Super Bowl 2012: Early Score and Stat Projections for Giants vs. Patriots
The New England Patriots will get their shot at revenge against the New York Giants for ruining their undefeated 2007 season in Super Bowl XLII. This time around in Super Bowl XLVI, the more complete team will be the New York Giants.
The two best quarterbacks of the conference championship games survived to play another Sunday. Eli Manning and Tom Brady have been enjoying remarkable seasons and will duke it out once again for the Lombardi Trophy.
New England squeaked by the Baltimore Ravens despite Brady not throwing a single touchdown. New York outlasted the San Francisco 49ers in a monsoon to return to their second Super Bowl in the last five years.
Eli Manning Stats
Eli Manning and the New York Giants are headed back to their second Super Bowl in five years. Manning has enjoyed probably the greatest year of his career in 2011.
He has averaged 222 passing yards in 10 playoff games throughout his career. Manning threw for 255 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Super Bowl XLII versus the New England Patriots.
That Patriots defense included Tedy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison. The 2011 version of the Patriots defense lacks the talent needed to shut down Manning.
Without a proper secondary and effective pass rush, Manning will have plenty of time to find his wide receivers.
Projected Stat Line: 275 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 63 percent completion rate
Tom Brady Stats
Tom Brady will tie John Elway on February 5th for the most Super Bowl appearances by a quarterback with five. Brady has won three of four, with the only loss being to the New York Giants.
To think Brady doesn't have that loss in the back of his head would be asinine. The Giants knocked off the 18-0 Patriots and prevented them from completing their perfect season.
Brady played below his standard this past weekend versus the stout Baltimore Ravens. He even went as far as to say on national television that he "sucked pretty bad."
He has averaged 238.5 yards in his 21 playoff games. In his four Super Bowl appearances Brady has thrown for 145, 354, 236 and 266 yards.
Against the Giants, he has thrown for an average of 270 yards in three games. Compare that to his 2011 regular season numbers, where he averaged 327 yards through the air.
Projected Stat Line: 290 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and 57.5 percent completion rate
Giants Defense Stats
The personnel for the New York Giants has changed a bit since 2007. Michael Strahan and Antonio Pierce are gone, but Jason Pierre-Paul and Mark Herzlich have stepped into their old roles.
Similar to their run in 2007, the Giants defense has turned up the volume. More specifically, New York's defensive line got healthy and started producing at the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Justin Tuck, Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora will be trying to make Tom Brady's life miserable like they did for Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith. The Giants tallied up a total of 12 sacks in three games.
Projected Stat Line: 14 hurries, three sacks and two interceptions
Patriots Tight Ends Stats
The two tight ends of the New England Patriots have given defensive coordinators fits all season long. Bill Belichick's latest offense has operated almost entirely through their tight ends.
The two tight ends have combined for a total of 169 catches, 2,237 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns during the regular season. The two combined for 12 catches and 153 yards in the AFC Championship Game.
The New York Giants will have their hands full with these two. With two weeks to game-plan, expect Belichick to have a few wrinkles up his sleeve.
Projected Stat Line: 15 catches, 180 yards, two touchdowns and 12 rushing yards
Giants Running Backs Stats
Similar to the New York Giants defensive line, the running backs for Big Blue have shown up just in time for a playoff run. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have helped guide the Giants offense through the last five games.
Since Week 15 Bradshaw has averaged 62.2 rushing yards, 15.4 carries and has scored three touchdowns. During that same time period, Jacobs has averaged 37 rushing yards, 8.4 carries and has scored one touchdown.
The two combined are averaging just shy of 100 yards and 25 carries.
New York threw 58 times against the league's No. 1 run defense in the NFC Championship Game, but don't expect that in Indianapolis.
Projected Stat Line: 22 carries, 110 rushing yards and one touchdown
Without question, the New York Giants are the more complete team this time around. The New England Patriots offense may be more potent, but their defense has declined since 2007.
On the other hand, the Giants defense may be better than their 2007 team and their offense certainly has more weapons.
This game will come down to the wire and a winning drive. Eli Manning has showed that he can be clutch down the stretch and I like the fact that New York is an underdog. They seem to thrive when they're counted out.
Projected Score: New York Giants 27, New England Patriots 24