Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Patriots, Plaxico and Pregame Prognostication

I don’t know how many of you have been really paying attention during this past 2007-08 NFL season but other players and teams have made predictions before games against the New England Patriots and they’ve used those comments as motivation to beat those teams and in some cases, embarrass the individual players that made such statements.

I heard the Super Bowl prediction made by Plaxico Burress at his press conference (23-17?) and the subsequent statements made by Michael Strahan. I heard Pats fans all around me getting heated and those clips were replayed ad nauseum on ESPN, Comcast Sports Network and the NFL Network, Did I think that Burress and Strahan were out of their minds to make those type of potentially incendiary statements? No. Do I think they they gave the Patriots even more bulletin board material and extra incentive to beat them? Not so much.

I feel as though this game is so big that there is nothing that the Giants could do to give the Patriot coaches or players more incentive or drive to win the game. They are chasing history and immortality this coming Sunday. The 2007-08 New England Patriots will be playing for the right to be called The Greatest NFL Team Of All Time...nothing any Giant can say could give them any real extra motivation.

The New York Giants should be confident coming into this game seeing as how they haven’t made one turnover in the entire playoffs and they beat both the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers on their way to the Super Bowl.

Quite a few NFL experts and analysts are drawing parallels between this Super Bowl and Super Bowl XXXVI in which the 14 point underdog Patriots beat the vaunted, seemingly invincible Greatest Show On Turf to claim their first of three Super Bowl titles back in the 2001-02 season.

In the minds of the Giants, they’ve played the Patriots before and feel as though they can play with them. As long as they don’t have any turnovers, shut down the Patriots deep threats and keep them off the field, they can win the game.

On top of that, Tom Brady isn’t 100% with his high ankle sprain. To the New York Giants, there is nothing to lose. If they lose the game, they were supposed to....shit, no one even though they’d make it farther than the Divisional round of the playoffs! They are a confident and loose bunch of guys going into Sunday’s game. The Patriots are the ones with all of the pressure on their shoulders after all.

The one thing that people are overlooking in regards to the Patriots is that they asked for all this pressure from the outset of the season. When you go out and run up the score on teams that you’re going to see again in the regular season and possibly again in the playoffs you make it so that you can never let up.

The Patriots cannot afford to take a play off, that had to keep their heads on a swivel the entire season. Everyone has given the Pats their best shot (best exemplified by A.J. Feely and Kyle Boller) this season and gotten up to play them. They cannot slack off and they’re not in a position to underestimate or overlook any opponent.

The team is also full of veteran players that have won before and a few veteran players that hunger for the first big win or accolade of their careers. Of the 53 players on the Patriots roster, 20 of them have Super Bowl experience (that’s just under 40%). Among these Patriots are some of the best NFL players in the last 15 years, they know what it takes to win and how to win consistently.

No team in the NFL trusts in themselves and their teammates more than the New England Patriots do. It’s like they always say, the real dangerous men are silent became they don’t need to talk because their actions speak louder than any words can.

In conclusion, I don’t feel any ill will towards any of the Giants for saying that they’ll be victorious on Sunday. The thing is that the only thing the Patriots are interested in saying at around 10:00 PM EST is “We are Super Bowl Champions” or “We went 19-0”. I can’t wait for February 3rd to get here.

Oh yeah, in the movie “I Am Legend” if you paid close enough attention they made a little prediction of their own. The game will officially start at 6:17, 617 is the Boston Metro area code...but I don't believe in jinxes or omens so big deal.



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