Everyone is in love with the New York Giants. It makes sense, they have won five straight games, beaten some of the best the NFL has to offer, and their quarterback Eli Manning is on a roll. However, seemingly lost in that shuffle is that their opponent, the New England Patriots are the hottest team in football. They have won ten straight games and done so by an average of 17.1 points per game. Their defense is flawed but that hasn’t mattered basically the entire season. In fact, their three losses could be tied directly to the offense. The offense was stymied in losses to the Giants and Steelers, and Tom Brady threw four interceptions in the loss to Buffalo.
The Giants did win the regular season matchup, but that is almost irrelevant. The teams that met almost three months ago will not be the same teams taking the field on Sunday. The Giants defense is certainly playing at a high level but I believe in Bill Belichick and his ability to find some way to contain that Giants pass rush. The key player to this game will be Wes Welker. If Brady can get into a rhythm of hitting Welker with those short throws that Welker turns in t0 10 yards a pop that will mitigate the Giants pass rush. A run game would be nice but the Giants have stymied good rushing teams like the Falcons and Niners in the playoffs, so its hard to imagine that the Law Firm will find much room. This game will be won or lost for the Patriots based on how much time and how well Brady plays. Brady doesn’t often have bad games back to back so I expect to see elite Brady on Sunday. It helps the Giants cause that Rob Gronkowski won’t be 100 percent, but the Patriots have other weapons and Gronk just being out there will draw plenty of attention. The Patriots defense has played better in recent weeks and I think if they can just stem the tide and not let the Giants get rolling, that will be enough. I still think Eli is prone to the mistake that can turn a game. He was bailed out twice in the 49ers game because 49ers players hit each other instead of catching his errant passes. This game should be a back and forth affair. I expect more scoring than we saw between them in Super Bowl XLII. I think the Giants will lead 23-18 late, when Brady will work his magic, hitting Welker for the game winning score, and giving their Patriots their fourth Super Bowl championship.
College Basketball – Top 25
#5 Duke (18-3, 5-1) at Virginia Tech (12-9, 1-5), ESPN, 7:00 PM ET. Tech is so bad Seth Greenberg won’t even get to whine this year about them missing the NCAA Tournament.
Southeast Missouri State (12-9, 7-2) at #9 Murray State (21-0, 9-0), ESPNU, 8:00 PM ET.
South Carolina (9-11, 1-5) at #11 Florida (17-4, 5-1), ESPN2, 9:00 PM ET.
San Diego (8-13, 3-6) at #16 Saint Mary’s (21-2, 10-0), 10:00 PM ET.
Memphis (11-10) at Atlanta (16-6), 7:30 PM ET. Mike Woodson is doing a hell of a job. Relax, I’m joking.
Chicago (18-6) at New York (8-13), TNT, 8:00 PM ET. Pretty funny to see the Knicks sucking.
New Orleans (4-18) at San Antonio (14-9), 8:30 PM ET. Greg Poppovich makes no sense sometimes.
Portland (13-9) at Sacramento (6-15), 10:00 PM ET.
Utah (12-8) at Golden State (7-12), 10:30 PM ET.
Denver (14-7) at Los Angeles Clippers (13-6), TNT, 10:30 PM ET. I am not happy about the Clippers success.
Carolina (18-25-9, 45 pts) at Boston (32-14-2, 66 pts), NHL Network, 7:00 PM ET.
Montreal (19-22-9, 47 pts) at New Jersey (27-19-3, 57 pts), 7:00 PM ET.
Nashville (31-16-4, 66 pts) at Philadelphia (29-14-6, 64 pts), 7:00 PM ET. Had no idea the Predators were having such a good year.
Winnipeg (23-22-6, 52 pts) at Tampa Bay (22-23-4, 48 pts), 7:30 PM ET.
Minnesota (24-19-7, 55 pts) at Colorado (26-24-2, 54 pts), 9:00 PM ET.
Chicago (29-15-7, 65 pts) at Edmonton (19-26-5, 43 pts), 9:30 PM ET.
Detroit (34-16-1, 69 pts) at Vancouver (31-15-4, 66 pts), 10:00 PM ET.
Dallas (26-21-2, 54 pts) at San Jose (28-14-6, 62 pts), 10:30 PM ET.