Thursday, January 31, 2008
Breakin it Down is usually 5 key stories plus a pick for each postseason game. But for the Super Bowl we'll do 5 keys for the Giants and Pats and a post for what I think will occur.
Domenik Hixon was special during their first matchup. He obviously had the touchdown return which pulled the momentum back to New York but the rest of his returns were dynamic as well. Additionally any time the Giants are forced to punt it is key that the king of the Coffin Corner nails it down in the red zone. The Giants absolutely need their special teams to outperform the Patriots to win this game.
Thunder & Lightning
Ron Dayne and loudmouth Tiki Barber never fulfilled the Thunder and Lightning trademark. Mostly because Ron Dayne hit up the donut shop daily and had love handles like a defensive tackle. Regardless, the Giants now have put together two second day draft picks to assemble what they couldn't in the past. They have the bruising Juggernaut built like a defensive end in Jacobs. And then they have the smallish might mouse running back in Bradshaw. In the first matchup Jacobs played well but Bradshaw sat the game out. This weekend the combo could potentially put them over the top.
Stop Stupid Kevin Faulk and Wes Welker
Everyone seems to focus on Moss when playing the Patriots. This is understandable as he can score a touchdown on every single play. But the two players that somehow always get lost in the shuffle are the two players that Brady consistently looks for when he needs a clutch 3rd down conversion. If you set up a zone D than Welker is going to find that hole. If you man up on and pay close attention on Welker than Faulk will deceptively make it look as if he is staying in protection only to slip out of the backfield for a 1st down reception. The Giants need to get the Patriots off the field on third down like they did to the Packers in order to win the game.
Pressure Mr. God with 4
The Giants defensive line has been given a lot of praise for only coming up with 4 sacks in the last 4 games. But sacks are not everything as was seen during the 4th quarter of the Cowboys game. Despite not sacking Romo often the Giants hit him on every play and forced him to throw before he wanted to or without the necessary space to step into the throw. This is what the Giants front 4 needs to do. The Giants can't blitz consistently or Wes Welker will wind up with 13 catches and 13 first downs. The Giants front 4 are by far the most important piece of the team come Sunday evening.
Hit a Big Play
Plaxico Burress has a big time advantage over anyone who lines up against him this weekend. He's fast, he's athletic and he's much much bigger than the Patriots cornerbacks. In the first game Burress had two tds plus a huge 52 yard catch at the start of the game as well as the phantom no interference call. I'd imagine the Patriots focus much of their attention on Burress but on those plays when he is singled up the Giants need to take advantage.