ESPN recently grouped together all of their NFL analysts' picks into one convenient place, and in that convenient place, it's easy to see that the majority of them predict the Patriots will beat the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. There are some who think the Giants will emerge victorious, though.
It should come to no surprise that ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Tedy Bruschi, Jackie MacMullen, Mike Rodak, Chris Forsberg, Steven Krasner and ESPN Boston Radio's Adam Jones and Andrew Brooks all picked the Patriots to win. Bruschi, a former Patriot, believes the game will come down to the wire.
I see this game going down to the wire. Both of these teams are playing great football. There are matchup advantages for both teams in all three phases. In the end, I see New England winning. Throughout this year there have been breakout players that have established themselves as championship caliber -- Gronkowski, Hernandez, Spikes, Mayo, Chung, just to name a few. Stephen Gostkowski will add his name to the list. Adam Vinatieri will no longer be the only Patriots kicker to say he kicked a game-winner with a world championship on the line. It's good.
Likewise, it shouldn't be a surprise that everybody, well almost everybody, from ESPN New York picked the Giants. Ian O'Connor wrote that the Giants will win because of their pass rush.
Four years ago, the Giants' pass rush negated the talent difference between Tom Brady and Eli Manning. This time around, the pass rush is just as fierce, and there is no discernible talent difference between Brady and Manning. No David Tyree required in the rematch.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, Eric Mangini, John Clayton and Jon Gruden side with the guys at ESPN Boston. Schefter believes the Patriots will win because they're a more complete team.
The Giants are the better and more complete team. But they also have to figure out a way to beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the memory of Myra Kraft.
And of course we can't forget about Madden. Not John Madden, but a Madden '12 simulation. In that simulation, which counts for nothing as far as I'm concerned, the Giants win by a score of 27-24. If you're curious, here's how the Madden simulation went down.
Kicker Lawrence Tynes kicked a game-winning 40-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Giants past the AFC Champion Patriots, bringing home the Giants' second Super Bowl championship in four years. Giants Quarterback Eli Manning was named the game's MVP, completing 25 of 39 passes with two touchdowns and an interception. New England's Tom Brady also had a big day, throwing for 327 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Most of Brady's best moments came late in the game. Trailing 24-10 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Brady led New England on a furious rally, scoring two touchdowns to tie the game 24-24, the second coming on a 14-yard pass to wide receiver Wes Welker with 1:50 left on the clock.
For more on the Patriots, check out Pats Pulpit and for updates on the Giants, head to Big Blue View.