With a few hours away from the kickoff of Super Bowl XLVI, SB Nation Boston Associate Editor Jared Stegall offers his prediction of the final score of tonight's epic rematch between the New England Patriots and New York Giants.
Since we are approximately two and a half hours away from kickoff, it's time to start making some predictions of who will take home the Lombardi trophy tonight. Will the dynamic quarterback-head coach duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick who will take home their fourth super bowl win and first since 2005, or will it be Eli Manning and the New York Giants who once again spoil the Patriots' Super Bowl aspirations, as they did back in 2007.
Only time will tell in reality, but this is how I ultimately believe this game will pan out.
New England Patriots 31, New York Giants 21
In a very honest opinion, if I didn't think the Patriots wanted this one more than the Giants, I wouldn't pick them. For me, this Patriots season has really been about heart and desire. Whether it was the passing of Myra Kraft, a woman these players loved and cared for so deeply, or the chip on their shoulder they've had since last season's playoff loss to the Jets, or the pure determination of Tom Brady. This team has more of a desire to win than any other team in the NFL. Not even close. Nothing is perfect for these Patriots.
In this game, I believe that that desire that we've seen all year in these players shows up again tonight. The desire to avenge a loss that happened nearly four years ago to this very same team in the Giants.
My bold prediction for this game is that Tom Brady throws for 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns and absolutely zero turnovers. In order for this to happen, the Patriots offensive line would have had to have been stellar, and that's what they'll be tonight. A group that is full of veterans in Matt Light and Logan Mankins won't allow anything to get to Brady tonight, because they know they let him down in 07'. It goes back to that desire this group has. Don't believe these guys for a second when they say they've moved on from 2007. They haven't
As for who will catch Brady's TDs, I've got Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Rob Gronkowski being recipients. I do however believe where the Giants will win the day is against the pedestrian rushing attack of the New England Patriots.
As for the Patriots defense, they'll be exposed by Eli Manning on several occasions. However, only enough for them to put up a mere 20 points. Eli throws for 280 yards and 2 TDs. Brandon Jacobs gets the other on a goal line situation. Hakeem Nicks grabs a TD while Jake Ballard gets the other. However, that's all I think the Pats defense will allow in this one.
Against a red hot Giants offense, I believe this unit really comes through in this one. While they've only faced Tim Tebow and Joe Flacco to this point, two QBs nowhere near Eli's status, I think they have a big day against him. When it's all said and done, I see linebacker Jerod Mayo coming up with an interception against him and Vince Wilfork having two sacks and forced fumble in another dominant performance.
In the end, the Patriots just have so much they are playing for in order for this one to get away. Tonight, they will capture their fourth Super Bowl title as both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick establish themselves as the best QB-Coach duo this league will ever see. This team will be playing for what has been the driving motivation behind their season, their owner Robert Kraft and the memory of his wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft. But most importantly, they will get their revenge against the team that stole their season away, back in 2007.