I’m not much into making predictions.
I’m more of a wishful thinking kind of guy.
So, while I think that the Patriots are going to indeed become the first 19-0 team in NFL history, I’m wishing that they pound the Giants so bad that the gap in Michael Strahan’s teeth closes up because it’s too embarrassed to remain open any longer.
Truthfully, I think it’s going to be a close game, and that the Giants are a worthy adversary, but once again, I stay more on the “I hope” side of the spectrum. As in “I hope the Giants are down by 35 at halftime.”
Yes, I have personal NFL allegiances that require me to root against the Giants, but the Patriots are head and shoulders above everyone in the game, and I’d hate to see them falter when it matters most.
I don’t know if they’re the best team of all time or not — that would be a post-Super Bowl conversation — but they’re the best team of right now.
In my 20 years as a football fan (and six weeks as a professional sportswriter), I have never seen a team so dominant, so explosive, so calm under pressure and most importantly, so focused.
Does Bill Belichick do anything wrong? If you’re judging him by wins and losses, then obviously not, but it goes beyond that.
I’ve never seen a coach get the absolute best from every one of his 53 players the way grumpy Bill does.
In interviews, players go on and on about Belichick’s attention to detail, but I feel like that’s just the tip of the iceberg. His meticulousness is well documented, but how does he get that same rock-steady focus from his assistants and players?
That is truly the biggest marvel of the Patriots’ season. The way Belichick’s attitude and commitment to winning is reciprocated throughout his team without as much as a hiccup.
Obviously, Belichick’s attention to detail has gotten him in some trouble, but those of you who are rooting against him because he’s a “cheater” need to let it go.
I’ve got some harsh news for you. The Patriots were going to beat the Jets anyway. We’ll never know if New Engand was using those tapes during the course of the game or not, but even if they were, the Jets were 4-12 this year for a reason.
Video scandal be damned, Belichick is getting the ultimate compliment from his contemporaries around the league.
Gillette Stadium is turning into a head coach factory.
First, Charlie Weiss and Romeo Crennel. Then Eric Mangini. Now even Josh McDaniels, at 31, is expected to get a look from the Redskins (though to be fair, who hasn’t gotten a look from the Redskins).
General managers around the NFL want coaches who worked for Belichick.
By the time the Bill Belichick era is all said and done, he could make the Bill Walsh coaching tree look like a shriveled up bonsai bush.
As for the Super Bowl, Belichick has his work cut out for him. I would expect that the Patriots will try to give the Giants’ offense as many looks as possible out of that three-four set, and try to use their speed to get to Eli Manning.
I wouldn’t even be surprised to see big Vince Wilfork and Jarvis Green move around from gap to gap on the D-line to keep New York’s offensive line guessing. They’ll need to, because that front five of the Giants has really come together down the stretch.
I’m sure Tom Brady and the boys on offense will get theirs, but that Pro Bowl line in front of him will have to protect him better than they did in their week 17 win against the Giants.
As usual though, I’d expect Belichick to go into the game knowing something that Tom Coughlin doesn’t. I’d expect the Patriots to be more focused and better prepared, no matter how focused and prepared the Giants may be.
Most of all though, I hope — not predict — that the Patriots come out and be the Patriots, and beat the Giants into oblivion.