Thursday, February 2, 2012

And The Winner Is.....

NY Giants(+2.5) vs New England

Here are some of the things that have entered my mind in an attempt to change my thoughts about this game- the same thought I've had about this game since Monday morning after the Conference Championship games. That the Giants will win going away.

Too many people like the Giants....

The line has dropped from (3) to (2.5)....So I can get the Pats laying less than a FG?...

How can I bet against Brady and Belichick?....

Other than their 1st round playoff game against Atlanta, in which the G-Men were laying a 3 piece, we have taken our lumps playing against them in the consecutive weeks that followed. (And speaking of taking lumps, did I mention I'm on a 6 game bender?...)

We're playing the Giants for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost is what they've done over the last month, and who they've done it to. Starting with 4 weeks ago, they've beat Tony Romo (4th ranked QB), Matt Ryan (8th ranked QB), Aaron Rodgers (1st ranked QB), and Alex Smith (9th ranked QB), taking down the NFC's 1 and 2 seeds in the process.

Over the course of these four games, their defense has been spectacular. They gave up just 13 points per, which would've ranked 1st relative to the league's season totals and rankings. And what they did to Dallas and Green Bay- the two most impressive offenses statistically, is a bit understated in the overall evaluation of the Giants and how it applies to their tilt against New England on Sunday.

Dallas had averaged 376 yards and 23 points per game, and the G-Men held them to 338 and 14 points in their playoff deciding season finale. More impressive was what they did to the Pack at Lambeau. The Packers were scoring 35 points per, and were held to just 20, and 14 of those points were very much aided by the zebras.

The Patriots are no slouches either. We detailed their numbers going into the Baltimore game last weekend, and they're (the numbers) nothing short of amazing. For an NFL team to average 37 points over the course of a 9 game winning streak, is utterly ridiculous. However, they were put in check last week, in a game in which Tom Brady himself said he "sucked". And he did.

He threw 39 touchdown passes and had over 5,200 passing yards during the course of the regular season, but against the Ravens had zero touchdown passes, two interceptions, and ended up with a 57 passer rating. And it became apparent early, that when the Ravens front 7 got to Brady, it affected Brady's ability. (See 1st Quarter overthrow of Gronk, on what would've been a sure touchdown)

Which brings me to my next point. Is it me, or has Tom Brady lost a bit of his swag since his 2008 Season opening, season ending injury? I think he has. And I think when he plays a tough defense {which he didn't during that 9 game win streak- the Jets being the best (5th), the nine teams average defense being 15th}, this becomes amplified, like it did last week against Baltimore.
The reality of it, is that Tom Brady and the Patriots haven't won a damn thing since his injury. In the 2009 season that followed, the Patriots were abruptly knocked out of the playoffs in the Wildcard round, at home by Baltimore, 33-14. Brady and the Pats turned the ball over 3 times in the first half, and the Ravens capitalized on every turnover. Last year, the Patriots lost in the divisional round to the Jets 28-21.

In fact, the Jets have been the only team whose been worth a shit(other than the Patriots, of course) in the AFC East over the last few years (i.e. since Brady's injury), and Brady and the Patriots haven't exactly taken care of business against them, losing 3 out of the 5 games they've played against them.

Lastly, the Patriots defense is still bad. And I heard Trent Dilfer (who I like) trying to break down how the Patriots have been showing different schemes by calling different defensive plays at the line of scrimmage, but the numbers don't lie. They were 31st over the course of the regular season, and over the last 4 weeks, nothing has changed. 393 yards yielded over that stretch, which would put them at 30th, relative to regular season rankings.

The Giants are the hot hand, and they're healthy. And I'd be a little leery of Gronk's high ankle sprain, if I was Patriot fan. I have a hard time imagining it won't affect his play, regardless of how much perfectly legal medicine the Pats medical staff shoots into him. I'm not sure which wideout the Pats will try to shut down, but whichever one they focus on (Cruz or Nicks), expect the other to have a monster Sunday.

Eli becomes king of the Manning family, in the same year his older brother hangs 'em up. Giants win outright, 34-24.

Last Week 0-2 ATS
YTD 41-24-4 ATS

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