NFL Picks: Super Bowl XLVI
Straight Up: New York Giants
Against the Spread: New York Giants plus-3
Over/Under: Under 55.5
New England hasn’t scored stratospherically against good defenses and the Giants hold pretty consistently in the mid-20s in terms of points. The score will be in the neighborhood of 23-20 or 28-24.
Regular Season NFL Predictions Record
Straight Up: 176-80
Against the Spread: 148-108
NFL Playoff games are won on the strength of individual matchups. Really? Are you sure?
We hear it all the time: “DB Joe Smith matches up well with WR John Jones.”
(Or, if you’re talking about Detroit WR Calvin Johnson: DBs Smith, Williams and Roberts.)
In the next week, we’ll continue seeing endless media product hyping Tom Brady versus Eli Manning. But these quarterbacks will be asked to execute vastly divergent offensive schemes because the offensive personnel are almost diametric opposites in terms of ability.
There is no point in comparing Manning’s deep ball accuracy with Brady’s. Brady won’t throw more than three deep balls in the entire game while Manning will let it fly, possibly from the first snap.
The real difference here isn’t even the obvious leadership style comparison. It’s in fundamentally contradictory worldviews.
The first thing out of Tom Brady’s mouth on the championship stage was, "Well I sucked pretty bad today but our defense saved us. I'm gonna go out and try and do a better job in a couple of weeks."
On the one hand, it’s admirable that he took responsibility and praised the defense. On the other—dude, it is not all about you.
At the reverse end of the life-philosophy spectrum was Eli Manning’s response when asked in the NFC Championship post-game Q&A how he was a different quarterback than the one who won it all in 2007: “Well, I’m four years older.”
Not a dissertation on his skill set, improved football judgment, blah, blah, blah. Just an off-the-cuff joke as he left the room.
A new phrase has entered the American lexicon in the past decade. "The cult of personality."
It’s as if, as a society, we cannot help ourselves from being distracted by bright, shiny characters. Flash over substance abounds.
One look at the amount of plastic surgery and posturing on the political debate stages should confirm the accuracy of the phrase.
The Super Bowl Vegas odds also confirm it. Let’s remember that betting odds are not real. They are like stock prices. They exist as a reflection of public perception.
People will apparently bet on Tom Brady no matter what.
During these playoffs, Brady seemed to make usurping Tim Tebow’s place in the American sports imagination his personal mission—he succeeded.
Playoff Tom is the absolute personification of “fired up.”
Eli Manning made a rare speech to his team this week. He told them to take care of all their personal/family/friends/tickets business in the first two days so that they could concentrate on game preparation. That’s it, that was the speech.
It’s hard to find a single personality to “cult” around on the New York Giants.
The Patriots are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (who has taken having no personality to such an extreme that it has become captivating).
The New York Giants are discipline, detail and toughness.
I prefer my matchups packaged as units, not superstars. I’m a firm believer in the “for want of a nail, the shoe was lost” details-before-glamour theory of team building.
Brady and Manning may be the top ornaments on their teams, but there’s quite a foundation holding them up.