Patriots-Giants matchups / analysis
posted at 1/27/2008 5:09 PM EST
Okay, I just spent the last couple of hours reading this thread (hey, it's Sunday, what can I say). I thought the title meant the original poster was actually giving an analysis. And, felt that with the amount of posts, there was some serious discussion going on. Well, at least there was some. My thoughts, as if matters.
Anyone who thinks the Patriots are 100% going to win aren't thinking with thier heads. There is always a chance the Giants can win. I found on ESPN.com that ACCU Score, or something like that, have the Giants winning 22% of their simulations (10,000). More on this later.
Anyone who thinks the Giants are better than the Patriots is also not thinking with their heads. In my book, an 18-0 team is better than a 13-6 team. Even if one thought the NFC is better than the AFC top to bottom (I don't) and think the NFC East is the best of that conference (I do), the Pats played that division during the season.
A lot of talk about "barely winning" or "barely losing". I don't see where they keep that stat in the standings. You win, you get the W, you lose, you get the L.
As far as everyone else hating the Pats, well, I know some people here in Seattle, not Patriot fans, who will be rooting for the Pats. And some who are Patriot fans (or at least seem to be) who are lifelong Seattleites. It is true, success breeds contempt. Why do so many people hate the Yankees, Notre Dame, Cowboys, Lakers, Celtics, Canadians, etc. When a team starts to do well, you get those that jump on the bandwagon, and those that jump agaisnt them. Also, people love the underdog. For that, look at the Cubs, Red Sox until recently, the Saints last year. They love to see teams overcome adversity.
One poster kept saying that the Giants pass defense is their strong point. Really? The stats seem to idicate otherwise. Because a team leads the league in sacks does not mean they have a good defense against the pass. A 7 yard sack can be quickly erased by 2 9-yard receptions. Even with all those sacks, they still allowed 207 yards per game vs the pass, good for 11th. Unlike in college, a sack is credited to your passing defense, not rushing defense. Also, they were 17th in passer rating against. The "poor" Patriots defense was better in both those categories. And if you say it was because their offense scored so much, well, what does a team do when they are down? They pass, or at least should.
As far as that ACCU Score analysis went, there were some interesting things. One thing I read yesterday was even if Peyton was the QB for the Giants, the Pats still won 63% of the time. There was one way the Giants had the advantage over the Pats: If Brady was the QB of the Giants and Manning the QB of the Pats. Then, the Giants won 51% of the games. All the simulations show that the games the Giants won, Manning outplayed Brady. (Not necessarily the other way around though, when Manning outplayed Brady, the Pats still won many games.)
Now, my thoughts on the game itself. I agree with the poster who compared the Giants to the Jaguars. I see a lot of similarities. The rushing attack, the tall receivers, the good QBs but a little erratic, getting better later in the season. Defensively, the Giants are a little better, but not much. Better at getting the sacks, but worse passer rating against. About equal vs the run. I see this being a similar game this time. Not as high scoring as the last one, even with the good weather, because I think the Giants will play more ball control and keep the possesions down, 8 or 9 per team. My feeling, Pats 34-24. Yeah, I'll take the Giants and the points. But hey, I have been wrong before.
Long post, I know, but I want to end with one more comment. Reading all the people picking the Giants and their reasons, I want to paraphrase a quote from the end of the movie "Other People's Money", when Danny DiVito gives his speech. "Amen, Amen, and Amen. I'm sorry, but from where I come from, we always say Amen after a prayer, and that particular prayer was the prayer for the dead. Sure, if Manning does this and Brady does't do that and the defense does the other thing, it could happen, but..."