Can't this be over, already?
Not just Super Bowl week. The Super Bowl itself.
Perhaps the best thing to be said for this yearís game is that it will be over in a matter of days. We can finally anoint the Patriots the greatest team of all time, or at least snicker at those who still want to make a case for the likes of the í72 Dolphins.
History will be made, and that will be great for the franchise and New England sports fans.
But the game itself? No, thanks.
The more time we have to sit and ponder, and listen, and wait, and analyze, and Ö wait, the more I become convinced that this game isnít just going to end in victory for the Patriots. Itís going to be a blowout of historic proportions.
We can make every reason this week as to why the Giants can win. We can make even more as to why they can keep it a close game. But weíre kidding ourselves, giving false hope that we might actually have an entertaining matchup on our hands, one to rival what we witnessed in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII.
It wonít. It wonít even come close.
The Bearsí 46-10 victory over New England in Super Bowl XX keeps ringing in the back of my mind as a possible outcome. Except I think the 46 points might even be too low. Something like 54-17 seems a bit more like it.
This isnít because the Giants donít belong here by any means. But letís just consider how many factors weigh in New Englandís favor. The Patriots are going for the first 19-0 mark in NFL history. Popular opinion for the past several weeks was that the only team to derail the Patriots would be the Colts, who ultimately never got their shot.
Are these Giants really the team thatís going to block them from doing so? No.
The NFC has won just two of the last 10 Super Bowls, none since Tampa Bay a half-decade ago. Are these Giants the team most capable of breaking that streak? No.
While itís all very special that the Giants only lost by three points during the regular season finale, perhaps weíve all forgotten how they lost that game, by blowing a 12-point lead?
That shouldnít serve as inspiration in the least.
Tom Brady, gimpy ankle and all, will seize the day once again. Randy Moss will make up for a pair of lame playoff outings with a two-touchdown, 110-yard performance. Laurence Maroney will scamper for 86 yards and a touchdown. Bill Belichick will be doused on the sidelines, as Mercury Morris tries to stammer out some logical reason why we should still care about him.
The Giants can only hope that the Eli Manning-to-Plaxico Burress connection works as well as it did in the NFC title game against Green Bay. The Patriots are going to score early and often, putting the pressure on Manning to make things happen in what needs to be a shootout for his team to have any chance.
That COULD happen, mind you. The Patriotsí defense could suddenly show the age that everybody opined this month that it would eventually reveal, and Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw could do the running rampant that was thought pivotal to the Jaguars beating the Patriots in the divisional round. Of course, that didnít happen.
Sure, Bradyís ankle could be seriously injured, leading to another three-interception performance. But does anybody honestly believe this is going to be an issue? I mean, letís be honest here.
Itís fun to think the Giants might make a game of it again, because what we all watched in the season finale was so riveting and entertaining that itís salivating to imagine what it might be like on the NFLís grandest evening. But without even breaking down any Xís and Oís Ė which incidentally also work in New Englandís overwhelming favor Ė the hunch says major blowout. A yawnfest Sunday night.
The Pats' quarterback is better. Their receivers (sorry, Plaxico) are better. Their defensive line is better. Their coaching is better. Their conference and competition are better.
Theyíre going to run up the score. Theyíre going to enjoy the moment. They are going to win their fourth Super Bowl.
Itís not a foregone conclusion, but itís close. If only anyone in the NFC could give them a game. If this were New England and Indy in the Super Bowl, it might be worth half the hype and attention itís receiving this week.
But the Giants? 54-17.