Super Bowl XLVI: 4 Reasons Tom Brady Will Rule Sunday Yet Again
With a victory, Brady will not only be remembered as the best quarterback of this generation, but possibly the best ever.
Only two other quarterbacks have four Super Bowl victories—Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana. Only one other quarterback has started in five Super Bowls—John Elway. If Brady can overcome the Giants, he will be 4-1 in the big game. Elway was only 2-3.
There are a lot of reasons to like the Giants in this game.
Eli Manning is the hottest quarterback in the league. Who on the Patriots is going to cover Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham? The Giants defensive line might be better than the last time these two teams played in the Super Bowl. The Giants also have confidence. They know they can beat the Patriots. They beat them in Super Bowl XLII, and they beat them earlier this season in Week 9.
With so much stacked against them, how can Brady lead the Patriots over the Giants?
It's Hard to Beat a Team Twice in One Year
In football, it's never easy to beat a team twice in one season.
We saw it in the BCS Championship Game when Alabama shut out LSU the second time they played. We also saw it in the NFC Championship Game when the Giants got retribution over the San Francisco 49ers.
The Patriots know the Giants well. Twenty-three players are still on the two rosters from the last time they faced off in the Super Bowl. Tom Coughlin is still the head coach of the Giants. Bill Belichick is still the head coach of the Patriots.
Since the two teams are so familiar with each other, they do not have to spend as much time scouting each other. They already know what the other team is going to do.
The regular-season game between the two was a learning experience. Brady is familiar with the Giants defense. He knows what he has to do to exploit their weaknesses. If he can stay upright, he has the weapons to burn the Giants defense all night.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a high left ankle sprain in the Patriots victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game.
Many are wondering how effective Gronk can be. Even if he's only 75 percent, Gronk is still better than most tight ends in the league. He will be a factor in the Super Bowl. His size makes him nearly impossible to contain.
Peter King wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback that Gronk walked well getting off the Patriots' charter Sunday afternoon. With a week to prepare, you better believe Gronk will be ready to play in the biggest game of his career.
Gronk also has the luxury of having a pretty good tight end to back him up. Aaron Hernandez finished the season 90 receiving yards short of 1,000. Vernon Davis of the 49ers had 792 yards. Look for Hernandez to step up if Gronk is limited.
If two Pro Bowl caliber tight ends is not enough, Brady also has two reliable veteran wide receivers to throw the ball to. Wes Welker is Brady's safety blanket. He led the team in receiving yards with 1569.
Deion Branch is no stranger to the Super Bowl. He was the MVP Super Bowl XXXIX. Look for him to have a couple big plays.
While Chad Ochocinco has been a huge disappointment all season, he has shown flashes that he can still be a productive player. If he was so bad, Belichick would have dumped him the same time he dumped Albert Haynesworth. If there was ever time for Ochocinco to shine, it's now.
The Patriots offense is loaded with skill players. You cannot try to shut down just one player because Brady will always find the open guy.
Belichick is the best coach in the NFL.
Will he really be outcoached by Coughlin twice in one season? With the opportunity of a lifetime, Belichick will have the Patriots ready for everything the Giants throw at them.
The Patriots practiced in full pads Monday before the Super Bowl. Belichick wants them to believe that this is just another game. That's the right mindset to have to avoid a slow start, which is common for teams in the Super Bowl.
While Brady is the most important player on the Patriots, Belichick is the most important person to the Patriots success. His play-calling will be key to Brady winning his fourth Super Bowl.
Four Super Bowls. That is what is at stake for Brady. The difference from being 4-1 in the Super Bowl and being 3-2 is drastic. If Brady leads the Patriots to victory, he will be in the discussion for best ever.
He may not ever get the opportunity to play in a Super Bowl again. He has to beat the one team that defeated him in the Super Bowl—the New York Giants.