Here’s what I’m NOT going to do: pick a Super Bowl winner.
I have no clue who’s going to win. Plus, every idiot from Haley Joel Osment to Andrew Dice Clay has picked a winner for the game. (Hey, Dice, hint hint: the Giants don’t have cheerleaders, by the way). Also, the game has been broken down to no end impressively all over the web, so I’m not going to do that here. (Best links I’ve used: the folks at ProFootballFocus and Matt Bowen’s incredible National Football Post column.) Or cover the amazing prop bets that are possible. (I like the over on Wes Welker catches, 6.5.)
I’m going to watch the game, with my snob glasses on. I’m praying for something so legendarily and strategically controversial to happen during the game. I threw out some examples, for fun. I’m not saying these are things either defense should do, just that it would be cool if someone tried.
- I’d love to see Patriots coach Bill Belichick steal Rex Ryan’s defensive playbook and bring 46-defense-jailbit-heat on Eli Manning from his blind (left) side. After all, wasn’t it Rex who made Manning look pretty ordinary just a few weeks ago? Manning was 9-27 throwing the ball in that game. Yes, I know. Rex has the Darrelle Revis/Antonio Cromartie tandem and Belichick…doesn’t. But here’s what we do know: Manning is great throwing the ball deep and average when he has to throw short, quick passes. Also, when pressured, he likes to slide to his left, instead of his right. The Pats’ corners are going to get burned ANYWAY if they allow the Giants’ receivers to run pell-mell down the field. And Pats’ CB Kyle Arrington led the NFL in interceptions with 7 this season — many of them short passes to his side – and a lucky red-zone pick against Eli Manning in Week 9.
- I’d love to see Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell go man-to-man, mano-a-mano, cover-zero, in-your-face defensive coverage against the Pats. Why not? Especially with Rob Gronkowski hurt, does anyone on their roster really scare you deep? Maybe Aaron Hernandez, but that’s about it. Tom Brady has thrown exactly 67 passes all season that have traveled more than 20 yards in the air (by comparison, Manning has thrown 139, most in the league). He doesn’t go deep often, and he excels at having guys open immediately and getting them the ball. The Pats’ receivers need to be disrupted, big-time. Bump them, re-route them, trip them, assault them…you get the drift. Make the zebras whip out their flags early and often for illegal contact. But knock off the Pats’ timing, dammit. And if Corey Webster really is as good as Revis, make him prove it. Stick him in Wes Welker’s back pocket and have him shadow him all over the field. Why not? Try it and see. Make Brady hold on to the ball longer than he wants. Have him get hit a bit.
Here is what I DON’T want to see. I don’t want to see standard run-of-the-mill offense and defense for the duration of the game.
I want all stops pulled out. THIS IS THE SUPER BOWL.
I want to see trick plays on offense, sneaky smart schemes on defense, a fake on special teams. I want to see both coaches go out of their way to trick the piss out of each other. Belichick and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin know each other pretty well, having coached together under Hall-of-Fame Coach-to-be Bill Parcells from 1988 to 1990. They’ve also seen each other in the regular season this year, and have plenty of film on each other’s teams to cook up something Super Bowl worthy. So bring it.
Oh yeah, I don’t care about the commercials, and I don’t care about Madonna’s half time show. Sorry, ladies.