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Pats will have their hands full with Nicks, Cruz, Manningham

NFC Championship - New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

During crunch time of Sunday’s AFC title game, Baltimore’s best receiver was being covered in the slot by a second-string receiver/emergency defensive back.  And Anquan Boldin was repeatedly having his way with Julian Edelman.

So what’s going to happen when the Patriots’ defensive backs have to handle Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham?

Bad things, man.

The Giants have much better receivers than they had four years ago, and the Patriots don’t have the same caliber of defensive backs that they enjoyed the last time these two teams met in a Super Bowl.

It didn’t help that starting cornerback Kyle Arrington left Sunday’s game with an eye injury, but the Pats’ defensive backfield has had a rag-tag feel to it all season, and if they nearly lost at home on Sunday to a team with a far less potent offense, the Patriots will need the coaching performance of Bill Belichick’s life in order to win this game.

Apparently, the folks who make the odds believe Belichick will pull it off, given that the Pats are three-point favorites.  For amusement purposes only, don’t be shocked (but be very amused) when that number starts moving toward the Giants.

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107 Responses to “Pats will have their hands full with Nicks, Cruz, Manningham”
  1. Chargers have no rings says: Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM

    I hope the Giants destroy them

  2. kellyb9 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM

    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.

  3. Davo says: Jan 23, 2012 2:13 PM

    As a Pats fan, I can’t believe that the Patriots aren’t underdogs in this one. I mean, the Giants won in Foxboro this year – just start there.

  4. iluvwikileaks says: Jan 23, 2012 2:13 PM

    Go Giants!!

  5. skinsrock says: Jan 23, 2012 2:13 PM

    Easy win for G men… So easy, I’m not even watching.

  6. patriotsadw says: Jan 23, 2012 2:14 PM

    We will find a way…

  7. jnbnet says: Jan 23, 2012 2:14 PM

    Yes it will be tough, but an over-confident giant receiving corp might be a bit surprised. You can also expect the Patriots to score a bit more than the 49ers did.

  8. suhnami says: Jan 23, 2012 2:14 PM

    so can we expect the article on how Eli’s stat’s are inflated because of his great WR corp???

    I mean that’s Staffords issue….

  9. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jan 23, 2012 2:14 PM

    I hear Ty Law is looking for a job.

  10. mrl7265 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:15 PM

    As a Pats fan, the Giants scare me. They are the most balanced team coming out of the NFC. The Pats are going to have to play the best game they have played all year to come out on top. That being said, I think the can do it. They are playing not only for themselves but for something special, “MHK”.

  11. unbreakable02215 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:15 PM

    Yeah, I don’t get the PATS being 3 1/2 point
    favorites. Manning is playing so well. Good WRs.
    That D Line just turns it up in the 4th qtr. Go
    back and watch their last several games. They
    just get turned loose in the 4th qtr. I’m a PATS
    fan. I don’t see it happening for them. Too much
    Giants O. Too much Giants D Line.

  12. terripet says: Jan 23, 2012 2:16 PM

    giants 38 17

  13. pftcensorssuck says: Jan 23, 2012 2:16 PM

    New England was a 17 point favorite in 2007 …. how’d that work out for them???

    I’m not thinking of the spread, just wondering ifthe Pat’s D linecan put enough pressure on Eli. Dude can throw a damn goodpass, but he’s the original Dr. Jeckell – Mr. Hyde, from play-to-play.

    New England has some stout receivers too, and a better QB to get the ball to them, not to mention a damn good O line.

    The Gints have just as much to worry about, going to be a good game.

    By the way, are the Jets going to play the winner???? Is that how they’re going to win their Super Bowl this year????

  14. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jan 23, 2012 2:17 PM

    I remember having this discussion when they played the Eagles and Troy Brown played corner. Worked out pretty well then.

  15. otistaylor89 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:17 PM

    The receivers and QB are much better, but the O line is much worse.

  16. Henry says: Jan 23, 2012 2:18 PM

    Welker, Gronk and Hernandez……
    Hello?… Helloooooooo!

  17. pastabelly says: Jan 23, 2012 2:20 PM

    I’m another Patriots fan who thinks the Pats should be 5 to 6 point underdogs. I was hoping they’d see Alex Smith and the Niners because they could compete with SF’s offense. But NYG with those three receivers is a different story. McCourty, Arrington, and Moore will have their hands full getting the Patriots off the field on 3rd down. They struggled against Flacco.

  18. ricardorobertasq says: Jan 23, 2012 2:22 PM

    If I’m Brady, I would be more worried about dealing with that D-line than the receivers. He is going to be hitting the dirt alot

  19. zaggs says: Jan 23, 2012 2:24 PM

    “kellyb9 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM

    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.”

    Actually those 3 will have their hands full with Webster, Boley and Jacquian Williams. That will still leave the other corner and 2 safeties available for anyone else.
    Last game Welker and Gronk got their yardage, and the Pats still lost.

  20. dmretrogames says: Jan 23, 2012 2:25 PM

    Eli has to protect the ball better. He got away with a fumble and two picks that SF defenders fought over, and subsequently dropped. He does that, and I see a double-digit Giants’ win. Those receivers on that fast track will be scary.

  21. gingerkid2000 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:26 PM

    I hope Marshall Faulk & Rex Ryan pick against the Pats again. Since they’ve been right so many times.

  22. randygnyc says: Jan 23, 2012 2:26 PM

    Brink? The only guarantee is that he won’t be 100%. He may start, but will he finish?

  23. quannumkid says: Jan 23, 2012 2:26 PM

    @suhnami and as this very post states, you can count on the Giants scoring more points against a weaker Pats (compared to 49ers) defense.

  24. homelanddefense says: Jan 23, 2012 2:26 PM

    thanks for that captain obvious. The Pats secondary has had problems with just about every WR core they have faced this year.

    And the WR’s the NYG had on their team 4 years ago doesnt mean squat.

    That being said, I have no idea why Edlemen kept lining up on Boldin. But compairing how the Pats will do against NYG based on what they did against Baltimore is foolish. Sure the Giants passing game is way better, but the Pats will have to worry less about the run game than against Baltimore.

    That being said, Im a Pats fan and Im picking NYG in this one.

  25. zaggs says: Jan 23, 2012 2:27 PM

    Oh you’re forgetting Ballard and Bradshaw. Ballard’s been injured last few weeks, but he’ll have 2 weeks rest. Bradshaw didn’t even play in Week 9 (neither did Nicks).

  26. ampats says: Jan 23, 2012 2:29 PM

    Should be a great game. The Patriots have revenge, the patch and the fact that BB doesn’t lose to the same team twice in a row in the same season which has happened only once in his career 2006 Colts.

  27. bigdicebuddha says: Jan 23, 2012 2:29 PM

    suhnami says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:14 PM
    so can we expect the article on how Eli’s stat’s are inflated because of his great WR corp???

    I mean that’s Staffords issue….

    ————————————————–

    Do you think Stafford could have taken the beating that Eli did last night, and still hung in there to make those throws in the pouring rain?

  28. CKL says: Jan 23, 2012 2:29 PM

    Arrington, like Gronk, returned to the game yesterday so I’m not freaking out too much yet.

    Yes the Pats have a tough row to hoe. NYG passing game is really good this year and has probably even gotten better since they played them. This game should be a pick ‘em at best for the Pats.

  29. improvmasta says: Jan 23, 2012 2:29 PM

    Good. As a Pats fan I’m tired of their challenge being “winning a game everyone expects them to win”. How well did that work out in 2007?

    Maybe being the underdogs for once (maybe not in Vegas, but in the eyes of football fans) will be good for them.

    I have to admit, in some ways this season has been more enjoyable than 2007. The expectations and pressure isn’t as deafening, and the wins hard-fought and exciting.

  30. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:31 PM

    kellyb9 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM
    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.
    ———–

    No they won’t. They shut down all three last game, and Jacquian is playing even better than before. Add to that Boley handling Hernandez and you sir, have no point.

    The big difference is these guys are only YAC guys, not deep threats. And you have a joke of a RB. We can stop NE when necessary. I don’t see the Patriots holding the Giants below 27 points.

  31. august1969 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:31 PM

    nonsense. the game plan was clearly to stop Ray Rice and let Flacco beat them, which he nearly did.

    The Giants are one of the worst running team in the league, so there will be more dbs in coverage next week.

  32. nineroutsider says: Jan 23, 2012 2:31 PM

    Watching these 3 guys work against my 9ers made me realize just how pathetic the 9ers recievers really are. The WRs went AWOL yesterday, a must fix issue this offseason.

    The Pats are going to have their hands full with these cats, because they are the real deal especially Cruz and Nicks, Manningham is no scrub either though. I like the Giants in this game for a number of reasons and these 3 guys are 1 of them.

  33. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:32 PM

    How are they overconfident? Or are Pats fans trying to talk themselves into believing that the Giants are reading their own press clippings? Underestimating the value of Tom Coughlin being head coach AND a Wide Receivers coach previously. If ANYONE will be focused, it will be Nicks, Manningham, Cruz AND Beckum.

  34. sjhesketh says: Jan 23, 2012 2:35 PM

    Arrington came back into the game later with a shield. So he’ll be playing in the SB.

    It’s all going to depend on pressure up front.

  35. gimmeabruschi says: Jan 23, 2012 2:36 PM

    The Pats averaged scoring 8 ppg more than the Giants and gave up 4 ppg less.

    But I’m expecting a close game with the Pats winning on a fluke at the end. Ochocinco has a pass get stuck in his face-mask for the winning score.

  36. mornelithe says: Jan 23, 2012 2:37 PM

    The Pats had their hands full with the Raven’s too, and the D stepped up and delivered a performance nobody ever expected them capable of. I’m not calling a Pats win with certainty in this one, but this team somehow finds a way…their resilience is unquestionable, it shouldn’t get out of hand, and the Giants shouldn’t expect an easy win either.

    It’s going to be a very very interesting game, for sure. And I’m absolutely psyched that Hernandez will actually be playing in this game (he was out when the Pats played the Giants earlier this season). Even though odds-makers are already going w/ the Pats, I have to say they’re the public under-dog right now. Which is a great place for them to be.

    Brady needs to regroup after a terrible performance, and hopefully Gronk’s injury will cause minimal impact in the SB. Either way, good luck Giants, see you in Indy!!!!

  37. kd75 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:38 PM

    Eli is going to carve up that Pats D like a Thanksgiving turkey. I don’t understand how the Pats are -3 in this game. But I’ll bet that every day of the week.

  38. thehouseofho says: Jan 23, 2012 2:45 PM

    kellyb9 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM
    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.
    ===============

    The point PFT forgot to mention is that when the Giants played the Pats in week 9, Gronkowski, Welker and Hernandez all played. However, Nicks was out that game and the Pats only saw Manningham and Cruz.

    So, the Giants already dealt with and survived the Pats’ Big 3, but NE will only be watching tape of the Giants’ Big 3.

  39. PFTiswhatitis says: Jan 23, 2012 2:47 PM

    Kinda sucks that we have to revisit the 2007 Superbowl, Tyree, and all that crap…uggh…if we must then I hope at least Asante Samuel gets to watch his half-hearted effort on the would-have-been game closing INT a few hundred times. Thanks again Asante. I hope you rot in Philly.

  40. Steve B says: Jan 23, 2012 2:48 PM

    If the Redskins can beat the Giants twice, the Patriots can beat the Giants.

  41. skinsfantom says: Jan 23, 2012 2:49 PM

    giants in a blowout. someone please tell welker he is allowed to take steps after catching ball and doesn’t have to go to ground immediately, it’s very annoying.

  42. weepingjebus says: Jan 23, 2012 2:49 PM

    The SBs the Patriots won were with patched together defenses and a bunch of no-name cast offs.

  43. shaner329 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:50 PM

    Eli is lucky he has 2 weeks to recover that beating the 49ers defense gave him. That O-line for the Giants yesterday looked hurrendous.

  44. pencepost says: Jan 23, 2012 2:51 PM

    Passing yds: Patriots 3rd, Giants 4th.
    Passing yds allowed: Patriots 31st, Giants 29th.

    Should be a fun one.

  45. bullcharger says: Jan 23, 2012 2:53 PM

    Belichick won’t be rolling out the same defense he did against the Ravens. He decided to stop Ray Rice at all costs and let Flacco try to beat them deep in the face of a rush.

    The safeties will be back there against the Giants.

    The Giants receivers are better, but they don’t have Michael Strahan or good linebackers or a good secondary. Brady will get his points too.

  46. bozosforall says: Jan 23, 2012 2:54 PM

    kellyb9 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM
    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.

    __
    They already handled Davis, Walker and Crabtree, so no problem.

  47. jakek2 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:56 PM

    Whoever would have thunk it? The Pats gameplan should be to run the ball and keep Eli and Co. off the field. With a running game, the Pats can playaction to Gronk/Hernandez pretty effectively. However, with no run game, the Giants’ pass rush is not going to give those two TEs enough time to get down field. In fact, the Pats might have to hold at least one of them in to help protect. Should be an interesting game. As a Giants’ fan, I fully expect BB to have a masterful plan.

  48. akismet-d566ccc9ddf097554dcac708313d1fb4 says: Jan 23, 2012 3:01 PM

    FYI, points given up per game during 2011:

    Pats: 20.7
    NYG: 23.4

    For all that talk about how bad the Pats defense is (which is the best its been all year), the Giants defense gives up more points, which, last time I checked, are more important than yards.

    Also, how about the Giants o-line, superb huh…they’re almost as good as the pats secondary. However, I agree PFT, that wont come into play.

  49. klunge says: Jan 23, 2012 3:01 PM

    bigdicebuddha says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:29 PM
    Do you think Stafford could have taken the beating that Eli did last night, and still hung in there to make those throws in the pouring rain?
    ————————————————
    Yes. And uhnami wasn’t dissing Eli anyhow so why are you being sensitive about it? It was just a remark directed at haters around here who won’t give credit where it’s due. Some say w/o Calvin, Stafford would be crap. Untrue, same as saying Eli looks good only because of his receivers. It takes quality players on both ends of the pass for awesomeness to be achieved.

  50. ljtola says: Jan 23, 2012 3:12 PM

    Victor Cruz is what D-Jack thinks he is and what Al Davis thought DHB would be.

  51. bspurloc says: Jan 23, 2012 3:14 PM

    .
    patriots aren’t that good.
    Giants had a heavy schedule at the end of the year and stomped them out

    18-1, belicheat will be denied AGAIN….

  52. suhnami says: Jan 23, 2012 3:15 PM

    klunge says: Jan 23, 2012 3:01 PM

    bigdicebuddha says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:29 PM
    Do you think Stafford could have taken the beating that Eli did last night, and still hung in there to make those throws in the pouring rain?
    ————————————————
    Yes. And uhnami wasn’t dissing Eli anyhow so why are you being sensitive about it? It was just a remark directed at haters around here who won’t give credit where it’s due. Some say w/o Calvin, Stafford would be crap. Untrue, same as saying Eli looks good only because of his receivers. It takes quality players on both ends of the pass for awesomeness to be achieved.

    ——————————————————-

    THANK YOU!

    my point is simply that…Stafford is 1 of 4 in NFL history to toss for 5,000 yards and gets the snub when he topped Eli in nearly every statistical category…and the argument that gets tossed around is “well if Stafford didn’t have calvin…”

    Its a ridiculous notion as EVERY top QB in the NFL has some ridiculous weapons…nobody questions Brees with Graham, Colston, Sproles, and company…or Rodgers with Jennings, Nelson, Finley…OR ELI WITH THESE 3.

    I mean what about this Joe Montana fella?? god how over stated are his accomplishments….i mean seriously the guy had Jerry Rice for cryin out loud! (yes that’s sarcasm)

  53. situsavaisprier says: Jan 23, 2012 3:16 PM

    This is the post season, not the regular season. Both teams aren’t the same as they were during the regular season. Giants defense has improved dramatically thanks to better play calling and scheming, health, and performance. Same goes for New Englands defense. During the season their defense was pretty bad, especially the pass defense. Now in general the defense has played better. I think Giants will win, but we shall see. Go Giants.

  54. wakexxl says: Jan 23, 2012 3:20 PM

    Love my Patriots to death but this game makes me very nervous, the Giants are not underdogs the Pats are.
    Brady needs to light it up, if he does not do this they will lose.

  55. flash1283 says: Jan 23, 2012 3:22 PM

    Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:31 PM
    kellyb9 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM
    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.
    ———–

    No they won’t. They shut down all three last game, and Jacquian is playing even better than before. Add to that Boley handling Hernandez and you sir, have no point.
    ——

    Really they shut them down?

    W. Welker 9 rec 136 yards
    R. Gronkowski 8 rec 101 yards

  56. tuucamaron says: Jan 23, 2012 3:23 PM

    I love the Giants <3

  57. mobuccsfan says: Jan 23, 2012 3:24 PM

    This game goes either way but because of my strong dislike for the Patriots, I’m going on a limb and saying this now…watch for either Hicks ala Hail Mary (Tyree type catch) or Cruz (ala a 80-99 yard grab and go like he had a few weeks back) to seal the game late with the Giants winning by three to four points. That is what I’m hoping for anyways!

  58. Pat MyHog says: Jan 23, 2012 3:32 PM

    Turnovers played a big part in the last game. Giants got 4 and Patriots got 2. Giants won on a 3rd down and goal pass with 15 seconds left. I love how the Giants fans are so overconfident already.

    This is a 9-7 team that lost to the Redskins twice, got demolished by the Seahawks at home and obliterated by the Saints on national TV.

    Its gonna be a close one either way.

  59. havok82 says: Jan 23, 2012 3:33 PM

    You do realize that this is almost the reverse of 2007, right? Except this time it is the Giants fans out here crowing how they are going to mow down the Pats.

    The Giants got TORCHED by Davis last night. Gronkowski or Hernandez can do that to us, too. The Pats should have Vollmer back, so that moves Solder to 3rd TE status to help with blocking. It’s going tobe a different game from the regular season and the 2007 SB.

    By all rights it should be a shootout, but who knows? Both are playing pretty well and both are VERY lucky to be playing in this SB. If not for some special teams gaffes, they could be on the couch 2/5.

  60. xxsweepthelegxx says: Jan 23, 2012 3:34 PM

    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.
    ———–

    No they won’t. They shut down all three last game, and Jacquian is playing even better than before. Add to that Boley handling Hernandez and you sir, have no point.

    ————-
    Dude…Ballard caught the game winning TD (24-20) with 15 seconds left in the game after Eli drove them 80 yds…you act like the Giants won by 30. It should still be damn good game.

  61. schmitty2 says: Jan 23, 2012 3:36 PM

    bozosforall says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:54 PM
    kellyb9 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM
    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.

    __
    They already handled Davis, Walker and Crabtree, so no problem

    Are you really trying to compare these 2 groups of receivers?? Really??

  62. east96st says: Jan 23, 2012 3:37 PM

    Giants 3 WRs Regular season – 197 recs, 3251 yards, 20 TDs, in 32 games started.

    NE WR & TEs – 291 recs, 3806, yds, 33 TDs, in 43 games started.

    Giants D had 48 sacks and NE had 40.

    In postseason –

    NE Offense ranked #2 and Giants #4.
    Giants D ranked #2 and NE ranked #4
    The Giants RBs are ranked #2 (Bradshaw) and #4 (Jacobs) overall.
    Nicks and Cruz are ranked #1 and #5 as Receivers. Manningham is #14.
    Gronk is #6 and Hernandez is #13. Welker is #16.
    The Giants have 9 sacks and NE has 8.
    Brady is ranked #2 and Eli is #3.

    From a stats perspective, it should be a lot of fun.

  63. bigbluelou says: Jan 23, 2012 3:37 PM

    Don’t think for one minute New England’s defense is even remotely close to San Frans. After beating the Falcons, Packers and Niners, I think the Giants can hold their own with the Pats. Kill the head, the body dies.

  64. thehouseofho says: Jan 23, 2012 3:42 PM

    mornelithe says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:37 PM

    It’s going to be a very very interesting game, for sure. And I’m absolutely psyched that Hernandez will actually be playing in this game (he was out when the Pats played the Giants earlier this season). Even though odds-makers are already going w/ the Pats, I have to say they’re the public under-dog right now. Which is a great place for them to be.
    =============

    Actually, Hernandez DID play in week 9. He scored the first Pats TD. It was the Giants who were down one of their Big 3 receiving threats (Nicks was out).

  65. meepein says: Jan 23, 2012 3:44 PM

    Both mediocre pass defenses will have their hands full with all the other team’s targets. So, the solution?

    Hit the QB.

    Come on now, is it that hard to figure out the plan? If you want to stop the Giants WR’s from killing you, stop them from getting the ball. Same with the Pats TE’s.

    Whoever hits the opposing QB more will win. And that is why, as a Pats fan, I am both nervous (damn that is a good pass rush on the Giants) and optimistic (damn that is an awful O-Line on the Giants.) If our O-Line can hold for 60 minutes, we can win. It is all on them.

  66. patsfiend says: Jan 23, 2012 3:48 PM

    Hearing all these Giants fans sounding so sure and overconfident is like sweet music to my ears.

  67. bozosforall says: Jan 23, 2012 3:49 PM

    flash1283 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 3:22 PM
    Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:31 PM
    kellyb9 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM
    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.
    ———–

    No they won’t. They shut down all three last game, and Jacquian is playing even better than before. Add to that Boley handling Hernandez and you sir, have no point.
    ——

    Really they shut them down?

    W. Welker 9 rec 136 yards
    R. Gronkowski 8 rec 101 yards

    __
    And they STILL lost.

  68. thetruth1313 says: Jan 23, 2012 3:50 PM

    Well then- I guess the Patriots should just pack it in and give the trophy to the Giants!

    Every weeks its been something with the defense.

    The entire season- the give up so many yards, 32nd ranked defense just about the entire season. Blah Blah Blah! They wont make the playoffs with that defense…FAIL

    Divisional playoff game- one and done, defense has no chance to stop Tebow and Thomas…FAIL.

    AFCC- No way they can stop Ray Rice and Torrey Smith will have a huge day…FAIL

    SB- Giants got 3 great receivers. That they do but I will still take my chances with the Pats!

    Go PATS- Revenge Tour!

  69. thehouseofho says: Jan 23, 2012 3:51 PM

    suhnami says:
    Jan 23, 2012 3:15 PM
    klunge says: Jan 23, 2012 3:01 PM

    bigdicebuddha says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:29 PM
    Do you think Stafford could have taken the beating that Eli did last night, and still hung in there to make those throws in the pouring rain?
    ————————————————
    Yes. And uhnami wasn’t dissing Eli anyhow so why are you being sensitive about it? It was just a remark directed at haters around here who won’t give credit where it’s due. Some say w/o Calvin, Stafford would be crap. Untrue, same as saying Eli looks good only because of his receivers. It takes quality players on both ends of the pass for awesomeness to be achieved.

    ——————————————————-

    THANK YOU!

    my point is simply that…Stafford is 1 of 4 in NFL history to toss for 5,000 yards and gets the snub when he topped Eli in nearly every statistical category…and the argument that gets tossed around is “well if Stafford didn’t have calvin…”

    Its a ridiculous notion as EVERY top QB in the NFL has some ridiculous weapons…nobody questions Brees with Graham, Colston, Sproles, and company…or Rodgers with Jennings, Nelson, Finley…OR ELI WITH THESE 3.

    I mean what about this Joe Montana fella?? god how over stated are his accomplishments….i mean seriously the guy had Jerry Rice for cryin out loud! (yes that’s sarcasm)
    ==================
    I’m not taking anything away from Stafford, but here’s the problem with your argument. Eli wasn’t named to the Pro Bowl over Stafford. Eli was named to the Pro Bowl over Cam Newton and Newton was named the first alternate over Stafford. People can say what they want about Stafford deserving to be named to the Pro Bowl over Eli, but they all seem to forget that Newton was chosen over Stafford to take Eli’s place.

  70. dmretrogames says: Jan 23, 2012 3:54 PM

    Screw stats. Football is about match ups, and those are in NY’s favor. Eli was finding holes in the Niners’ defense in the slop and rain. Hard to fathom he won’t find more on a fast track against the Patriots.

  71. mrconnors says: Jan 23, 2012 3:54 PM

    Yeah, we get it Mr Wright 212, the 9-7 Giants are so awesome, and the Patriots have no chance.

  72. bozosforall says: Jan 23, 2012 3:56 PM

    bullcharger says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:53 PM
    Belichick won’t be rolling out the same defense he did against the Ravens. He decided to stop Ray Rice at all costs and let Flacco try to beat them deep in the face of a rush.

    The safeties will be back there against the Giants.

    The Giants receivers are better, but they don’t have Michael Strahan or good linebackers or a good secondary. Brady will get his points too.

    __
    The Giants don’t need Strahan…they have Tuck, and Pierre-Paul…and their secondary is still better than the Pats’ secondary.

  73. mornelithe says: Jan 23, 2012 3:57 PM

    Should be even more competitive than their first match-up this year. Think about it, how often do the Pats lose to the same team twice in a year? I’m not going to go out and say the Pats will certainly win, but this game is going to be just as hard fought as the Conference games, I’m betting.

    The Giants had these guys earlier in the season also, and it wasn’t a blowout. If anything, the Pats D has gotten even more impressive as the playoffs have unfolded, so it could come down to who makes more mistakes.

    Given Brady’s performance on Sunday, I’m thinking (hoping?) for a dramatic turn around in his performance (he’s going to need to step up this time, for real). He can’t rely on the Pats D to win all their playoff games, it needs to be balanced. I want the Pats to win, but I know the Giants aren’t going to lay down quietly, by any means.

    Should be a great night in Indy!

  74. bozosforall says: Jan 23, 2012 4:01 PM

    Pat MyHog says:
    Jan 23, 2012 3:32 PM
    Turnovers played a big part in the last game. Giants got 4 and Patriots got 2. Giants won on a 3rd down and goal pass with 15 seconds left. I love how the Giants fans are so overconfident already.

    This is a 9-7 team that lost to the Redskins twice, got demolished by the Seahawks at home and obliterated by the Saints on national TV.

    Its gonna be a close one either way.

    ___
    Not nearly as overconfident as you obnoxious Pats fans.

  75. jbcommonsense says: Jan 23, 2012 4:06 PM

    Reality: The Pats have one hell of an offense too. This game will be good, and, despite the Giants defense, will be high-scoring. It could easily be either team winning by one score.

  76. akismet-d566ccc9ddf097554dcac708313d1fb4 says: Jan 23, 2012 4:09 PM

    Antrelle Roll spouting his mouth and gauranteeing victory’s is enough said. Karma’s sucks.

    Plus, when it comes down to it. Pats will probably win the battle in the trenches, and that’s the difference. Yup, pats o-line will get it done, and Pats d-line is bolstered with very good LBs, where as the Giants o-line is a pop warner team, and so are the LBs.

  77. jackntorres says: Jan 23, 2012 4:24 PM

    Bellichick seriously wants to play Edelman on defense offense and special teams? The hood of the hoodie must be warming an empty skull. If Edelman is on Cruz nicks or manningham then goodnight Boston. The hoodie has lost it. Edelman on Boldin in the 2 min drill? Smmfh

  78. kisstherings says: Jan 23, 2012 4:29 PM

    @bullcharger says:Jan 23, 2012 2:53 PM

    Belichick won’t be rolling out the same defense he did against the Ravens. He decided to stop Ray Rice at all costs and let Flacco try to beat them deep in the face of a rush.

    The safeties will be back there against the Giants.

    The Giants receivers are better, but they don’t have Michael Strahan or good linebackers or a good secondary. Brady will get his points too
    ——————————————————-

    Perfectly said! And Billy B will have a gameplan for these guys. He doesn’t lose to the same team twice in one year very often. Especially if he has an exra week to review the tape. If folks remember – The Pats lost to the Rams in the 2001 regular season too. Everybody said they didn’t have a chance, and look at the gameplan he came up with. This will be a great game and the Giants will have as much or more of a handful with the Pats offense.

  79. mornelithe says: Jan 23, 2012 4:32 PM

    @ TheHouseofHo: Yeah, that’s really weird, I’ve no idea why I thought Hernandez was out that game but you’re right, I checked earlier today and he had only a few catches that day. My apologies, I was incorrect.

  80. mornelithe says: Jan 23, 2012 4:35 PM

    @ Bozosforall: Actually, it looks like most Pats fans are being pretty honest in this one. Some are even admitting the Giants have a better chance here. Though, everyone said that about the 2007 Pats also, and we know what happened there.

    Both teams have performed brilliantly in the off-season, so either way it’s going to be a great game. Get off the Pats hate for a moment (I know, you jump at any chance to rip on anything Boston related), and just relish in what’s going to be a great great game.

  81. armchairqb says: Jan 23, 2012 4:35 PM

    Last team with the ball wins. It’ll be a shootout.

  82. abp3377 says: Jan 23, 2012 4:44 PM

    i think ochocinco is going to have a huge game. i’m calling it right now.

  83. gcsuk says: Jan 23, 2012 4:47 PM

    I haven’t read all the above posts, but I am assuming that SOMEONE said that the Giants will have their hands full too. Gronk, Hernandez, and Welker are NOT pikers. Giants will be pressed.

  84. bozosforall says: Jan 23, 2012 4:58 PM

    mornelithe says:
    Jan 23, 2012 4:35 PM
    @ Bozosforall: Actually, it looks like most Pats fans are being pretty honest in this one. Some are even admitting the Giants have a better chance here. Though, everyone said that about the 2007 Pats also, and we know what happened there.

    Both teams have performed brilliantly in the off-season, so either way it’s going to be a great game. Get off the Pats hate for a moment (I know, you jump at any chance to rip on anything Boston related), and just relish in what’s going to be a great great game.

    __
    When I see NE sports fans lay off of rivals of their teams like the Yankees, Lakers, Canadiens or Jets, I’ll do the same regarding the NE sports teams. In other words, don’t count on it…because I know that there is no way that New Englanders will ever do what you are requesting of me. Try cleaning up your own backyard with your own fans before you try and tell me what to do.

  85. blahblahblah1313 says: Jan 23, 2012 5:01 PM

    August 1969. the Pats dbs will be awful lonely if they show up next week. Unless it’s in hawaii. The SuperBowl is 2 weeks from now. However i am willing to bet they have no trouble not giving up yards or TDs next week…

  86. szwhtsup123 says: Jan 23, 2012 5:23 PM

    No surprise here that the Giants are the underdogs – no one has given them any credit all year. They’re never favored or picked to win, even now, and everyone knows the NFC is much tougher than the AFC. The Giants also had the toughest schedule in the league. Are you kidding? Big Blue train keeps a rolling on the way to hoisting the Lombardi once again, and Elite-I finally gets out of big brother’s shadow. This is gonna be fun to watch….

  87. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Jan 23, 2012 5:27 PM

    Bill is sitting at the top of a tower somewhere reading his oldest books and conjuring up some masterful defensive schemes.

  88. righthereisay says: Jan 23, 2012 5:31 PM

    I hope it isn’t close, Giants win big. This way, I can enjoy the entire night.

  89. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Jan 23, 2012 5:31 PM

    O and anyone who thinks that the giants pass rush isn’t going to eat up the pats o-line you’re crazy. Brady is gonna have his hands full

  90. RyanFeet says: Jan 23, 2012 5:44 PM

    I think Tuck and Osi iare both going to step up and have a tremendous game. They will be the difference.

  91. bingobrown12 says: Jan 23, 2012 5:50 PM

    Pats fan here

    I think it will definitely be a shootout.Interesting
    fact is that the Pats were winning late in both of
    their losses to the Giants.If the Pats are again in
    the lead they have to go for throat this time.

  92. bullcharger says: Jan 23, 2012 5:52 PM

    andrejohnsonforpresident says:Jan 23, 2012 5:31 PM

    O and anyone who thinks that the giants pass rush isn’t going to eat up the pats o-line you’re crazy. Brady is gonna have his hands full

    ————

    Did you watch their first game this year? The Patriots put an extra lineman in as a tight end and blocked it up. Solder was a TE in the past. It means one less receiver in the pattern for the Patriots, but it stops that d-line pretty well.

  93. bobhk says: Jan 23, 2012 5:56 PM

    bozosforall says:Jan 23, 2012 2:54 PM

    kellyb9 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM
    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.

    __
    They already handled Davis, Walker and Crabtree, so no problem.
    ——-
    They did not handle Davis (he had over 100 yards and 2 tds). If Crabtree had remotely done his part the outcome could have been different.

    That said, I’m thinking that pats are about to be crushed. Their D is not on the same planet as niners D and Eli put 20 points. I think pats are going to be massacred. They have no one to stop Cruz, nicks and manningham.
    On the other side, giants can bring the heat against Brady knowing they don’t have to respect the run (pats have no one of gore’s caliber).
    Giants are going to pin their ears back and rush the passer. They are. The most balanced team and Brady is going to be on this back.

    I have no skin in the game but I see a giants rout.

  94. tedmurph says: Jan 23, 2012 6:11 PM

    Pat MyHog says:
    Its gonna be a close one either way

    bozosforall says:
    Not nearly as overconfident as you obnoxious Pats fans.

    This guy is so blind with hate, he’s even given up trying to make sense. And since when are the Canadiens or jets rivalries. Irrelevant speedbumps on the way to titletown.

  95. bozosforall says: Jan 23, 2012 6:16 PM

    bobhk says:
    Jan 23, 2012 5:56 PM
    bozosforall says:Jan 23, 2012 2:54 PM

    kellyb9 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 2:12 PM
    In related news, the Giants will have their hands full with Gronkowski, Welker, and Hernandez.

    __
    They already handled Davis, Walker and Crabtree, so no problem.
    ——-
    They did not handle Davis (he had over 100 yards and 2 tds). If Crabtree had remotely done his part the outcome could have been different.

    That said, I’m thinking that pats are about to be crushed. Their D is not on the same planet as niners D and Eli put 20 points. I think pats are going to be massacred. They have no one to stop Cruz, nicks and manningham.
    On the other side, giants can bring the heat against Brady knowing they don’t have to respect the run (pats have no one of gore’s caliber).
    Giants are going to pin their ears back and rush the passer. They are. The most balanced team and Brady is going to be on this back.

    I have no skin in the game but I see a giants rout.

    __
    They “handled” them, as in they won. All that matters…just like in SB 42.

    I don’t think that it will be a rout by either team but you make a lot of good points as to why the Giants will prevail. Let the Pats fans keep on dreaming about “revenge” (such a silly juvenile thought, but then again they are the biggest crybaby fans in all of sport)…the Giants will just take care of business.

  96. bcgreg says: Jan 23, 2012 7:01 PM

    Don’t you people get it yet? The spread has NOTHING to do with who the oddsmakers think will win the game and by how much. It has to do with evening out the betting. By the end of this week it’ll be the NYG favored by 3. By the time the SB rolls around, it’ll be a pick ‘em or +7 depending on the bets placed.

    That being said and being a Pats fan, I’m shocked that the Pats opened up as 3 point favorites. Should be the other way around.

  97. bcgreg says: Jan 23, 2012 7:07 PM

    I love this. Giants didn’t have Manningham, Cruz or Nicks. Well, the Pats didn’t have Gronk, Hernandez or Branch (Don’t discount Branch. He’s come up big in SBs.). They also didn’t have Green-Ellis or Woodhead (both scary little weapons). And stop bashing Edelman. He actually did a nice job on Boldin for a lot of that game.

    Wanna know what the Pats are gonna do to Cruz, Manningham, and Nicks? Watch SB 36. They’re gonna hit ‘em hard. And hit’em often.

    NE–28
    NY–17

  98. pats1995 says: Jan 23, 2012 7:12 PM

    The Giants will have their hands full with Ochocinco!

  99. descendency says: Jan 23, 2012 7:15 PM

    Julian Edelman will pick of 3 passes and return 2 for touchdowns on his way to a landslide Super Bowl MVP.

  100. bobhk says: Jan 23, 2012 7:43 PM

    bcgreg says:
    Jan 23, 2012 7:07 PM
    I love this. Giants didn’t have Manningham, Cruz or Nicks. Well, the Pats didn’t have Gronk, Hernandez or Branch (Don’t discount Branch. He’s come up big in SBs.). They also didn’t have Green-Ellis or Woodhead (both scary little weapons). And stop bashing Edelman. He actually did a nice job on Boldin for a lot of that game.

    Wanna know what the Pats are gonna do to Cruz, Manningham, and Nicks? Watch SB 36. They’re gonna hit ‘em hard. And hit’em often.

    NE–28
    NY–17
    ————
    It’s laughable how deluded Pats fans can get. Niners have the most physical D in the NFL and (as much as it pains me) Cruz still had his way. Edelman did a good job on Boldin because he’s a possession receiver. Let him try to cover Nicks or Cruz…
    This is the first time I’ve had anyone say Green-Ellis and Woodhead and scary in the same sentence (unless they were said in context of scary bad for the Pats). The two combined had 1000 yards barely.
    Niners had a pretty good pass rush on Eli and he still put up 300 yards and 20 points. Ravens made Brady look bad.

    My question is who in the world is going to rush the passer for the Pats (niners had both the smiths, McDonald, etc). Giants have tuck, JPP, Osi, and Kiwi. How are they going to block those guys when they don’t have to respect the run.

  101. bobhk says: Jan 23, 2012 8:28 PM

    I re-read the post by bc-greg and it made me laugh harder. NY put up 20 points on the niners…you expect anyone outside of Boston to believe that the soft Pats D is going to limit the Giants to 17??
    Then I read the article above (I did not see the game). According to this article, Boldin had his way with Edelman. He’s going to be toasted by any one of Nicks, Cruz, and Manningham.

    Man, the more I think about it, the more I believe it’s gonna get ugly for the Pats soon. They won’t be able to stop that NY offense. On other hand, Gronk may be able to do some damage (as Davis did) but I guarantee that the Giants DL will put plenty of pressure on Brady.

  102. giselleisasucubus says: Jan 23, 2012 9:22 PM

    Yes, the Pats are going to have their hands full, but they have their own advantages. Giants linebackers- terrible. Pats kill teams w/te’s & slot wr’s, crossing routes, seam routes, the areas where the giants struggle. Another new wrinkle-Pats up front. They are much better than they were in 07. This is a trench game, & I think the Pats are more equipped to win this game. Pats 38-34

  103. giselleisasucubus says: Jan 23, 2012 9:27 PM

    Btw- all u Patriot haters are a bunch of f&@king retards. Get a clue.

  104. giselleisasucubus says: Jan 23, 2012 9:38 PM

    What a dumb argument saying Edelman can cover Boldin better than say Cruz. Boldin is way bigger than Cruz. I would rather have Edelman on a small slot guy. The Pats will play a deep zone, cover 2 and wilfork will get pressure up the middle. Giants fans, don’t get overconfident like us Pats fans did in 07. This game will be close again. Last team w/ the ball wins.

  105. bobhk says: Jan 23, 2012 10:39 PM

    @ giselleisasucubus
    you must be the dumbest guy on the planet. Cruz is actually bigger than Edelman. More importantly he’s gonna leave edelman eating his dust. A pro bowl CB rogers gave up over 100 yards to him. Who’s edelman?
    I respect Wilfork but who other than him will rush the passer? Andre Carter is gone.
    Tuck, JPP, and Osi are gonna leave cleat marks on Brady’s face.
    The only three people Giants will worry about are Gronk Welker and Hernandez. They can easily rush Brady with 4 and have 7 people covering those 3 guys plus two RBs.
    Pats are finished….
    Edelman may cover Cruz. Who do you have that’ll cover Nicks? Manningham? All three can beat you.

  106. bcgreg says: Jan 24, 2012 11:14 AM

    @ bobhk

    The difference between SF and NE at TE (you brought up Davis) is that NE has TWO excellent TEs to SFs one. Good luck with them. If you concentrate on them, watch out for Welker and Branch. I love the way you brushed off NEs other receivers too (just complimenting Gronk).

    And, I called Green-Ellis and Woodhead “scary little weapons” because if you don’t account for them, they can burn you for good chunks. Obviously, Bradshaw and Jacobs are your more classic RBs, but the way NE uses their RBs, which is different than the way they used Maroney and Faulk in 2007, they can hurt you. But if you want to get into the numbers, NEs top 3 RBs (G-E, Woodhead and Ridley) carried the ball 345x for 1459 yards at a 4.2 yds/carry clip and 13 TDs. The NYGs top 3 RBs (Bradshaw, Jacobs and Ware) carried the ball 369x for 1393 yds at a 3.77 yds/carry clip and 16 TDs. My point was don’t sleep on NEs RBs.

    And the Giants may well put pressure on Brady, but the Ravens didn’t. All I heard last week was how Brady was gonna be under pressure all day. Didn’t happen. We’ll see. I’m not saying that the NYG have no chance like you seem to be saying about NE. They can win this game, but I have a feeling NE will step up defensively.

    One last difference between SB 42 and this year is that 4 years ago, the Pats were not playing very good going into the game. This year they’re playing a lot better down the stretch. The NYG are a complete mirror of what they did 4 years ago–mediocre regular season, turning on the jets in the post season.

    So, laugh all you want, bobhk. SF may have the most physical D, but I didn’t see them hit the Giants’ WRs at the line. I didn’t see them hit them at all. They hit Eli pretty good, but they didn’t hit the WRs. That’s why I said watch SB 36. I have a feeling that BB will employ the same kind of game plan.

    And I stand by my prediction.

  107. goddamnthatsfunny says: Jan 24, 2012 11:19 AM

    Cruz is a beast

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