We are all aware of the impact stars like Tom Brady and Eli Manning will have on the Super Bowl. However, each year there's always someone who makes an expected contribution and helps determine the outcome of the game. These unheralded players tend to get overlooked by the opposing team, which is what allows them to make such an impact.
It's unlikely that the guys that appear on this list will win themselves Super Bowl MVP trophy, but they absolutely will gain the respect of their teammates and the fan base. Keep an eye on the names that appear on this list as they are the guys I feel can come out of nowhere make a major impact.
The New England Patriots defense will focus most of their attention on Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. They know that their secondary isn't capable of matching up with these players one-on-one. The extra attention given to Nicks and Cruz will provide Mario Manningham an opportunity to shine.
Manningham has a nice combination of size and quickness that allows him to attack underneath and the deep part of the field. He's typically the wide receiver that sneaks behind the defense for a long touchdown score.
It wouldn't come as much of a surprise if he contributed seven or eight catches and nearly topped the 100 yard receiving mark. His ability to take advantage of single coverage will be one of the most important factors of the game.
The New England Patriots offense only uses the running game to complement their passing attack. Tom Brady is what makes this offense run and his ability to make plays through the air is what put this team in the Super Bowl. However, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the rushing attack needs to play an important role in today's Super Bowl.
New England's ability to establish a running a game will help counteract the New York Giants pass rush. If the Patriots are unable to keep the defensive line honest they will be able to pin their ears back and head straight for Brady. The more pressure created on Tom Brady the more uncomfortable and out of rhythm he will be.
The above factors lead me to believe that the New England Patriots will come out and feed the football to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Don't be surprised if he finishes the game topping the 100 yard mark.
At the end the game when you go back and check the box score you might only see Linval Joseph with two recorded tackles. However, his impact on the game cannot be found in any box score. Joseph is a massive defensive tackle who excels at occupying blockers and stuffing the run.
In the previous slide, I mentioned the fact that the New England Patriots will be looking to establish a running game. This makes Linval Joseph an important factor in today's game. His ability to hold at the point of attack, occupy blockers and stuff the run could force the Patriots into a pass only attack.
Keep an eye on big No. 97 and if he's able to clog the running lanes. If you start to see the Patriots running backs stopped at the line of scrimmage, Joseph is doing his job.
Quick, name the New England Patriots top pass rushing threat. I doubt many of you thought of Mark Anderson when asked this question. However, the former Chicago Bear has found a home in New England and is the teams only true edge rusher.
The Patriots struggles in the secondary mean that they need Anderson to step up and have the game of his life. Without a consistent pass rush, New England's secondary will be forced to cover these playmaking New York Giants receivers for a longer period of time.
Expect to see Anderson moved all over the field in attempt to find some mismatches. He boasts the quickness and savvy needed to attack the edge and get after Eli Manning.
He quietly put together an excellent season recording ten sacks, but all that will be for nothing if he's unable to have an impact in today's game.