Giants vs. Patriots Predictions: 5 Bold Predictions for the 2012 Super Bowl
The blazing hot New York Giants, who finished the season 9-7, enter this game on a five-game winning streak that dates back to the regular season. Behind the arm of Eli Manning, who was 67 yards short of 5,000 yards, the G-men have been seemingly unstoppable.
Here come the Patriots, though, looking for revenge after having the Giants end their perfect season in 2007. The Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski tandem has been the hottest in the league, but the Patriots hope Gronkowski can play Sunday; he's currently battling an ankle injury.
There are the Super Bowl commercials, which never fail to be great, and the actual game itself, but what may be even more fun and intriguing are the bold predictions that everyone makes before the game.
Here are my personal five bold predictions for Super Bowl XLVI...
Eli Manning and Tom Brady Will Combine for More Than 1,000 Passing Yards
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I don't know if you would call this bold considering two of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL are playing in this game—plus the fact that the Patriots have the 31st-ranked pass-defense in the league and the Giants have the 29th-ranked pass-defense in the league.
On the other hand, 1,000 passing yards is quite a bit to surpass, so let's just call this a lightly bold prediction.
Tom Brady may very well be losing his favorite target, Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski (as previously stated, he is battling an ankle injury). This may decrease Brady's production, but let's not forget about Aaron Hernandez, who isn't so bad himself.
Eli Manning is likely to be lights-out. All the Giant receivers, particularly Victor Cruz, are playing great.
A thousand total yards between Manning and Brady is definitely not out of the question.
The Patriots' Defense Will Hold Victor Cruz Under 100 Receiving Yards
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There's no question that Victor Cruz has been one of the best receivers in the NFL this season. For a kid out of Massachusetts who was rated a 1-star recruit going into UMass, he's been immaculate.
With 82 receptions and 1,536 yards, Cruz has also been the most surprising receiver in the NFL.
As hot as Cruz and Manning are—and with as weak as the Patriots' secondary is—this is a very bold prediction.
New England, though, will hold Victor Cruz under 100 yards receiving. The Pats' defense has stepped up in the playoffs, and they will be keying on Cruz all night.
Too bad this means Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham are going to have huge games. It's just too tall of an order for such a bad defense to contain such a hot, explosive offense.
Rob Gronkowski Will Not Only Play but He'll Also Have Two Touchdown Receptions
If anyone has been watching much of the Super Bowl coverage this week on ESPN and the Super Bowl XLVI Media Day they just had in Indianapolis, you've realized a lot of people are putting the Patriots' chances of winning this game on the participation of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Who's really to blame those people? Gronkowski caught 90 passes in 2011 and had the most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history. There's no question that the "Gronk" is a huge part of the Patriots' offensive philosophy.
Currently, Gronkowski's status for Super Bowl Sunday is questionable. Knowing how tough of a guy he is, I predict that he'll not only play Sunday but he'll catch two touchdown passes from Tom Brady.
So, you may be saying that this isn't that bold of a prediction—but that's where you're wrong.
Many people don't comprehend the speed of the NFL game alone. To play with a major injury makes it twice as hard to compete at the top of your game and, in all places, the Super Bowl.
For Gronkowski to even play in this game would be kind of surprising considering just yesterday he was seen hobbling at the media day without the boot on his foot. For him to catch two touchdown passes would just make him a man among men—as if he already hasn't been just that in 2011.
There Will Be 70-Plus Points Scored in Super Bowl XLVI
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The Patriots and Giants sure weren't notorious for their defenses this season, and it's not a giant leap of faith to say that there will be 70-plus points in this game if Brady and Manning are going to throw for more than 1,000 yards combined.
These are two of the best offenses in the league and two of the worst pass-defenses in the league, so do the math.
I would be surprised if there weren't at least 50 points in this game, but since these are bold predictions, then there are going to be 70-plus points.
Don't get me wrong, 70 points is a lot of points in a game between two NFL teams—that's either extremely good offense or very bad defense.
The formula is there, though, and there is a big potential for a lot of offense in this game.
"The Catch" Will Be Reborn
Since I'm assuming this is going to be a shootout, I'm also going to assume that the last team with the ball is going to win the game.
This time, in Super Bowl XLVI, it's going to be the Patriots that are trailing late in the fourth quarter, and it's going to be Tom Brady who finds Aaron Hernandez for an immaculate catch when it's do-or-die for the Patriots.
To be honest, it's going to be hard to top the finish that was Super Bowl XLII. The same circumstances aren't in place, such as the Patriots going for 19-0. It's likely there won't be as historical of a catch as the one David Tyree made four years ago.
However, I do think that the potential is there for a great play to happen late in the game, and I predict that it's going to be the Patriots this time, with Aaron Hernandez making an immaculate catch on third or fourth down that keeps the drive alive and gives Tom Brady his fourth ring.
It should be a great offensive game, and I look forward to watching it.