Super Bowl Predictions 2012: Super Bowl XLVI's Biggest Winners and Losers

Adam OdekirkContributor IIJanuary 29, 2012

Super Bowl Predictions 2012: Super Bowl XLVI's Biggest Winners and Losers

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    There is no question that the Patriots and Giants organizations as a whole stand to be the biggest winners and losers in Super Bowl XLVI.

    Inside the game though, there are story lines involving individual players that have quite a bit on the line for themselves as well.

    Will legends grow or crumble in Super Bowl XLVI? It's tough to tell, but here are some predictions for big winners and losers on Sunday.

Winner: Jason Pierre-Paul

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    The upward ascension of Jason Pierre-Paul's NFL career will continue in the Super Bowl.

    Expect Pierre-Paul to be everywhere on the field and not just in the backfield on top of Tom Brady. The over/under on sacks for JPP is 1.5 which could happen in one series for a player like Pierre-Paul.

    Even if Jason does not fill up the stat column with tackles and sacks, he will make them in timely moments and steal the stage when he defense needs him to. 

Loser: Stephen Gostkowski

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    This is not a knock on the talents of Stephen Gostkowski, but instead a prediction that this game may remind Patriots fans of what a great, clutch kicker they had in Adam Vinatieri, and not in a good way.

    This game could be won by the thinnest of margins and it might see the New England Patriots in a very familiar Super Bowl position for them, kicking a field goal with no time left to win the game. 

    It has just been that kind of season for the Giants and if they get down to a point where a missed field goal will win the game for them, they are lucky that New England has a kicker in this Super Bowl not named Vinatieri.

    Nobody wishes failure on any NFL player and especially not in such a big spotlight, but this season just seems to have had more games lost by teams than won by their opponents.

Winner: Rob Gronkowski

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    Regardless of the outcome, Gronkowski will continue to prove that he may be the most uncoverable man in the NFL because of his size and strength.

    Even though he appears to be slowed by injury, Gronkowski should have no trouble working through the coverage of the Giants linebackers and finding his way to the end zone.

    With playoffs and regular season combined, "Gronk" has already found the end zone 20 times. The Super Bowl may allow him to find 21 and 22 as well.

Loser: Tom Brady

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    Betting against Tom Brady has historically not been a good bet at all. However, it seems like Brady's career is mirroring John Elway's a bit, but in reverse.

    Elway took Broncos teams on his shoulders that may not have truly been Super Bowl squads to the big game multiple times and lost them all. It wasn't until he had a strong team around him to complement his greatness that he broke through.

    Brady is great, there is no denying it, and his first Super Bowl was with a team that nobody expected to contend for a Super Bowl. Still, his three championship teams appear to be more talented all around than his losing teams.

    It is very possible that Brady goes out and wins his fourth Super Bowl going away, but if he doesn't than it would appear that like Elway, some great years by Brady will have gone wasted. 

Winner: Eli Manning

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    The NFL is all about momentum and right now the Giants seem to have it. Sometimes that can be the difference between great and legendary.

    Eli Manning is trying to prove that he is a great quarterback and another Super Bowl can help immensely. Manning's competitor, Tom Brady, is already a legend and is trying to get his picture permanently etched on the Mt. Rushmore of NFL quarterbacks, but Eli Manning is standing in his way for a second time.

    If Manning wins his second Super Bowl, he will step out of the shadow of his brother and be only one title behind Tom Brady with many more productive years left in his career to try and add to that.