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?
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.