Midterm week for school and close week at work means I had no time to put together anything worthy of a SBS post. Instead I'll leave a few thoughts for today's game:
1.) I am in no way prepared to see all of the obligatory flashback clips that FOX will show today from "the game that shall not be mentioned". I may have to start drinking now to deal with it.
2.) The Giants will be without Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks and center David Baas. While Bradshaw and Nicks are much bigger names, Baas' absence may be most important. We've covered the importance of the center position in this space before, but the center is essentially the QB of the offensive line. Will Baas' absence lead to the Pats finally filling up the stat sheet with some sacks? No just QB pressures but some good old fashioned sacks? I think so.
Don't underrate the absence of Bradshaw either. Brandon Jacobs may be a well known name amongst fans, but the difference in skill between he and Bradshaw is about the same as downgrading from Leigh Bodden to Antwaun Molden. Oh wait; we saw how well that worked last week. Bradshaw is a far superior football player.
3.) Speaking of Molden, today will be a good day to judge the progress of both he and Phillip Adams - the two players battling for the role of 5th DB to replace the departed Bodden. Both had their struggles last week, and both will need to make giant steps forward if the Pats want to have any long term success.
4.) As much heat as the DB's took after last weeks game, a good portion of the blame needs to go to the LB's and their feeble efforts in pass coverage. The majority of Pittsburgh's yardage came on completions across the middle of the field, and both Brandon Spikes and Gary Guyton struggled mightily (save for Guyton's gift of an INT) in pass coverage. Mayo's full return this week should go a long way to benefit that this week, but still unacceptable. Spikes at least is a monster at stopping the run; but Guyton is making a strong case to replace Johnathan Wilhite in the position for the annual Duane Starks Award for Pat's least favorite Pat and scapegoat for all.
5.) Too lazy to find a link for the article, but I'm sure some of you remember Eli Manning saying he was on the same level as Brady earlier this year. Today is the day he will be smite'd by the football God's for speaking such blasphemy.
6.) The key to this game will of course be protecting Brady against the Giants 4 man pass rush. The Giants boast one of the best Defensive Lines in the NFL in terms of rushing the passer; and if they can generate a rush with just 4 while dropping 7 into coverage, that poses a major problem for New England. Here's hoping Matt Light and Sea-bass play better than those garbage performances they brought last weekend.
As much as I hate the Jets, the Giants have always been my least favorite team. I think it stems from when I was a little kid; long before such wonderful inventions as the RedZone channel, or even the internet; and was forced to watch the New York football Giants whenever the Patriots weren't on TV and has steadily grown since then. I hate their stupid boring uniforms. I hate their putz of a QB. I hate their lack of cheerleaders. Seriously, its football, get some freakin' cheerleaders. Please win today Patriots.
Patriots 27 - Giants 17