Predictions: Student Life Sports takes sides for the Pats and G-Men
Derek Shyr | Sports Reporter
Giants 24, Patriots 20
This will undoubtedly be a memorable Super Bowl to watch as the Patriots and Giants face off in a rematch from Super Bowl XLII. Here are my reasons for why the Giants will win: One: No one can argue about how dominant the Giants have been on defense. Pierre-Paul will lead the four-man front in pressuring Tom Brady all day long. As long the Giants disrupt Brady’s rhythm and limit the Patriots’ time of possession, they won’t be a scoring machine. Two: Eli Manning will be trying to live up to his claims of being an elite quarterback, giving him more motivation to play an outstanding game. Don’t forget—Manning has been red hot in both the divisional and conference games, throwing eight touchdown passes, completing about 62 percent of his passes and throwing only one interception. He played very efficiently against a tough 49ers defense, which says a lot about his confidence and strengths. Manning has also proven himself as being very clutch in playoff games, another reason to bet on the Giants. Even if the passing game is in trouble, the Giants can still run the ball with either Bradshaw or Jacobs, who can take some of the load in moving the chains. Three: I love Peyton Manning, and he is the man who made me fall in love with football. I don’t care how the NFL Top 100 ranks him as number two and how he only has one Super Bowl ring. He is undoubtedly the best quarterback in the NFL, and we can definitely see the truth of this as the Colts ended up with a 2-14 record without him. Because I love Peyton Manning, I don’t like Tom Brady. I respect him, but I don’t want him to win. He already has too many rings, and he’s overrated. Losing another Super Bowl would make Brady more human and make others reconsider who is the best player in the NFL.
Dan Kurzner | Sports Correspondent in Europe
Giants 30, Patriots 27
There is a fire lit under Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots. They want to avenge their Super Bowl XLII loss and their loss to the Giants 13 weeks ago. This is horrifying. That being said, the Giants defense has been outstanding, especially against teams that they are seeing for the second time this season (see Packers, 49ers). Because of injuries, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is the nickel cornerback. How will Edelman deal with Victor Cruz, the third-leading receiver in the NFL, in the slot? Most importantly, Eli Manning has asserted himself as the most clutch fourth-quarter QB in the league. I believe this game will be close and high scoring. In those games, the hot, clutch QB makes the difference.
Alex Leichenger | Sports Editor
Giants 31, Patriots 24
After the Giants spoiled their dreams of an undefeated season in 2008, the Patriots are seeking revenge. Unfortunately, this New England team doesn’t have the same talent as that loaded squad from four years ago, especially on defense. The hodgepodge unit performed admirably against the Ravens and Patriots, but Eli Manning and the Giants’ deep-ball threats of Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz will take the challenge to an insurmountable level. With tight end extraordinaire Rob Gronkowski hobbled (and possibly sidelined) by a high ankle sprain, the Pats lack the offensive firepower to keep up with the G-Men. However, I won’t be surprised if Tom Brady makes me look like an idiot for writing that.
Sahil Patel | Senior Sports Editor
Patriots 31, Giants 28
Yes, I’m the loon of the staff, but hear me out. I know that the Giants are the hot team right now; I know they won the regular season matchup; I know that the Patriots haven’t played well in the playoffs since 2004, but think about this: the last team to beat Bill Belichick’s Patriots three games in a row was the Indianapolis Colts from 2005-2006, when Peyton Manning led the Colts to his lone Super Bowl victory. Opposing teams just don’t win three straight. Say what you want about New England’s defense this season, but just know that Bill Belichick will have them ready to play. I look at the Giants linebackers and secondary, and I see gigantic matchup problems with New England’s offense; Tom Brady simply has too many weapons. Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Danny Woodhead, etc. On defense, I know the Patriots have not been good, but Eli Manning has a reputation throughout his career for being turnover-prone. Which secondary was second in the league in interceptions? The New England Patriots. Look for a high-scoring, hard-fought game coming down to the wire. In that scenario, I pick Brady and Belichick every. single. time.
Trevor Casson | Sports Reporter
Giants 27, Patriots 21
Why? Well for one I am a huge Giants fan, so I would never go against my team. The Giants already beat the Patriots 24-20 earlier this season at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants are also catching fire at the right time. Eli Manning is an elite quarterback and has a stellar array of options from Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham to Jake Ballard. Though the Pats haven’t lost since Week 9 against the Giants, they will have trouble getting past the ferocious defensive line of New York. The likes of Matt Light and Nate Solder will have trouble blocking Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Chris Canty and Dave Tollefson. The secondary of the Giants has also impressed over the last couple of weeks, so look for a few turnovers to be forced. Nonetheless, it is going to be a tough game. If the Patriots are to win this game, they have to get the ball to wide receiver Wes Welker, who has caused the Giants trouble in the past. If the Giants are able to contain him, look for head coach Tom Coughlin to be doused by a Gatorade shower again.
Kurt Rohrbeck | Senior Sports Editor
Giants 26, Patriots 21
Three reasons for this pick. One: the Giants’ defense has caught fire lately, and their front four, when performing like they are now, can slow down anyone. They even impeded Tom Brady—we saw it happen four years ago—and Jason Pierre-Paul may be even better than any of the guys who were on the Giants then. Two: Eli has quietly been tremendous all season long, and I’m not at all confident in the New England secondary’s ability to contain Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and him. If the Giants can keep the Pats even remotely honest with the run game, it’ll be trouble. And three: I’m an Eagles fan; I really don’t want a Giants win, and as you can guess based on that description of me, exactly nothing I want to happen this NFL season has happened. So basically, there’s no other way for it to end.