Friday Night, February 1, 2008
Super (Bowl) Predictions
As the evening goes on, and the Mets and Johan Santana (and his representatives) are heading into extra innings, I thought it would be fun to get the thoughts of many of our football panel (and more) to make some Super Bowl predictions. Now, this posting is a work in progress. It will be posted at 5:30, but I have told other bloggers and players that they can e-mail me their picks through Saturday. So, if you fall into one of those categories, please be sure to e-mail me your predictions for the Super Bowl.
Let's start with my predictions:
New England 45, NY Giants 16
Yes, the Giants kept it close in Week 17, but that isn't going to happen again.
I always talk about how the best teams don't always win the World Series because of the small sample, short series effect. Well, with the playoff system in the NFL, there is just one game to prove your dominance, and there is that whole "Any Given Sunday" philosophy. But no, I think that the Patriots will win, and win big.
Tom Brady and Randy Moss will share the MVP, combining for three Touchdowns. Brady will throw one or two more, but Moss will have two TDs of 40 or more yards.
Laurence Maroney will also have a good game.
Patriots 28, Giants 14
Iíd really like to pick the Giants, but just canít pull the trigger. I know it was a close game the last time the two teams met, but the Giants had nothing to lose that day and I canít imagine them being that loose again. That being said, if Eli can run the ship calmly, they might make it closer than my prediction. But I just see Tom Brady and company picking the Gints apart. For my part, Iím going to be missing the Super Bowl. Believe it or not, Iíll be on a plane to Los Angeles for a draft showcase (yes, thatís right, a draft showcase) on Monday. Iím that dedicated!
Pat Neshek - Minnesota Twins Relief Pitcher and writer of On the Road with Pat Neshek
I really have no clue about football. I don't watch it during the year, don't follow any teams and don't play on any fantasy leagues so my opinion means nothing. I guess I like going against the odds so I'm calling NY 24, NE 21. The Superbowl is great but I think I'm more pumped up this time of the year for the halftime show on Animal Planet called "Puppy Bowl". I think it will be the fourth year of puppy bowl and it's a blast watching the hyper dogs go after the squeeker football toy in the endzone.
JP the Twins Fan - Over the Baggy
Rather than dissecting your X's and O's, I'm going to take a different approach at predicting this game. I am your classic rooter for the underdog (maybe that's why it is so easy to be a Twins fan). Almost instinctually I throw my allegiance to the team with the least likely chance of winning. I backed the Rockies in the World Series despite all the evidence in the world that the Red Sox were a better all-around team. My head knew the Sox were better. My gut knew the Sox were better. Yet I rooted for the Rockies and as if it were preordained, Boston destroyed my adopted team. Flash forward several months and again New England looks like the more dominant team as they laid to waste all their regular season opponents like their baseball brethren in metropolitan Boston. The similarities to the national pastime do not end there. The Patriots - stocked with the SI cover page superstar players and GQ pretty boy quarterback who dates supermodels and has children with movie stars - narrowly escaped the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship game, just as the Red Sox avoided elimination from a formidable Cleveland team. Like the Rockies did so in the NL East, the New York Giants slipped past all the powerhouses in the NFC as the Wild Card team to claim their conference's title. No one expected either team to get this far. Maybe you could say the World Series was foreshadowing for the Super Bowl. If that is the case, then everything about this screams New England Patriots, 2008 Super Bowl Champs. They are clearly the better team.
Even though everything I know about football is telling me the Patriots are the better team, stubbornly, I'm picking the underdog Giants.
Vic Quick - KOTA-TV Sports
The Giants will keep the game close, but in the end the Patriots will be too powerful. The key for the Giants will be to score touchdowns instead of settling for field goals. Osi Umenyora and Michael Strahan also need to play their best game of the year, and make life rough on Tom Brady in order for New York to win. I think New England will make some big plays on the Giants' secondary. My pick for MVP is Tom Brady ( hate to be obvious).
Blake Meyer - TwinsCards.com
I predict a New England win, but in a relatively close game. I believe the Giant DB's will get physical with Randy Moss and take him out of the game. The "other" Patriot WR's (Welker 1 TD, Stallworth 1 TD) will play a big role as will Laurence Maroney (80+ yds rushing, 1 TD). Manning will have a solid game (2 TD), but will throw a key interceptions deep in Patriot territory. Final score: Patriots 27 - Giants 17. Here's the sad part...I won't even see the game. The game comes on around 11:30 pm here in the UK and my step-daughter is getting married earlier that day. I imagine I'll be somewhere between the bar and the dance floor about that time...I hope they have a TV!
Howard Sinker - A Fan's View from Section 220
Bears 30, Colts 28
Rex Grossman outduels Peyton Manning, throwing touchdown passes of 40, 60 and 80 yards to Muhsin Mohammed. Things will look bleak for the Bears, however, when Manning leads a drive and sneaks over for a TD that puts the Colts ahead 28-24 with 31 seconds left. But the Bears lateral a short kickoff back to Devin Hester, who funbles the lateral, kicks it back into the end zone, then picks it up and runs 103 yards for the winning touchdown. The play takes long enough that Hester crosses the goal line as time runs out.
Al Bethke - Al's Ramblings
We will be watching for the commercials (my son asked last week if the Super Bowl was the game when the new ads are on), but I really hope the Giants can play up to the level they have been at the past few weeks. Regardless, we always have a delicious time, as my wife makes a variety of appetizers we enjoy for the game.
I do find the irony of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning doing well to be wonderful. They were probably the two most criticized people in the NFL a year ago at this time, which pretty much goes to show you how idiotic the various forms of media are, as they ignore facts and just pick on whoever has lost the most recently. Let's not forget, Peyton Manning was still a guy "who could not win the big game"...until, he did.
I'm picking the Giants, more on hope than sound judgment. They have peaked at the right time, and hopefully, will get a few breaks that allow them to derail the Pats.
Stick & Ball Guy - Stick & Ball Guy
New England wins. Moss scores two TDs. I don't really care about much else.
Roger Dehring - Twins Minor League Guru
19-0 is my prediction.
David Bergner - The Baseball Savant
I think the Patriots are going to will win their 4th Super Bowl under Belichick and Brady. I'm not so much impressed with the talent that New England has, but rather how smart Belichick and his staff are. There were quite a few games (Giants, Eagles, Ravens, & Colts) where New England could have just as easily lost, but at just the right time it seemed the perfect offensive play was called or the perfect defensive scheme was used at a critical moment in which New England needed to win the game. It takes an incredible amount of skill, but also an momumental amount of luck to get where the Patriots are at. Everything is falling into place in one of those magical and historical type of seasons. That won't end on February 4, 2008.
Josh Johnson - Josh's Thoughts
Patriots over Giants 31-28
The way I look at it, it comes down to who's going to perform better between Eli Manning and Tom Brady. Both played well in their week 17 meeting, however I think that with Brady's experience in the Super Bowl and the fact that the Patriots do have a more complete team, I have to go with the Patriots. But I do think that the Giants will put up a good fight. None of the Patriots last 3 Super Bowls have come easy, and I don't think this one will either (talking about the game itself, not the season).
Garrett Olson - Twins Hitting Prospect
No Choice here, New England all the way. 19-0 on there way to the Perfect Season and the Best team EVER!!!!!!! Not much of a game after the first half, just keep watching for the game for the commercials after that.
ďKunzaĒ - contributor to the comments of SethSpeaks.net
I am probably going to be one of the people in the minority here but I like the chances for the Giants pulling off the upset. Personally I think the Patriots have been living on the edge for too long and eventually someone is going to get them.
There are a few keys to the game in my mind. First, the obvious and most important key to the game for the Giants is to be able to run the football. If Jacobs and Bradshaw can rush for about 150 yards on about 30 carries and two touchdowns, I think the Giants win the game.
Second, the Giants must find a way to stop the short passing game of the Patriots. They are a team of big plays but for the most part they are like the 49ers of the 90's, just putting teams to a slow death with all those short passes. I think the Giants will be fine even if they give up 3 or 4 big plays in the passing game as long as they can somewhat control the shorter passes. If Welker has a big game in receptions and yards, I think the Patriots win because it tells me that the Patriots were dictating the tempo of the entire game.
Finally, the one thing that most experts haven't been talking about is the kicking games of both teams. Is anyone really confident in either of the kickers?
Final score: Giants 38 - Patriots 34
Josh Taylor - Taylor's Twins Talk
Final Score: Patriots 31, Giants 28
Eli Manning continues his recent trend of impressive play for most of the game before turning into a pumpkin and throwing a crucial interception in the third quarter with his team leading 21-17. That interception leads to a Patriots score, putting them up 24-21. The Giants and Eli rally with a touchdown late in the fourth. Tom Brady cements his legacy with another drive, getting his team in the endzone with just a few seconds remaining to seal the deal.
Or, ya know, the Patriots will win 42-14. Since I'm not psychic, that's probably the better bet.
Tom Grout - Old Time Sports
I am not a real big Patriot fan but I think they are going to win the game. They have been just too good this year. That said, the Giants have been a hot team in the playoffs and are on a roll and teams like that have a way of pulling off upsets. If the Giants are going to do that Plaxico Burress is going to have to catch a lot of passes. If he does the Giants may be able to control the ball enough to pull it out. I look for the surprise hero of the game to be the Patriots Kevin Faulk, why I don't know. I just think he will, but I think Ron Paul will be our next president too so you can see how good at predicting I am. :)
Tim Kolehmainen - The Truth About Cats & Blogs
Patriots 38, Giants 20
Thereís nothing wrong with Tom Bradyís ankle, or so the Patriotsí injury report tells us. Apparently, whatís wrong is that his throwing shoulder is still chronically sore. After three years you think maybe the Patriots would want to get that looked at?
The training staff better have tubs of ice ready after the Super Bowl, as Brady is going to wing it for 374 yards and four touchdowns on the Giantsí defense. Now thatís going to feel sore, both for Brady and for all the Giants fans hoping to stop the undefeated New England train.
Chalk up another championship for Americaís newest titletown, Boston. But donít worry New York fans, thereís always next year. Again. And again. AndÖaw, heck. Just fuggedaboutit.
Brandon Warne - Hardball Review
I think the Patriots win, but I think an unheralded player, like maybe Kevin Faulk, will step up. I'm not really looking at a defensive battle, more like a 38-17 type win for New England. I'm not entirely sure I'll catch the whole game, but I hope there are some good commercials while I'm watching. Thus is the life of an overnight Lifetime Fitness worker.....:
Dan Slowey - Blogonoscopy
1. the patriots win 131--3. the giants' only 3 points come in the first quarter when the patriots' weak link, kicker stephen gostkoswki, crushes a 75-yard field goal through the wrong goalposts. bill belichick has him shot during the immediately-following comercial break. giselle kicks field goals the rest of the way and goes 4-for-4.
2. tom coughlin somehow manages to look cold and sickly as grim death. in arizona.
3. robert kraft's pudgy face and contrast-collar shirt are on tv at least 30 times, which is exactly 30 times more than necessary.
4. the commercials are totally overhyped and not very funny but everyone still pretends they're great, same as always. budweiser does something lame with horses playing football and coors does something even lamer with coach press conferences. taco bell breaks its own company record by using 34 adjectives to describe its new cat-food-quality menu item.
5. hopefully there is some sort of bomb/anthrax scare that forces the cancellation of the 3-hour halftime embarrassment. hopefully the fbi doesn't want to talk to me about this prediction.
6. bill belichick smiles for the first time in 30 years at his post-game press conference/presidential inauguration, cracking off a piece of his face that is understandably unprepared for the strain. the hole in his mask reveals the existence of incredibly advanced circuitry underneath and exposes him as a super-android created to carry out the chinese government's plot to take over the nfl. all of the patriots' titles are stripped from them and given to the greatest sports franchise in the world, the pittsburgh steelers.
Keith Kloob - SharkShellFish
New England heads into the big game as the heavy favorite, but rumor has it that Tom Coughlin has hired on Mercury Morris and Don Shula to "take out" Tom Brady and Wes Welker before the game (shades of Tonya Harding). The plan is for Shula to make a call to Brady faking a sentiment to make a reconciliation with him after showing so much hate for the perfect record issue. They will meet in the tunnel before the game, however Mercury Morris will first intercept them and start talking some jive smack to distract them, while Shula sneaks up behind them and takes out their knees with a lead pipe. If this happens, it could give the Giants a chance. Otherwise, forget about Coughlin.The Giants have to gain dominance on the ground with Brandon Jacobs, and the defense has to create some turnovers in order to have a chance. If the pressure is on Eli Manning to win the game, forget it. He will fold just like he did against the Vikes back in December. I think Eli has a bright future, but not on this Sunday. Much to the chagrin of Mercury Morris and Donny Shula, Patriots 38 Giants 17
John Swol - Twins Trivia
I think that when the smokes clears on Sunday night the big scoreboard in the sky will say New England 35 - New York 20, and the game will not be as close as the score would indicate. The Patriots are too good for the Giants and will prevail and finish their magical mystery ride at 19-0. New England has too many good players that know how to win. It is easy to dislike Belichick but the man and his staff can coach and the fact that they played the Giants just a few weeks ago will benefit New England more then it will the Giants because the Patriots will make adjustments that the Giants staff will not. The cream rises to the top and Randy Moss will have a big game and finally get the Super Bowl ring he has been craving. Now, let's roll those cool commercials.....
Keep checking back because there should be More to Come... Be sure to post your predictions on the Super Bowl, the game, the commercials, anything.