Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Notebook: Some Thoughts and Links to This Week's Best

Is there anything in the world that is more hyped than the Super Bowl?*. I don't think there's an original word left to be written. Here are my thoughts and some of the better articles I've came across over the past two weeks. Hopefully this keeps you busy until kickoff.

*Boxing matches have titles-Rumble in the Jungle, Thrilla in Manilla--Super Bowls only go by their Roman numerals. That needs to change. For this game I like The Rematch.

What to watch for:

--Gronk's injury is the most important issue coming into the game. The Giants should have a defender over him every snap and make it as hard as possible for him to get off the line.

--Expect the Patriots to run a lot of no-huddle, but not necessarily hurry-up. The objective is to keep the Giants base defense on the field. Playing fast is secondary to that. I actually think the Pats will look to generally slow the game down rather than speed it up.

--The Pats only have two active tight ends on the roster so look for a lot of six and seven OL personnel packages. Nate Solder, the massive rookie tackle out of Colorado, will most-likely line up as the TE. He originally went to college as a tight end, so maybe he turns into Mike Vrabel today and catches a touchdown. Just a thought.

--The two most talked about issues coming into the game are 1.) The Pats ability to slow down the Giants pass rush 2.) The Past ability to cover the Giants receivers, particularly Victor Cruz operating out of the slot. With two weeks to plan I can't imagine Belichick hasn't schemed a way to manage both of these issues, so it will just come down to execution.

--Ahmad Bradshaw and Wes Welker seem to be flying under the radar this week. Other than the QBs look for them to be pivotal figures toady.

--Defensive MVPs don't happen very often in Super Bowls, but Vince Wilfork and the Giants edge rushers could well be in the mix for that honor today.


One game, anything can happen, but if I were a Giants fan I'd be worried. The whole world seems to think the Giants win this game and I've have yet to find anyone who thinks the Pats will win by more than a touchdown. Most people expect it to be close, but if it's a blowout they think it goes the Giants way. History suggests if everybody expects something to happen, it rarely turns out that way.

Here are the best articles I came across this week:

First, you have to feel bad for this guy. But I'm sure it's quite a day for Alex Silvestro.

Vegas says the Pats are the favorites, but who should be the favorite? The Professor takes a look.

(I have to agree here and say that I was surprised this game didn't come on the board at pick or the Giants as a one point favorite. You would also think with all the New York money Vegas would lean that way. Do they know something must of us don't? Usually.)

Must ReadBill Barnwell breaks it down.

Must Read: How about the Giants offense against the Pats defense? The Shutdown Corner is all over it.

Must Read: Chris Brown with a playbook breakdown of New England's hybrid D for Grantland.

Must Read: As you probably know by now, if Joe Poz is writing, I'm reading and probably linking. Here you go.

How important is Rob Gronkowski to the Patriots offense? This article takes a statistical look at his impact.

A short video looking at the Giants pass rush and it's success against two tight end sets. Will it matter?

Love him or hate him Bill Belichick has been incredibly successful, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time he's been called impish. Deadspin with a good look at the Pats head coach.

Having 18 undrafted free agents on the roster makes the Pats success pretty remarkable. I don't have the numbers, but I'm guessing there aren't too many other teams even in double figures.

SI's piece on Bob Kraft. Even if you hate the Pats, it's hard not to respect Robert Kraft.

Final Score: I don't have a rooting interest today, but I'm gonna guess Pats 27 Giants 21.


Swunsch said...

Hammer: you'll be happy to know that I am commemorating this Super Bowl with the First Annual Chowder Bowl so fans can eat according to their allegiance: Manhattan or New England.  Oyster crackers for all.

The Hammer said...

Nice Stace. What was favored?