February 01, 2008
SI.com's Super Bowl Picks
34 27
My MVP: Tom Brady, QB
Why the Patriots will win: The Patriots put up 38 points on the Giants when they met a month ago, and New England has three big offensive weapons back from minor injuries that night -- right guard Steven Neal, right tackle Nick Kaczur and blocking tight end Kyle Brady. Tom Brady was uber-accurate with no errors and suffered just one sack last time. Folks, this is going to be Brady's day.
My guarantee for the game: America will have heard of Justin Tuck by late Sunday night. He's the Giants' versatile defensive lineman who is keeping Bill Belichick from sleeping as soundly as he'd like this week. Look for the Patriots to be concerned enough with the two quick Giants defensive ends to leave Tuck single-blocked on at least half the snaps and look for Tuck to terrorize Brady.
24 20
My MVP: Justin Tuck, DT/DE
Why the Giants will win: The Giants will win via the following means: Kawika Mitchell fumble return for 36 yards for a TD, the ball being fumbled by Randy Moss. Lawrence Tynes field goal of 34 yards. Eli Manning pass to Amani Toomer for eight yards and TD. Ahmad Bradshaw eight yards off LT for TD. Extra point successful on each TD but not on the field goal because they don't kick twice. New England will score on Kevin Faulk TD of three yards, followed by an extra point blocked by Justin Tuck, then Laurence Maroney run of six yards for another TD, then Tom Brady pass to Kyle Brady (first double Brady TD in Super Bowl history), each score followed by successful perversion, uh, conversion. The N.Y. defense will hold the Patriots' offense to six points in first half, which will end 6-0 in favor of the aforementioned team, Giants will follow with scores against aging, tiring, depressed and despondent New England defense. Patriots will get two late scores to make the final score respectable and thus end up with the ultimate score which means 20.
My guarantee for the game: National anthem to be sung in 1 minute 32.24 seconds. Vocalist will hit the turn (rockets red glare) in 28.55 seconds, leading one to believe that this will be the first sub-one minute Natl. Anthem in Super Bowl history, but tragedy will befall singer as she/he heads into Heartbreak Hill (O say does tha-at star spangled ba-a-ner-err ye-et wa-ave), which will be negotiated in a depressing 47.34 seconds, with lusty booing accompanying the last two bars, which will go on for an interminable length.
27 17
My MVP: Tom Brady, QB
Why the Patriots will win: New England has been predestined for history all season, and the Patriots are the best closers in the NFL. Whatever it takes to get the job done and position themselves as the winningest team of all time, the Patriots will find both the will and the way. New York is just another Super Bowl underdog. New England is a team for the ages.
My guarantee for the game: Guaranteeing his draft-weekend acquisition will be remembered as the steal of the century in the NFL, Randy Moss will score his first Super Bowl touchdown on a deep pass from Tom Brady, burning the Giants secondary just as they did in Week 17 at the Meadowlands.
27 17
My MVP: Tom Brady, QB
Why the Giants will win: For roughly two months, every opponent has played New England as if the game were a Super Bowl. They've met every challenge and will do so again.
My guarantee for the game: The game will not be as close as the December meeting. Eli Manning will affirm his status as a rising star, but he also will show his youth and inexperience late in the game.
35 24
My MVP: Tom Brady, QB
Why the Patriots will win: Despite their mantra of playing one week and one game at a time, the Patriots have been waiting since November for this game. Forget the team that struggled with the Eagles, Ravens and Giants in the regular season and looked mortal against the Jaguars and Chargers in the playoffs. That team was biding its time to make history. This team will be rejuvenated; look for the Patriots of October to pull away in the second half against a very solid Giants' team.
My guarantee for the game: Randy Moss will make a big play. Maybe on a deep ball, maybe on a catch-and-run, maybe even on a reverse like the one he almost broke for a huge gain against San Diego in the AFC Championship Game. After a record-breaking season, Moss has a well-publicized two catches in the playoffs. The Giants will surely try to take him away as well, but Moss hasn't waited 10 years to play in a Super Bowl and get shut down
34 27
My MVP: Tom Brady, QB
Why the Patriots will win: The Giants are in the Super Bowl because their front-seven has pressured almost every quarterback they faced. But pressuring Tom Brady has been nearly impossible this season. Give him any time at all, and he should dissect the Giants' secondary, just as he has dissected every other secondary.
My guarantee for the game: Rodney Harrison will hit Plaxico Burress after the whistle as retaliation for Burress guaranteeing a Giants' win. You cannot have a big game involving the Patriots unless they are complaining that someone, somewhere, disrespected them. Regardless, Burress should still go for more than 100 yards and keep the Giants close.
26 20
My MVP: Eli Manning, QB
Why the Giants will win: The Giants will win because no team has played better football in the last month. Eli Manning is suddenly a mistake-free quarterback, the Giants are running the ball with force, and the defense is creating pressure and turnovers. Something about Tom Brady's ankle makes me nervous. The Giants gained a lot of confidence with their Week 17 performance against New England, even in defeat. This time, they will shock the world.
My guarantee for the game: Osi Umenyiora will sack Tom Brady and force a key fumble during the game, a turnover that the Patriots will not recover from. Umenyiora thrives on the speed rush, and Brady will not be his usual mobile self in the pocket because of his ankle injury. The Giants will capitalize on the turnover and it will help them steal an improbable win.
34 13
My MVP: Tom Brady, QB
Why the Patriots will win: New England will win because of its experience playing in big games. Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison lead a team that features 23 players with Super Bowl experience. That wisdom will be a critical advantage, as it typically takes teams a little over a quarter to adjust to the added intensity and speed of the title game.
My guarantee for the game: Brady will go to Randy Moss early and often against the Giants' secondary. Moss, who only has two receptions during the Patriots' first two playoff games, has a decided advantage over the Giants' young corners, and feeding him the ball repeatedly in the opening stages of the game will open up the field for the rest of the Patriots' weapons.
42 17
My MVP: Tom Brady, QB
Why the Patriots will win: The Giants' near upset of the Patriots in Week 17 was an anomaly. New York was amped and New England came out a bit tight and had uncharacteristic mistakes early. Bill Belichick will use that game tape to figure out a plan to make Eli Manning look like Eli Stone.
My guarantee for the game: New England's Kevin Faulk will have a big catch. I don't care about Moss, Welker, Maroney ... when it's third down in Febuary, no one is more reliable than Faulk. And if somehow the game is close and the Pats need a game-winning drive, a 12-yard screen to Faulk is a fait accompli.
31 17
My MVP: Tom Brady, QB
Why the Patriots will win: The Patriots have come too far in this marathon of an NFL season to get edged out at the finish line. This game will represent the coronation of the greatest season in league history, and the New England players are cognizant that they need one more win in order to cement their eternal legacy.
My guarantee for the game: The Patriots are going to throw an intricate new wrinkle at the Giants in this game that is going to have a profound impact on their way to victory. Giving Bill Belichick two weeks to prepare is almost unfair and tilts the scale even more heavily in the Pats' favor.
31 17
My MVP: Laurence Maroney, RB
Why the Patriots will win: All week, I tried to delude myself that the Giants were going to win. They're the hot team. They're the confident team. They're the team of destiny. I couldn't talk myself into it. Let's face it. The Patriots are just better. A lot better. Across the board. The Giants have no shot.
My guarantee for the game: At some point, play-by-play guy Joe Buck will act shocked that the Patriots are actually getting big production out of tailback Laurence Maroney, conveniently ignoring the fact that Maroney has actually been a far more dangerous weapon this postseason than Randy Moss, Wes Welker or Kevin Faulk.

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