SUPER BOWL PREDICTION: Giants 24 Patriots 21

I learned a lot about the Giants and the Patriots this week while talking to various NFL bloggers and stat gurus:

Here are some fun facts.

Tom Brady was pressured on 18% of his dropbacks in the post season. Eli Manning 39%.

As I’ve said many times, I’ve never seen a QB get more time than Brady gets back there.

Brady completed 33% of his passes under duress. Manning 53%.

I’ve also said many times that I think Brady is a great quarterback, but I don’t think that he handles pressure in the pocket as well as most other great ones.

Brady has 10 interceptions in his last six post season games.

He has two three interception games in the post season and the Patriots have won both of them. That’s really bucking the odds. In the NFL, when you throw three interceptions, your chances of winning are about 20%.

Final NY 24 NE 21.

  • Mike V

    If anyone wants to read some interesting stats, go onto NFL.com and look at team stats for the year. The days of defense winning championships is officially over. Neither of the defenses today ranked higher than 27th.

    It’s a new day in the NFL and today shows the complete cycle.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      It’s all about the points. Not the yards.

      • Mike V

        That is true. Everyone is going to get yards. It is a matter of getting points in the red zone.

        Off topic John, but did you see the HBO Real Sports story last week about the high school coach in Arkansas or somewhere who never punts and always onsides kicks? You would love this guy. Scored 28 points in the first four minutes of a state semifinal game. He doesn’t even let his team return punts because he fells by getting the ball back he has accomplished his goal. After the ball is kicked, his kids run off the field while the play is still going on. Feels too much risk in letting HS kids try to block kicks and field punts….just take the ball where you get it.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          I’ve heard about the guy. He’s my hero. Haven’t seen the piece. Meeanwhile, you have NFL and major college coaches punting from their opponent’s 34 yard line.

          • Dan

            I saw the piece too and it really is fantastic how much the math works in his favor.

          • Mike V

            http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=892888

            There is an economist interviewed as well who wrote a book on football and the statistics behind it. He really makes a lot of sense. I wish I cold remeber the name of his book. It’s interesting how in favor of going for it on fourth down the statistics are. Coaches are making poorly informed decisions when they punt from specific areas on the field. It doesn’t take a lot of balls to go for it on fourth down because many times the numbers are in your favor. A coach just has to be willing to buck the trend.

            If the NFL is going to basically eliminate the kick off by moving the ball up to the 35, why not just move it to the 50 and allow teams the opportunity to onside kick every time? Move a touchback to the 30 and I would bet there would be a ton of onside kicks. This high school team has 12 different OS kicks they practice and use.

          • Mike V
  • Dan

    John,

    Lots of crying about Spygate in this thread from people. Do they realize if the Patriots are cheaters then the Steelers are cheaters too?

    “On December 3rd, former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher made an appearance on the “Felger and Massarotti Show” on 98.5 The Sports Hub. In this radio interview, Coach Cowher was asked about the taping the Patriots did and the possible effect it had against his Steelers when they played. He also mentions that when he was coach, he did his own share of sign stealing. He admitted during the interview that he didn’t believe what New England did was as bad as it was made out to be, nor did he think it cost his team a win in any of those meetings.”

    “We had people out there trying to look at signals,” explained Cowher. “We had guys go to games, they would take the signal caller, write it down, and they would take it back. They would match up the signals with certain defenses or the certain plays that were being called – particularly the defenses that were being called – to see if we could come up with some kind of alert for the signals. So what they did with the videotaping of the signal caller, people do it with the people in the stands.

    “There’s people in the stands that are sitting there looking at the signal, writing the signal down, and then matching up the 1st and 10 – here was the signal. You go back on 2nd and 10 – here was the signal. You do that for a whole game. You’d go back and match up the defenses with the signal, and you can come up with what the signal was. You don’t need a videotape to do what they were talking about doing. And people were doing that – we were doing that. Everybody does that, you’re trying to gain a competitive edge. There’s nothing wrong with that. ”

    http://www.patsfans.com/articles/patriots/3508/SpyGate–The-Most-Overblown-Story-of-the-Decade.html

    If you’ve never read the article it’s well worth it. If Bill Cowher has gotten over it, dismisses it, and admits the Steelers did the exact same thing, then in my opinion there’s a lot of crow that needs to be eaten around here by people who think the Pats oughtta give back all their trophies.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      You don’t lose a #1 draft pick and get $750,000 in fines for nothing.

  • Dr. Phibes

    Pats 28 Giants 24. Pats will max protect for Brady, Giants will take away the short passing game, but Brady will hit big plays with his undistinguished WRs who are not named Welker.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      If Brady gets his usual 12 seconds to pass, it will be a blowout.

  • Chuck

    Giants 38, Pats 34. Buy the way, why did they go back to the 2 week break be fore the playoffs and the Super Bowl? The newspapers are searching for stories to wriite and just a few days ago actually had a pretty big piece about the odds of winning a coin toss and how it relates to the outcome of the game. Riviting stuff!!!!!!! I’m anticipating a story about Eli Manning and Tom Brady and how many bowel movements each hade prior to the big game. GOOD GRIEF!!!!!!!

  • Ochotexto

    I like NY just a bit based on their defense and superior running game. Though it’s hard to go against Brady in a big game. It wouldn’t shock me if he made this his signature game and threw for like 5 TDs.

  • Maynard G. Krebs

    I really don’t care who wins. The passing on every play makes the games interminably long & the hype has become so distasteful & something to avoid. It will though, bring back memories of the old AFL games with George Blanda passing to Charlie Hennigan every down. All we need is Curt Gowdy doing the play-by-play. Who says you can’t go home again?

  • Dahntahn Adam

    i can’t stand new england. They should have astericks next to their 3 super bowl titles. Good ole Belicheat

  • VinceL

    Madonna will be the halftime entertainment.With that in mind,I will continue my longstanding Super Bowl tradition of grabbing a magazine or book(maybe Just Watch the Game) and heading to the bathroom for nice long read.

  • Dan

    I’m going with the Pats because I hate picking against Brady, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Giants win. They’ve been playing great at the right time of year.

  • Mike from Boston

    This is the first time in 5 years the Pats have won at all in the playoffs, let alone make it to the championship.

    In the previous 4 years of playoff losses, they had little-to-no ground game, and everybody knew it.

    In the early 2000s, they were a versatile team with a hotshot QB that nobody predicted would be the best in the league at his position.

    In the late 2000s, particularly after Spygate and the 18-1 season, they became a one-trick pony letting Brady’s talent and skill run the offense and let that alone carry the team into the playoffs, where they’d peter out.

    Don’t be surprised if this game sees the Pats try to get that versatility back. They’ve got Hernandez and Gronkowski to take Brady’s quick-draw short-to-mid range passes, and they’ve got Ochocinco to go deep. They’ve got potential for a running game in Green Ellis, but will they use it, and if so how much? I think that will be a deciding factor in the offense’s performance.

    On Defense, I think they are sorely underestimated, which is a huge mistake. However, the numbers don’t lie and the Giants D is better, particularly in the Secondary and especially at Corner and Safety.

    Does defense still win championships? I sure hope so. Go Giants.

    • mickey

      ocho cinco has 1 td and about 250 yards all season, he is the last person the giants are worried about

  • Mike from Monroeville

    We want to set up a “Patriots can’t win a Super Bowl without cheating” talking point.

    • Dan

      Huh? They were the #1 seed in the AFC.

      • Mike from Boston

        It was hard for them not to be. An injured Ben Roethlisberger, a whole season with no Peyton Manning, an overhyped QB in Denver, the Jets continue to be all talk, and just when the Texans were on the verge of accomplishing something great Matt Schaub went down.

        The AFC was the weaker playing field this year.

        • Bobzilla

          The Patriots compiled a 13-3 record without having to beat a single team that ended the season with an above-.500 record. That’s pretty amazing. Once the postseason rolled around, they played a pair of offensively-challenged teams in the Broncos and Ravens. The AFC was beyond awful this season…
          The Giants had a tougher road, yet it’s difficult to believe in a team that went 9-7 winning it all. However, the Giants’ pass rush bothers Brady beyond belief. Plus, Brady’s huge TE, Gronkoski, has a dreaded high-ankle sprain…
          I like the Giants big, 30-17.
          Back when Brady was getting ALL the credit for winning three Super Bowls, he was supported by a pretty good defense. That defense has since been blown up, which has resulted in few postseason wins. As Brady has statistically gotten better, his defense has statistically gotten worse.
          Still, in a one-game showdown, anything can happen. I’m sure the NFL would like nothing better than a Pats’ win … for the sake of Bob and Myra Kraft.

          • Maynard G. Krebs

            How come no one ever gets a “low” ankle sprain anymore?

          • Bobzilla

            Goodell outlawed low ankle sprains a few seasons back.

        • Dan

          My point is then why weren’t one of the other 15 teams the top seed if it was such a weak class? Not only that but there was, y;know, an undefeated season post-Spygate.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            The Patriots have beaten two teams with a winning record this season –Denver and Baltimore in the playoffs.

          • Dan

            Yea and the Giants lost to the Redskins twice and the Vince Young-led Eagles.

            I was only taking issue with the whole “the Patriots haven’t won a thing since Spygate” nonsense. Their winning percentage has been BETTER post-Spygate. They lost Tom Brady for an entire year post-Spygate. And they got beaten in the playoffs by some good teams a couple of times. Were they supposed to be PERFECT?

            I love the Steelers but I loathe the butt-hurt attitude that the Patriots somehow cheated their way to three titles. If it was that easy then the Steelers and every other team in the NFL are idiots for NOT doing it.

          • Mike from Boston

            They weren’t supposed to be perfect. But 4 years is a long time for an elite team to go without winning a single playoff game, not even a wild card or divisional round game.

            As for the cheating scandal itself, I have mixed feelings about those titles. They clearly cheated, but they earned those Lombardi trophies, there’s no place for a * next to any of them.

            I’m also convinced that there were multiple teams guilty of it, though I have no idea who or for how long. But I do believe that it wasn’t ALL 32 teams, that’s absurd. If “everybody was doing it” which is the argument I get from jags up here drinkin the Belichick kool-aid, then the whistle would have been blown on it a long time ago, long before 2007.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I don’t think everybody was doing it. I think that the NFL owners were pissed but they were smart enough to ignore it and not open a can of worms about whether they should be stripped of their championships. That’s why the tapes disappeared so fast and why it was settled so quickly. They all just wanted it to go away. If it didn’t give him an advantage, they would have shown the tapes to let everybody know how harmless they were and they wouldn;t have lost a draft pick and been fined $500,000.

          • Bobzilla

            Billichick was supposedly fined an additional $250,000. I have my doubts that even a penny of that $750,000 was actually paid. I have a hunch that those announced fines were all for show. The fact that the entire league was in on the cover-up is disturbing.
            No team was more the victim of Billichick’s cheating than the Steelers. Gerry Dulac reported a few years ago that Billichick had more footage stored in his film vault of the Steelers than any other team.
            I can’t say much good about Arlen Specter, except he had the balls to call out both the Patriots and the NFL on the matter. Specter’s refusal to allow the matter to rest brought the usual “don’t politicians have more important things to worry about?”
            I applaud Specter for his courage. Without him, no one would have even known about the league’s blatant and dispicable cover-up.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            There is somebody out there who knows things about that cover up that the NFL does not want the world to know.

          • Parker39

            Obviously it wasn’t that easy, they got caught!