BASN NFL Picks: Super Bowl XLII

By Tony McClean
Updated: January 31, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — No more stupid questions about fake injuries. No more marriage proposals from desperate women looking for attention. No more introspective stories about friends, families, and other folks related to the players. No more lame ass stories by lazy reporters about “guarantees”.

It’s time to get the hypesters the hell off of our TV’s, radio, or computers and PLAY THE GOD DAMNED GAME!!! Sorry to be short and to the point, but Super Hype (notice I didn’t say Super Bowl) week will do that to ya. After over four decades of Super Bowls, we all know at times the bullshit usually overshadows the actual game.

With Boston and New York being ably represented by Team Tivo and Big Blue on the field, the mess has really hit the fan in Glendale. We’ve had our daily over dosages of hero worshipping on Foxboro’s favorite son. We’ve seen more fuel thrown into the fire on the whole Tiki vs. Eli “war”.

I really don’t know what’s sillier: The national press trying to verbally pimp slap Plaxico Burress for having the audacity to have confidence in his team or the “up close and personal” accounts of the all the backups who Coach Belichick hasn’t played this season.

The NFL Network’s Patriots-Giants telecast in December was the first in league history to air on three networks nationally with simulcasts on CBS and NBC and local over the air partners WWOR in New York, WCVB in Boston and WMUR in Manchester. The game drew 34.5 million viewers, was the most-watched show since the Academy Awards on Feb. 25 (40.2 million viewers) and the most-watched NFL regular-season game since Thanksgiving 1995 (Chiefs-Cowboys on NBC, 35.7 million viewers).
Which one of these Super Bowl MVPs did not attend a Historically Black College/University?
A. Jerry Rice
B. Harvey Martin
C. Richard Dent
D. Doug Williams
(The answer comes at the end of the article).
Since we’re just dealing with one game, we’ll try and hit on what I feel are the five things you should watch for when the Giants and Patriots finally get on the field at about 6:30 ET or so.
1. Giants WR Plaxico Burress vs. Patriots CB Asante Samuel: For your old school fans, remember back in the 70′s when Philly’s 6-foot-10 Harold Carmichael and Washington’s 5-foot-9 Pat Fischer used to go at it twice a year for a long stretch? Welcome to the 2008 edition of the good big man against the good little man with the 6-foot-5 Burress and the 5-foot-10 Samuel. While Samuel is likely to get some help from Ellis Hobbs and or Rodney “Personal Foul” Harrison, this is a matchup that New York can and will exploit all Sunday.
2. The rematch factor: As you all know, Super Bowl XLII between the Giants and Patriots is a rematch of Week 17 of the regular season, which was won by New England. Teams winning the regular season match up are a combined 5-6 in a Super Bowl rematch. Since 1990, there have been five regular season Super Bowl rematches. Only the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX (over the Chargers) have been able to sweep their Super Bowl opponent. In fact, the last rematch should be a familiar one for Patriots fans. They upset the Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI for their first title after falling to St. Louis 24-17 in Foxboro.
3. QB pressure: While most media folks were falling for the banana in the tailpipe (i.e. Brady’s “injury”), one major thing got overlooked. The Chargers were able to pressure No. 12 into some bad throws as his three picks would attest. Both offensive lines will be tested to the hilt early and often. In the earlier meeting, each team allowed just one sack and Lil’ Eli threw the only pick. If the glamour boys are given time, this could be a shootout reminiscent of their regular season game. If not, a low scoring, close game would likely favor the Pats.
4. The Randy ratio: The scariest thing about New England’s offense is that during the postseason, Randy Moss has been the world’s most talented decoy. With climate controlled conditions, that’s gotta change. Yes, Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth have taken up the slack and Laurence Maroney has been a beast. But, when you’ve got a Rolls Royce, you don’t treat it like a Hyundai (a 1,000 apologies to all Hyundai owners, but y’all know what I mean). Even though Big Blue’s secondary has had two weeks to recover from their bumps and bruises, the mental scars that Mr. Moss can leave could be felt all the way to 2008′s training camp.
5. Reversal of fortunes: The Giants used a strong running game for most their success during the regular season, finishing fourth in the league with 134.3 ypg and a 4.6 ypc average, good for third best in the league. However in the playoffs, their numbers have gone down considerably. Big Blue is averaging 108 ypg on 3.5 ypc in the three playoff games. As for the Pats, who relied more on the pass, averaged 115.6 ypg on the ground and 4.1 ypc in the regular season. In their two playoff games, they’ve averaged 147 ypg and an impressive 4.9 ypc. However, New England’s efforts did come against the 11th and 16th ranked rushing defenses.
It would be so easy to say that New England will win this game hands down. But in the words of Tina Turner, “We just don’t do anything easy!!!!” The Giants are arguably on the greatest “Payback” tour since James Brown’s last concert at the Apollo. This is not to take anything away from what the Pats have done this season and during this decade. By reaching this Super Bowl, they are clearing stamping themselves as the NFL’s elite team of this era. But as the Pats learned during their improbable title run in 2001, destiny can be a bitch. And remember this — the new destiny’s darlings colors also just happen to be of the red, the white, and the blue.
Pick: Giants 27, Patriots 24 (OT).
B. A third round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1973 NFL Draft, “The Beautiful” Harvey Martin was a standout for East Texas State University. A four-time Pro Bowler, Martin and Randy White were co-MVPs in Super Bowl XII as Dallas defeated Denver 27-10.