Sunday, February 5, 2012
How you feeling? Giants-Patriots
By Dan Graziano
INDIANAPOLIS -- So apparently, after all of that, there's a football game today. I know, right? I couldn't believe it either when they told me.
I'm going, as is the rest of the army ESPN sent out here to cover the week. We'll have updates for you from the stadium starting at some point this afternoon. We'll have a live chat starting at 4 p.m. ET and running right through the end of the game. And we'll have plenty of postgame coverage right here on the NFC East blog and everywhere else on the site.
But for now, one last time, as you get ready for Super Bowl XLVI tonight against the New England Patriots, here's one reason for New York Giants fans to be feeling good and one reason for concern.
Feeling good: If this kind of thing matters, the Giants are by far the more battle-tested team in tonight's game. Their playoff run includes road victories over the Packers and the 49ers, who were the two best teams in the league this year, and they've only played one team since Halloween that finished the season with a losing record (the Redskins, to whom they lost). The Patriots' current 10-game winning streak has come at the expense of quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, Tyler Palko, Vince Young, Dan Orlovsky, Rex Grossman, Tim Tebow, Matt Moore, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tebow again and Joe Flacco. They have not played a team as tough as the Giants or a quarterback as good as Eli Manning since the Giants beat them in Foxborough in Week 9, and as I'm sure you've heard they only beat one team all year that finished with a winning record (the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game). The Patriots went 13-3 in the regular season while the Giants went 9-7, but there appears to have been a stark difference in degree of difficulty between the Giants' current hot streak and that of the Patriots.
Cause for concern: Tom Brady can read, and likely has televisions in his gigantic house, and so he's surely seen and heard everything that's been said about the Giants having his number and having beaten him the last two times they played him -- especially in the Super Bowl four years ago. It's doubtful that Brady's watching and listening to all of this and just sitting there nodding his head and accepting his fate. He's likely as driven and motivated as he's been at any point in his career to exact revenge for the Super Bowl loss that spoiled the Patriots' attempt at a perfect season and to quiet all of the talk about the Giants knowing how to beat him. A player as great as Brady can be pretty scary when he's motivated.