About Us :: Contact Us :: Site Map :: Logout :: Home
Fantasy Football Feature
Super Bowl XLII
Sam Campfield
February 1, 2008

Super Bowl XLII

It is that time of the year again. When families, friends, and sometimes even people not so found of one another get together and forget all disagreements and love one another for an afternoon. This great American day is the Super Bowl. This season�s installment will be in Glendale, Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium. The two teams are the New York football Giants vs. the undefeated New England Patriots. The following will be a break down of this game and some intriguing individual match ups.

The first match up focused on is the Giants offense against the Patriots defense. The New Yorkers are led by a much scrutinized and chastised player Eli Manning, which much of talk radio would have the public believe was the worst starting quarterback in the NFL this past year. Eli is a competitor at the truest meaning of the word, and has been a great leader for this team all year. He and his wide receiver duo of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer give the Giants a great air attack. With third wide receiver Steve Smith getting healthy and playing well, this becomes a very deep corp. During the season these Giants averaged a little less than 200 yards passing with 197.1 a game. Now, this would seem to be low, but they are really playing well as of late. The New Yorkers will look across the natural grass and see a veteran group of defensive backs for New England.

The Patriots have one of the premier corners in the league in Asante Samuel. He does not get the recognition he deserves, with players like Mike Vrabel, Rodney Harrison, and Junior Seau on the team. Samuel though, may be the best pure football player on this team. Tom Brady is great in the clutch, but so is Samuel. On the other side of him is Ellis Hobbs, a solid player who again is better than advertised. The safeties are James Sanders and Rodney Harrison. Sanders is an average safety and Harrison is playing on reputation and smarts. These players are the weak link in the armor that is the Patriot secondary that allowed 190.1 yards a game. Brandon Meriweather, Randall Gay, Willie Andrews and Eugene Wilson are all names that will be heard throughout the game because of the different packages the Patriots will deploy, but they are all just backup types, nothing real special here.

With the way Eli is playing and with Burress and Toomer healthy the advantage has to go to the Giants. Samuel will make plays; that�s a guarantee. The problem is that the Patriots scheme so well that they hide the weaknesses of Harrison and Sanders and with two weeks the Giants will exploit that.

The next match up is the Giant Running Backs and Tight Ends against the Patriot linebackers. This may be the best part of the game to watch. Two hundred and sixty pound Brandon Jacobs against future Hall of Famer Junior Seau. Ahmad Bradshaw has had his coming out party in January playoff football, and is a great backup with big play ability that will have to keep the seven or eight in the box opening up the passing lanes. Madison Hedgecock is the fullback for these two men, and does a pretty good job; he opens holes and will catch the ball out of the backfield. Kevin Boss is the starting Tight end since Jeremy Shockey broke his leg. As crazy as it sounds, the Giants are better with out him. His loudmouth attitude and me first personality is a hindrance to this team. Plus Boss has done a great job blocking and catching passes.

The Patriots hope to stop the Giants ground attack that averaged 134.3 yards a game. A big part of that game plan will be the play of what may be one of the best linebacking groups in football. Mike Vrabel is an outside backer who could very possibly be the most important player on this team. The outside linebacker was a free agent defector for the Baltimore Ravens in Adalius Thomas who can play all over the field. Thomas will line up at linebacker, safety and sometimes even put that hand in the ground and be a defensive lineman. The middle of the Pat�s 3-4 defense is the Teddy Bruschi and Seau. Two great LB�s, one a sure fire Hall of Famer and the other on the cusp. While neither is the player they were years ago they are so smart they make plays that are just fantastic.

This match up is a real close one. The Patriots hold what may be considered an edge but it is small. They get it because as well as Kevin Boss has played this postseason, he will be taken away. Jacobs will get his yards and Bradshaw will make plays but look for one of these linebackers to make a pivotal play somewhere in this game.

The lines of the Giants and the Patriots are next. This is a huge part of the game as the offensive line wins games and the defensive line can seal them. From left to right the Giants go David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O�Hara, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie. This is a solid group that day in and day out does not make many mistakes, but they will go up against a Patriots defense that has great blitz packages and a front three as good if not better than any in the league. Ty Warren is the left end, Richard Seymour the right and Vince Wilfork in the middle. Both ends are fantastic, with Seymour the best in the league. The key though will be Wilfork in the middle. If O�Hara can block him one on one or with just a chip the Giants will be able to get the other linemen up field to the second level. This happens and the Giants will be able to run all day. Pass rush and protection-wise the d-linemen are not great but put pressure on the QB and the linebackers blitz very well, it will be imperative that the Giants� line gets its calls right. The advantage in this phase of the game goes to the Patriots again. The front three are so good it is fun to watch and if they don�t get blocked no running game means the Patriots defense puts six or seven in the box and just lets Samuel make plays.

Now the field is flipped and the Patriots have the ball and the Giants must stop them. Everyone knows about Tom Brady�s 50 touchdown passes and Randy Moss�s 23 touchdown catches. This offense is explosive. It makes the Run �n� Gun teams of the old Houston Oilers look like a Marty Schottenheimer team. The wide receiver group of Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth, and Jabar Gaffney makes this the best in the league. All can make big plays and all seem to find the hole in zone coverage. They make for a tough team to scheme. It would seem that throughout these playoffs the plan of being physical with Moss has worked great. The Giants have a player more than capable of doing that too in Sam Madison. Once one of the best cornerbacks in the league, he is now another smart player. He is healthy and will beat up Randy Moss, which may very well make him ineffective in his first Super Bowl. The other corner is Aaron Ross, a speedster rookie from Texas. He will play in the league for a long time if he stays healthy but Sunday will be a test. Wes Welker will test him with his underneath routes. If Ross does not tackle well after the catch Welker will have a huge game. The unknown is if R.W. McQuarters, another veteran, can keep Donte Stallworth down. If he can, that means Brady will have to go to his fourth or fifth read and that will give the pass rush time to get to him. The screen game for the Patriots is huge, so watch that. The Giant safeties of James Butler and Gibril Wilson will have to read that quickly and get that call to the other players on the field. Advantage in this one is easy, Patriots. It has nothing to do with the receivers or defensive backfield Tom Brady is having one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback ever and he is special. Think Joe Montana.

The Patriots running backs and tight ends against the linebackers of the Giants is a fun one. Laurence Maroney is the best running back no one knows about, sometimes it seems like the Patriots don�t know it either. He is a stud and could easily be in the elite status in the NFL if every play wasn�t Tom Brady throwing the ball all over the yard. His back up Kevin Faulk is the best third down running back in the league. He is the Patriots all time leader in receptions for a RB. The Giants cannot forget about him on third down because Brady is just as comfortable getting him the ball as Moss. Heath Evens is a big strong fullback who can get the rock on short yardage, but with the four or five wide receiver packages he is seen very little of. Good player. Strong side linebacker Reggie Torbor is an up and coming player who seems to get better every week. Kawika Mitchell, the weak side backer, is a solid player but nothing special. The middle linebacker Antonio Pierce is one of the leaders on this defense and one of the best ball players on the field. These three have the task of tackling the ball carrier for the Patriots before they can bust big plays. They also have to find a way to take guys like Benjamin Watson and Kyle Brady out of the game when they are in it to limit Tom Brady�s options. As good as the linebackers for the New York Giants have played, this is another advantage Patriots. Maroney is too good to be kept down and Watson just finds ways to make plays.

This is the biggest thing to watch in this game. If the defensive lines for the Giants get pressure on Brady, the Giants will very possibly get this win. If the Pats hold them out and give him time, this game will be over by halftime. The Patriots offensive line is very good. Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Stephen Neal, and Nick Kaczur have no real weak spots. This line reminds some of the old Denver Broncos in the fact that they are not huge but get the job done with great form and hard work. The Giants will try to throw knock out punches with one of the best defensive lines in the league. Michael Strahan is a Hall of Famer and Osi Umenyiora is a Pro Bowler. This is the best pair of defensive ends since the old Los Angeles Rams Fearsome Foursome. Their back up Jason Tuck would start on 95 percent of teams in the NFL and gets a fair amount of time as well. Barry Coefield and Fred Robbins are beasts up front. It is sad that a line this good does not have a nickname like other great lines, for they are a great defensive line and the key to the Giants success. Advantage Giants. The Patriots line held out the Jaguars and the Chargers this postseason, but a very inspired New York squad will give them fits.

Special Teams wise this is a wash. Both teams have accurate punters, good coverage teams, steady snappers and kickers who may very possibly wind up thinking that Scott Norwood is in the building. If an advantage must be given, it has to go to the Pats, as it would seem like their returners are more sure-handed.

The spread for this game is currently 12.5 and the over under is 53.5. Now, if the Giants defensive line get pressure the spread will not be covered and the under is a good possiblity, if not take the over and be praying for a Giant miracle because they won�t cover.

My pick�.against all odds:

Giants 24
Patriots 22
2008 NFL Draft
2008 NFL Schedule
2008 NFL Bye Weeks
2008 NFL Free Agents
2008 NFL SOS
Player Analysis
NFL Team Previews
Player Rankings
Depth Charts
Cheat Sheet
Mock Draft
Draft Worksheets
2008 NFL Depth Charts
2008 NFL Injuries
2008 NFL Statistics
2008 NFL Transactions
This Week's Picks
Last Week's Picks

Web site design by Colecrest Consulting, Inc.