EDWARD JOHN CRAIG
Well, back in the preseason, I picked the Patriots to beat the NFC East champions in the Super Bowl, after the former punched their ticket to the show with a win at home over the AFC North champs, the latter by going on the road and beating the Packers in Lambeau.
But, uh, I got only two of those four teams right. I thought the Eagles would win the NFC East (and the Steelers the AFC North). And since my Giants did it instead, I’ll have to revise my earlier prediction.
Jason Pierre-Paul makes a handful of big plays to eventually outshine Logan Mankins’s typically solid game, Osi Umenyiora continues his bitter battle with Matt Light — and wins, and the Giants defensive front hits Brady early and often.
Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez will have solid games, but Rob Gronkowski’s high ankle sprain will limit him — his “day-to-day” refrain from this fortnight past will turn into “play-to-play” come Sunday.
Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham will cement their status as one of the league’s premier wide-receiver trios. (Folks seem to forget that the Giants had the league’s fifth-best passing offense.)
Back in September, I picked Stevan Ridley to be the Super Bowl MVP, anticipating Bill Belichick throwing a curveball in the big game by featuring one of his talented rookie backup running backs. That remains a possibility; but against the Giants’ physical front seven (rather than the linebacker-poor Eagles), Shane Vereen’s speed makes him the better option to play that role.
Still, I’ll take Giants 31, Patriots 24.
— Edward John Craig is managing editor of National Review Online.
In a Giants-Patriots (re)match-up, this Jets fan will be rooting for the commercials.
— Jim Geraghty writes The Campaign Spot blog on National Review Online.
Dear New York Giants fans:
Give up now.
Our team (13-3) is better than your team (9-7).
Our coach, diabolical genius Bill Belichick, is way better than your coach, Gramps Coughlin.
And our quarterback? As Neil Minkoff wrote at NRO the other day, Tom Brady is on the verge of claiming the title “best quarterback ever.” And he’s got a bidet. In his house.
Think about that: He has a heated toilet that sprays his delicate nether regions after every use, and he still kicks your butt.
This is so over.
It was over when, on the eve of the NFC championship game, Vice President Biden guaranteed, “the Giants are on their way to the Super Bowl!” Alas, he meant the San Francisco Giants.
It was over when the Giants stepped off the plane in Indianapolis to find a Manning QB controversy was dominating the media. Unfortunately, it was Peyton Manning.
That great philosopher Bluto Blutarsky once asked “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” I don’t know. But for the New Jersey Giants (the only game they ever play in New York is in Buffalo) it’s over now.
The New England defense is red hot. Receivers Welker, Hernandez, and Branch are all healthy. And Rob Gronkowski, the best tight end ever? Forget his ankle injury. Gronk can play the entire game in a wheelchair and he’ll still catch for 100 yards and two TDs.
Still clinging to hope, Giants fans? Ask yourself this: Who was the toughest opponent you’ve faced this year? Green Bay? New Orleans? (Who both beat you, by the way?)
Well, the Patriots had to take the field against Tim Tebow — twice! And we all know who He’s got on His team . . .
Victory is ours, New York. Not even prayer can save you now.
— Michael Graham is a radio talk host and columnist for the Boston Herald.