It’s almost time for the big game. This one’s tough to call. It’s #1 v. #1 (so much for parity). Both teams seem pretty evenly matched up. The Patriots and their high octane offense led by dreamboat Tom Brady and the honorary social chair for every fraternity, Rob Gronkowski, against Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom.
Yes, the Super Bowl is finally here, with all its grandiose display of shameless corporate promotion and endless interviews and press coverage. But that’s why we love it. It’s the biggest display of American excess pride we got. I mean, we call them “World Champions” but the sport’s only played here. How much more ‘Merica can you get?
At our Editorial Board meeting, it was decided that Roid Rage and I would each pick a team and explain why they would win the Super Bowl. Roid Rage will also be live tweeting the Katy Perry halftime special. Lucky for me, I got the Patriots, because they are going to win the Super Bowl. Like it or not, but Tom Brady is about to win his 4th Super Bowl title.
You can analyze all the stats you want, but this years’ Super Bowl comes down to three questions:
What is Tom Brady’s record in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants?
What is Tom Brady’s record in the Super Bowl against the rest of the NFL?
Are the Giants in the Super Bowl?
There you go. It is that simple. Arguably, Tom Brady should have 5 Super Bowls, the Pats should have a 19-0 record and Don Shula and the rest of the ’72 Dolphins would remain on lock down in The Villages (Florida’s friendliest hometown). But who knew that Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning would be their kryptonite? No such problem this time around.
The Patriots are built different than many other teams, and this goes right to how well coached they are. List the top wide receivers in the game. How many does it take before you get to a Patriot? What about running back? Their scheme involves a plug and play approach at the skill positions. Protect Tom Brady with a solid offensive line, and then it doesn’t matter who runs or catches the ball. Remember Jonas Gray, who ran for 201 yards and 4 tds against the Colts back in November? How many yards has he had since (including the playoffs)? 84. Christ, LeGarrette Blount wasn’t even on the team two months ago. Last week, he ran for 148 yards and scored 3 touchdowns.
Sure, the Patriots will stretch (read: willfully violate) any rule in the NFL rulebook, be it videotaping, illegal formations, or, most recently, deflating footballs. But you know what? It works, and Belichick couldn’t give to shits about what you think. His smug, pugnacious, arrogant demeanor embodies this team. Granted, they may be hated by the rest of the country and by everyone that can properly pronounce the letter “r” (it’s PARK YOUR CAR, dammit!) but he doesn’t care.
Bill should be looking at videotape (whether legally or illegally recorded) of the Seahawks/Packers game two weeks ago. In that first half, Russell Wilson had 2 completions and 3 ints. Green Bay did that by pressuring with the front 4 and containing the edge, preventing Wilson from executing the weak side read-option run that he is so brilliant at. The Patriots have the speed and discipline up front to do that.
On the flip side, Seattle’s D is predicated on their back 4 (the Legion of Boom), not the front 4. If Tom has time, I don’t care who is in Seattle’s secondary. And Gronk is a matchup nightmare for anyone.
And let’s talk about coaching for a second. Sure, Pete Carroll will have some tricks up his sleeve…his coaching is what turned things around in the NFC Championship game, with ballsy calls like the fake field goal (props to John Ryan (a ginger) for being the first special teams player to throw a touchdown in the playoffs), but does anyone think he can outfox Belichick? Really? I think Pete will try too hard to out-Bellichick, Bellichick, and it will cost him.
Regardless, this should be an entertaining game. There will be lots of fireworks and exciting plays. This should be a high scoring, close game, and when the clock hits 0:00, the blue and red confetti will rain down, and the Patriots will once again be crowned World Champions. Sometimes, being evil pays off.