Originally posted on The Voice Says...  |  Last updated 2/4/12

Just a few years ago the New York Giants stunned the football world by knocking off the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.  Here we are four years later and the two teams will square off in a rematch for the Lombardi trophy.

Last time out the Patriots were undefeated and had the highest scoring offense in NFL history.   The Giants were a wild card team from the NFC that no one outside of New York thought had much chance of winning.  .Plaxico Burress famously predicted the Patriots wouldn't score more than 17 points which drew laughter from Tom Brady.  It turned out Plaxico was right. 

The Patriots once again come into this Super Bowl as the favorites to win.  While I would never rule out victory by a team led by Tom Brady, this should be a close matchup just like we saw four years ago.

We could see some history if the Patriots win.  A victory would mean that Bill Belicheck would be tied with Chuck Noll for most Super Bowl titles by one head coach.  It would also put Tom Brady up with Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks with four rings.  I'm sure a lot of Steeler fans out there will be hoping this does not happen.

Brady ended the regular season with the second highest amounst of passing yardage in NFL history.  He'd own the record except Drew Brees happened to throw for more yardage this year.  Even still, 5235 yards passing is an amazing total.  Brady completed over 65% of his passes and upped the ante in crunch time, connecting on 68.6% in the playoffs. 

Eli Manning is more than capable of producing a lot of offense against a Patriot secondary that ranks amongst the worst in the league this year. Manning threw for almost 5000 yards (4933) this year. He completed 61% of his passes and has been just as good in the postseason, throwing for 923 yards through 3 games plus 8 touchdowns against just one interception. 

Both teams are more than capable at the quarterback position, but their rushing attacks leave a lot to be desired.  The Giants ranked dead last in that category this year, averaging just 89.2 yards per game.   Ahmad Bradshaw leads the Giants in rushing this year but did not reach the 700 yard mark.  New England's rushing attack ended up ranked 20th in the league, at 110.3 YPG.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis also failed to break the 700 yard mark on the season. 

The bread and butter of both offenses remains their passing attacks.  New York had two receivers eclipse the 1000 yard mark this year.  Victor Cruz (1536 yards) and Hakeem Nicks (1192 yards) both have had fantastic seasons for the Giants, plus Mario Manningham provides a great third option for Eli Manning. 

The Patriots feature Wes Welker, who has been one of the most productive wide receivers in the league the past few seasons.  This year he caught 122 passes for 1569 yards.  Rob Gronkowski also destroyed the 1000 yard mark by totalling 1327 yards and 17 TD's.  He's been hampered by a high ankle sprain, so that might limit his playmaking ability in the Super Bowl.  If not, look for the Patriots' other tight end, Aaron Hernandez to try and fill some of that void. 

Defensively, the gameplan for the Giants will be to attack Tom Brady via the blitz and try to limit the amount of time he has to make throws downfield.  Jason Pierre Paul (16.5 sacks), Justin Tuck, and also Osi Umenyiora must get to Tom Brady early and often to try and disrupt his timing. 

The Patriots will give up a lot of yards in this one, but their ability to win the game will come down to forcing some turnovers by the Giants.  Baltimore dominated just about every category in the AFC championship but lost because of some poorly timed mistakes.  Eli Manning has been solid in the postseason by limiting his mistakes.  He is exactly the kind of quarterback you want going up against the Patriots in this matchup.

Overall this game will come down to how well the Giants are able to play defensively against Tom Brady.   If they can contain him as well as the Baltimore Ravens did in the AFC Championship, I think the Giants offense will be able to produce enough points to claim victory.  If this becomes a shootout game, I think you then have to favor the better quarterback, which is Tom Brady.

If Rob Gronkowski plays and is effective he could be a huge difference maker.  It's very tough to defend the two tight end look that the Patriots throw at you, along with Wes Welker.  All reports indicate he should be ready to go.

On paper, just about every major stat seems to indicate a Patriots victory, and you never want to bet against Tom Brady.  Having said that, there's some irony in the fact the Giants are once again standing in the way of the Patriots in the Super Bowl.  I think the Giants have almost as good of an offense, and they have the better defense. 

It could be wishful thinking on my part but I'm taking the upset pick and going with the Giants.

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