It's after midnight on Saturday here on the east coast, which means of course that it's Sunday, so we are now within 7 days of the big game. Some of the interesting stories in this game - Giants and Patriots rematch of one of the greatest Super Bowls ever, which additionally provided one of the biggest upsets ever and had one of the best, most improbable plays in all of Super Bowl history. Not much else, that's about it.
Interesting that both Bellichick and Coughlin are from the Parcells coaching tree, in fact, both were assistants on the 1990 Super Bowl winning Giants team. Bellichick was the DC and Coughlin was the receivers coach. Consequently, they often worked with each other, compared notes, discussed how the WRs would beat a particular defense and conversely how the defense would handle particular route combinations. Apparently they developed a close friendship and mutual professional respect. Bellichick is usually very short with his post game handshake, especially if he loses. After Super Bowl XLII, Bellichick and Coughlin shared a warm, touching moment with a hug and a private conversation in the middle of the field. The game was not really over, there was 1 second left, so Eli had to take one more snap and Bellichick went to the locker room before the game was technically over, but they shared that moment showing their feelings for each other.
Giants OL has to have a better game than they had in SF, they cannot allow Eli to get beat up like he did in the conference championship game. I keep hearing that WR Julian Edelman is going to be the 3rd CB for the Patriots and it's hard to believe that the Giants won't attack there and take advantage of that match up with some success. The worry I have for this game is that with the "simplifying" of the Giants defense the last few weeks, even though it has been effective, Bellichick with two weeks of film preparation will be able to come up with an offensive plan that will tear it apart. Everyone is banking on the fact that the Giants pass rush wrecked the Pats offense in 2007, so they should be able to do it now. However, the Patriots offense is different now. In 2007, it was Randy Moss and lots of down field throws, requiring Brady to hold the ball for a relatively long time, giving the DL a chance to get home. However, now Brady gets rid of the ball quickly on short throws to Welker and their talented TEs, which can limit the effectiveness of the pass rush. Giants have tightened up their coverage and did a good job against the quick Green Bay WRs two weeks ago, throwing off their timing, so maybe they can do the same next week. In some ways, the Green Bay and the Patriots offense has some similarities. Both have quick WRs, not big long striders. Both offenses have a dangerous TE. Both teams have a deadly accurate QB. Brady doesn't present the running problem that Rodgers did if the Giants play more man to man; we'll see how that works out. Jacquian Williams had a little ankle issue which could be a big loss for the Giants, since he is a very athletic LB who will be called on to give help on the Patriots TEs.
Need more time to study this game..... more during the week.