mount on the Giants secondary.
With some of the best possession receivers in Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, and Rob Gronkowski, the Giants will be on their heels trying to defend the pass.
If BenJarvis Green-Ellis can run the ball semi-efficiently, the play action will be the Giants' worst nightmare.
Look for New England to establish an early running attack and then implement play actions and crossing patterns to eat up clock and wear down the New York secondary.
Tom Coughlin has done a tremendous job late in the season to lead the G-Men to Indianapolis. Not even New England fans can argue that.
But there is no doubt who has the clear edge between the two coaching staffs.
One thing Bill Belichick prides himself on is making adjustments. Although the two teams are extremely different from the 2007-2008 squads, Belichick will provide the offense with different looks to combat the pass rush that dominated the Patriots in their last Super Bowl meeting.
With the success of the offense throughout the entire season, New England's defensive adjustments have gone under the radar.
The Patriots have allowed a combined 30 points in their two playoff games and their pass rush has been a problem for most opponents the last month or so.
Coach Belichick will fix the errors made earlier in the season against the Giants and will outcoach Tom Coughlin and the Giants staff.
Patriots Front Seven vs. Giants O-Line
There is only one way to describe the defensive effort put forward from New England in the past few weeks.
Key players such as Mark Anderson have stepped in when their number was called. When team sack leader, Andre Carter, went down with a season-ending injury, Anderson knew he had to make an impact.
He not only has succeeded in his new role, he is becoming a major force.
All-Pro caliber players Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo have been performing at a high level and newcomers Rob Ninkovich and Kyle Love have been following in their teammates footsteps.
The confidence level is at a season high for this front seven as the Giants offensive line are coming off a game in which they allowed six sacks.
By no means do the Patriots have the defensive forces that the 49ers possess, but this defense has been ridiculed all season and they have been playing with something to prove.
Early this season, New England lost a huge member of their family.
Myra Kraft, the late wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, passed away from a long battle with cancer.
Most people, including many analysts, pegged New England as a second- or third-place team in the AFC with a slim chance to return to the Super Bowl.
This morning, before leaving for Indianapolis, Robert Kraft spoke with approximately 25,000 Patriots fans at Gillette Stadium.
He reiterated the belief that this season was going to be special.
All the players know how important this is to their owner. They have represented Myra by wearing a patch on their jerseys all season.
BenJarvis Green-Ellis broke through for a touchdown run against Baltimore and pointed the patch that is stitched just above his heart.
After Billy Cundiff missed a chip shot field goal last Sunday, many Patriots fans started believing in destiny.
For New England, it is more than a championship game. The Patriots are playing for a Super Bowl victory, first and foremost, but they are also playing for a lost member of their family.
Emotions will be high, for sure, but no one handles emotions better than New England.