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Can the Giants Actually Beat the Patriots?

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In a post I wrote earlier this week, I talked about the New England Patriots back in 2002. The Patriots squeaked their way into Super Bowl XXXVI with the infamous “tuck rule” game against the Oakland Traitors in the snow of Foxborough and barely surviving the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. First-year starting quarterback Tom Brady was hurt in the game against the Steelers forcing veteran Drew Bledsoe off the bench to lead the Pats to victory.

They were set to go against the dominant St. Louis Rams, the greatest show on turf, which led the league in scoring in 2001 with 503 points. They also led the league in passing offense, overall offense and were ranked fifth in rushing offense. Their defense wasn’t half bad either ranked seventh overall, 11th against the pass and third against the rush.

That was the reason the Rams were 14-point favorites over the Patriots.

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That week I started telling people at work that the Patriots would eke out a win. Granted I said this mostly because of my unbridled hatred towards the Rams, but even as I tried to objectively look at the game I did feel an upset brewing.

Then the Super Bowl happened. The Patriots kept it close throughout the game allowing Brady to take the team down the field with less than two minutes to go in the game to allow Adam Vinatieri to kick the game winning field goal. This despite the protests of John Madden who was announcing the game who kept saying the Patriots should take the game to overtime.

But there it was: the Patriots upset the Rams 20-17.

Somehow I get a similar feeling with this Sunday's game. Here you have a team greater than god's cum going against a team that no one could have predicted to be in the Super Bowl. The Patriots looked like they breezed their way through the playoffs while the Giants had to claw and scratch their way to the Super Bowl.

Also the fact the Giants have won 10 consecutive road games come into play since the Giants will be designated the road team this Sunday.

It's very tempting, but no.

The Patriots leading up to Super Bowl XXXVI had a pretty decent offense and defense. The Giants have a mediocre passing game and their defense is overrated. Yes they have recorded quite a few sacks, but in week 17 they got to Brady once. That's not going to cut it.

The game is going to come down to which defense shows up to play on Sunday. And I think the Patriots defense will be able to take advantage of the Giants offensive line and will make quarterback Eli Manning very uncomfortable. Little Eeyore back there will be looking like the Eli Manning we have all come to know and love.

It's very true the Giants played tough against the Patriots in that week 17 matchup, but what was the result of the game? Oh yeah! The Giants lost. And giving Patriots coach Bill Belichick two weeks to prepare for a team he's already seen once this season is like covering yourself with raw steaks in a tasmanian devil cage. The last team to face that prospect was the Buffalo Bills back in week 11 when they got routed at home 56-10.

With all of that said, the score will be Patriots 34, Giants 27. The Patriots will win but will not cover the 12-point spread.

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AP Photo by Julie Jacobson