Super Bowl XLVI features the New York Giants versus the New England Patriots (Wikipedia.org)
Super Bowl XLVI will feature a rematch of the 2007 game as the New York Giants and the New England Patriots are set to clash again.
The game will take place in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday with kickoff at 3:30 p.m., aired on NBC. Halftime performance will feature Madonna.
The Patriots go into the game as the slight favorites with Vegas odds putting them as three point favorites. But the Giants have had the Patriots number of late and could prove the odds makers wrong once again.
The Giants won Super Bowl XLII in spectacular fashion with some late game heroics. Plaxico Burress caught a 13-yard pass from Eli Manning with 35 seconds remaining to put the Giants up 17-14 and they would win with that score.
The Giants and Patriots met once this season in week nine and the game resembled their Super Bowl matchup. The Giants drove 80 yards with eight plays and scored on a one yard Manning pass to tight end Jake Ballard with 15 seconds remaining. The Giants won 24-20 despite missing some key starters like running back Ahmad Bradshaw, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, center David Baas, and full back Henry Hynoski.
The Patriots have a prolific offense led by star quarterback Tom Brady. They rank in the top five in most offensive categories but their defense ranks in the bottom in most defensive categories.
Brady broke the single season record for passing yards which was held by Dan Marino since 1984 but New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees one upped Brady and threw for a historic 5,476 yards. Brady had 5,235 yards through the air. Marino’s previous record was 5,084 yards.
The Patriots had another record-breaking performance from tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski had 1,327 receiving yards and caught 17 touchdowns, both records for tight ends. The backup tight end for the Patriots, Aaron Hernandez, also had a great season compiling 910 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. The tight end duo created matchup problems for the Giants in week nine as they both caught a touchdown and Gronkowski had over 100 receiving yards.
When Brady has time and protection to throw the ball he will slice through any defense but the Giants are one of the best pass rushing teams in the league. Their linebacker squad is stacked with the likes of Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, and emerging second year star Jason Pierre-Paul who had 16.5 sacks this season.
The Giants defense racked up 48 sacks through the season, tied for third place in the league. They didn’t let Brady get comfortable in the pocket in their week nine matchup as Brady was sacked twice and had two interceptions.
Injuries are always part of the game but no player would want to miss a chance to play in the Super Bowl. Both teams have an injured offense player that hopes to play on super Sunday. The Patriots are hoping to have their Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski who has suffered a high ankle sprain. He is listed as probable on the injury report but has not practiced this week and was seen in a walking boot.
Giants’ receiver Hakeem Nicks, who missed the regular season game against New England, was taken to the locker room in the NFC championship game with a shoulder injury but returned to finish the game. He was not placed on the injury report and looks to be ready to play Feb. 5.