Patriots’ Belichick and Brady will lead team to redemption
For the New England Patriots, revenge is a dish best served four years later.
After seeing their dreams of a perfect season crash and burn at the uncoordinated hands of a young Eli Manning, the Patriots are ready to get revenge for what transpired in Super Bowl 42.
Only eight players remain from the 18-1 nightmare that was the 2007 team. But if you don’t think that the wounds are still fresh, listen to ex-Patriots’ Jarvis Green’s claim that Super Bowl 42 still gives him nightmares.
The players taking the field won’t just be playing for themselves; they will be playing to redeem the members of the 2007 team. The Patriots will be all-in for this game.
When analyzing this year’s squad, we start at the pivotal point behind centre where the Patriots have arguably the best quarterback of our generation.
Tom Brady had another incredible season even by his standards. Brady threw for 5,235 yards, good enough for second all-time in a single season.
He commanded an offence that finished second in yards-per-game and third in points-per-game. With Brady at the helm, the Patriots can and will score on anyone. Numbers aside though, the real reason to buy into the Patriots this year is how much Brady wants to win this game.
He already has three rings, but the future Hall-of-Famer still has something left to prove, and on Feb. 5, he is going to do just that.
Brady alone cannot be credited for the Patriots’ offensive greatness. His receivers must also be praised. Wes Welker had another Pro-Bowl season leading the league in receptions, Deion Branch chipped in with a solid 700-yard campaign and Chad Ochocinco had some funny tweets.
The dominant story of this offence however, was the play of the tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. “Gronk” set a record for yards by a tight end in a season and the duo combined for 24 touchdowns.
The combination of the two creates easily exploitable mismatches. They can’t be covered by linebackers because of their athleticism and they can’t be covered by safeties because of their size. The Giants really can “only hope to contain them” as too much focus on Gronkowski and Hernandez will allow the Patriots’ receivers and running backs to easily beat them.
The Pats have not been without their faults, though, as this season defensively, they finished near last in almost every category. However, the unit we have seen throughout the playoffs has been much improved.
Led by hefty nose tackle Vince Wilfork, the Patriots are getting pressure, forcing mistakes and not allowing touchdowns in the red zone. This secondary will have their hands full with the Giants receivers, but don’t be shocked if they get a few interceptions against Eli.
The Patriots have been to five of the last 11 Super Bowls and the reason for that wears a cut-off-sleeved hoodie.
Bill Belichick is simply the best coach of our generation. The seemingly emotionless mastermind once again has his team poised for greatness. Belichick is a student of the game and knows how to guide his team to victory.
He can make the key adjustments and will find a way to keep this fierce New York pass rush off-balance.
Belichick rarely loses to the same team twice, so even though the Giants won the last two meetings, I find it awfully hard to see them winning three in a row.
Neither team has ever won at Lucas Oil Stadium, so the site doesn’t really play in anyone’s favour. But with this game being played indoors, it is primed to turn into a shootout. And the Patriots wouldn’t want it any other way.
There’s a lot of ways you can bet on the Patriots in this game but at the end of the day you really only need to mention Brady and Belichick.
Yes, Eli may be “Elite”, but Brady and Belichick are legendary. And after they capture their fourth Super Bowl win, many people (myself included) will be ready to call them the greatest coach and greatest quarterback of all time.