New England or New York?
It's a question I've been asking myself for the last two weeks as I've been tossing back and forth reasons to support each team. When I first realized that we were going to be blessed with a rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl, I was confident in my pick supporting the New York Giants.
After all, they have looked a lot more impressive this season than the New England Patriots have. Who in their right mind would pick against New York with the way they've been playing recently? Better yet, who would pick New England to win this game when they simply don't match up well against big blue?
I could name of thousands of reasons to pick New York in this game:
The fact that the Giants already beat the Patriots by a score of 24-20, and that game was in Foxboro. In that victory, the Patriots were held to just three points in the first three quarters. A team that is usually one of the most disciplined teams in the league racked up 81 penalty yards and turned the ball over four times.
The fact that the Giants have arguably the best wide receiving corps in the NFL, which features four players who have over 500 receiving yards. And New England has one of the worst secondaries in the league, giving up nearly 300 yards in the air a game. Who in the world is going to cover all of the receivers that the Giants will unleash?
We could break down stats all day long and show why the Giants should be the favorite heading into this game. But the reason New England will win has nothing to do with stats. It's nothing you can analyze, break down or even watch on film, but it's something you have to factor into the game and it may out way all of the reasons to pick the Giants.
The Patriots will win because Tom Brady is the quarterback and his will to win simply won't let anything but a victory take place. There are things that you just don't bet against in sports, and picking against a champion and somebody as competitive as Brady is one of them.
Would you really bet against Michael Jordan in a game seven? How about Derek Jeter with the bases loaded in a tied game in the bottom of the ninth? Larry Bird with only a few ticks left on the clock, just enough to sink the game winning shot?
Then why in the world would you bet against Brady in a game against a team that's already denied him his fourth Super Bowl ring? Players as great as Brady simply don't forget moments like that.
They'll say that this is just another game and what happened in 2008 has no effect on this game, but they're lying. I guarantee with as competitive as Brady is, he has lost sleep and had nightmares for several years. David Tyree jumping up for the football and super gluing the ball to his head has replayed in Brady's mind daily. The only thing that will make it stop is a victory on Sunday.
Brady couldn't have asked for a better Super Bowl matchup than the one he was blessed with a week and a half ago.
Are you really going to pick against this guy? It's hard enough to beat the same team twice, let alone with two geniuses on the field in Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.
These two aren't your average coach and quarterback. These two haven't slept well in years, and have been preparing for this game the day they ended up losing it in 2008. They won't let the same outcome happen again.
This prediction doesn't have anything to do with stats, film or matchups. It's simply picking one of the greatest players to ever play the game to will his team to victory. There's really nothing to it. Great players come up big in the biggest moments.
They say one player doesn't make a team, but in a situation like this, one unbelievable player can do just enough to pull out a victory. I refuse to bet against him, it'd be wise if you do the same.
Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com