Patriots are a Brick Wall for Cinderella Giants
What's more loved throughout sports than a fine Cinderella story?
George Mason was treated like college basketball fans' own son when it made its miraculous run to the final four two years ago.
Fans LOVED them and cried when they lost. However, these stories, in most situations, fall short of the final destination. One can only ride momentum for so long before it finally reaches the point of reality.
The Giants' postseason run has been very impressive. If you asked a sportswriter if the Giants would be playing in Super Bowl XLII, you'd get laughed at. I guarantee you would not have been able to find one person that would have put the Giants where they are today.
However, due to a balanced running game that features Brandon Jacobs, the over-powering, diligent, reliable back who's good for at least five yards per-rush, and Ahmad Bradshaw, the explosive speedster, the Giants have been able to throw off teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.
But really, what would a sports article on the New York Football Giants be without mentioning the name Eli Manning? The embattled quarterback has slapped Giants' Owner, Wellington Mara right across the face with his confident play.
Manning has taken Mara's words of calling Manning "skittish" earlier in the season and shoved them down his throat in the postseason.
Not only has the young quarterback stepped up in the clutch like a solid, confident player, but he has led the Giants to the promise land. He no longer throws off his back foot in fear of a 280-pound lineman hauling his face into the ground, but stands tall in the pocket and delivers his passes with accuracy and efficiency.
Of course, some credit goes to his three main wide receivers in Plaxico Burress, who manhandled Al Harris of the Packers, arguably the most physical and one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Steve Smith, the emerging star from USC and Amani Toomer, his veteran safety net.
The Giants' offense has gone from inconsistent and unproductive to dominant and overpowering due to Manning's improvement, their balanced running game and the core of wideouts.
The offense is not the only reason for the team's success. In fact, some would argue that it is the defense that deserves the credit.
It is as if a new religion has been created among Giant fans, known as Spagnuolism. He has rewritten the bible, split the sea, created day and night, and most importantly, led the "people" to the Promised Land. In football terms, Steve Spagnuolo, the Giants' defensive coordinator, has created a defense that puts pressure on its opposing quarterback and shuts down the offense of their opponents.
Tony Romo and Brett Favre looked like they were playing football for the first time against Spagnuolo's army. The defense, which led the league in sacks during the regular season, is led by a fierce front four in veteran Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Fred Robbins.
I hate to rain on this parade, but there is something that just will not allow the last chapter to be read in this story of the Giants miracle: The New England Patriots. Spagnuolo, move aside, Bill Belichick is the sheriff of this town.
He's been known to write up a pretty good gameplan in the past, which may contribute to the Patriots' "decade of dominance," in which they have won three Super Bowls. Oh, and don't forget Tom Brady, who sits high up on his throne of greatness right next to Belichick. Fifty touchdown passes says it all. Then there is Randy Moss, who is arguably the best wide receiver in NFL history, right up there with Jerry Rice.
Spagnuolo: Stop the deep game, I dare you. Because "underneath" lies Kevin Faulk and Laurence Maroney, who get the job done day after day.
You saw Jacksonville take away the Pats' deep game and shutting down Randy Moss, yet they still were destroyed by the NFL bullies because of their ability to beat you in so many different ways. Not to mention Wes Welker, who is one of the game's best receivers and has an outstanding sense of the field in terms of being able to find first downs. I can keep going down the list, but if I continued, the list of great Patriot players my fingers may fall off.
There is a reason they are undefeated; it didn't happen by luck. When you pick the Giants to beat the Patriots in your pool at work, remember these numbers: 18-0.
Sure, the Giants will give a fight. Any given Sunday, right? Well, yes, any given Sunday, except for this one.
The over-powering, diverse, weapon- filled offense of the New England Patriots combined with an excellent, underrated defense including players such as Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Junior Seau, Asante Samuel and Rodney Harrison. They deliver weekly lights-out performances and are going to be too much for the Giants to handle.
Belichick will develop a gameplan Coughlin and Spagnuolo will not be able to comprehend. If you thought Coughlin looked bad in below zero-degree weather in Green Bay, just check out the look on his face when the Patriots come out on top.
The Giants are all smiles now, wearing black to symbolize the funeral of the Patriots, but they are the ones who are going to be put into their coffins at the end of the fourth quarter in Arizona.
The Patriots are going to hit this Giants team like a brick wall they never saw coming.
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