Published: January 31, 2012
Follow Grilling With Rich:
Happy Super Bowl Week Grilling with Rich fans.
We’ve come a long way this season. What started as a breakdown of Rich’s fantasy team became a weekly combination of average football prognostication sprinkled with some tawdry jokes and pop culture references. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much I did writing them. Rich and I have some ideas in the works for post-Super Bowl writing, which we hope you will enjoy.
But I digress, let’s get to the analysis of Super Bowl XLVI. The matchup pits the New England Patriots vs the New York Giants. Or as everyone outside of the main targets of ESPN amorous devotion calls it, “If I could pick two teams not to make the Super Bowl, it would be them” Bowl.
Are there two teams more disliked than the Pats and Giants? Maybe the Steelers because of their displaced fans who live everywhere besides Pittsburgh, waving those yellow rags, but I doubt it.
At least people from Pittsburgh generally aren’t female hygiene products. The same cannot be said for most Patriots fans. Giants fans are loyal to their team. They experience ineptitude and it breaks their hearts. Just look at 2008-2010 seasons. Pats fans will leave the stadium early to go to their newest favorite team, the Bruins. It’s a front runner town built on an inferiority complex in New York’s shadow.
Trust me, I know. I lived there for three years. It’s what crafted me into the bitter cynic that writes before you today. One of the more memorable quotes during my time there, besides “Yankees Suck,” was someone saying New York was a poor man’s Boston. This statement is sheer idiocy. Boston is lucky if it’s a poor man’s Toronto.
Conference Championship Observations
The Ravens should be playing in the Super Bowl. It’s as simple as that. They handed the Patriots the game. This is the same as buying Mitt Romney dinner. The Ravens were clearly the better team that day, but due to a dropped touchdown pass by Lee Evans and a missed chip shot by Billy Cundiff, the Ravens are home and the Patriots are in Indianapolis. There are some rumors going around that the scoreboard showed 3rd down when it was really 4th, which resulted in Cundiff having to rush his kick. It’s not an excuse for missing a 32 yard FG, but a lot of FG preparation comes down to timing and when rushed, it can throw the whole play off*. To say the Patriots have been known to cheat to win games in the past is like saying JFK had some help from dead people in the 1960 election. Interesting how both JFK and the Patriots are from Boston. (*Ravens coach John Harbaugh had a timeout remaining and should have used it. But I like to fault the Patriots for being dishonest in any way I can)
An argument could be made the Giants should also be home watching the game. If not for two fumbles by 49er punt returner Kyle Williams, the 49ers may have prevailed. But it’s hard to say they deserved to win when they went something like 1-13 on third down and did nothing offensively besides two long passes to Vernon Davis. The Giants played well enough to win, and they did.
Super Bowl XLVI Preview
For all my whining in the paragraphs above, this rematch of Super Bowl XLII should be a great game. The teams played an even game in Week 9, with the Giants prevailing 24-20. Both teams have improved since that time, especially the defense of the Giants. In 2007 there was the story of the Patriots trying to go 19-0. No such storyline exists this time around. However, if the Pats win, Belichick and Brady will get their 4th Super Bowl rings, putting them in elite company with Chuck Noll, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.
If the Giants win, Tom Coughlin challenges Bill Parcells as the best Giants coach, although Parcells is more of a folk lore legend than Coughlin ever will be, successes aside. The Patriots offense is a highly precise unit that can put up 35 points in a half. Just ask Tim Tebow about that. The Patriots defense sucks. Don’t ask Tim Tebow about that because he wasn’t able to exploit it. One caveat to the success of the Patriots’ offense is the health of Rob Gonkowski, their All-Pro TE who set the all-time single-season record for receiving yards and touchdowns at the position in 2011. When Patriot-killer Bernard Pollard tackled Gronkowski, Gronk ended up with a high-ankle sprain. He says he’ll be fine for the Super Bowl, but from all accounts a high-ankle sprain takes weeks to recover from. I remember I rolled my ankle once and went to the doctor because of the pain.
This reveals two things. 1-I have the tolerance for pain on par with Al Czervik 2- What Gronkowski’s ankle did was much, much worse than rolling it. The Giants offense is equally as good as the Patriots except they actually have a running game to compliment the passing game. Now, Eli Manning is just as prone to a disastrous game as the next guy. Hell, he lost to the Redskins this season. Twice! The Giants defense, which was as bad as New England’s for a run there in the regular season, has turned the corner and features a pass rush that changes games. The Giants’ run game and defensive front are what I think will be the deciding factors in this game. The Giants will be able to run the ball and pressure Tom Brady. Not at the same time, of course. As Balki Bartakomous would say, “Don’t be ridiculous.” Then he’d do the Dance of Joy.
Which is what the Giants will be doing when the clock hits 0:00 on Sunday.
Prediction: Giants 37 Patriots 20
Steve’s 2011 NFL Picks
Last Week: 2-0
Regular Season 39-31;
You Might Like These Other BBQ & Grilling Articles
Category: Latest News