Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 NFL Playoff Pickery -- Super Bowl XLVI

Last Week

Joe: 2-0 (2-0 vs. spread)
Aaron: 1-1 (2-0 vs. spread)


Joe: 7-3 (7-3 vs. spread)
Aaron: 6-4 (7-3 vs. spread)

NY Giants v. New England (-2.5)

Joe: I don't trust myself one bit when it comes to predicting this game. I really like this Giants team. I really hate this Patriots team. I think the Giants are playing their best football of the season. I feel like the Pats lucked into a monstrously weak divisional opponent and got away with one against Baltimore. I think the Giants are the better team. And yet I am petrified to pick against the upset, probably for a whole bunch of stupid reasons like karmic payback for four years ago. But does karma REALLY owe the Patriots anything? Oh, certain proprietors of ESPN fiefdoms will tell you they've been positively star-crossed for years now. They haven't even won a Super Bowl this decade!! So, okay. I'm not making this pick about karma or hot streaks or Rob Gronkowski's ankle. I'm making this about Eli Manning and Victor Cruz carving up the New England secondary at will and the Giants pass rush getting to Tom Brady just enough. God help me. Pick: NY Giants 37, New England 28

Aaron: The Patriots' season-long inability to put opponents away nearly ended their season two weeks ago against the Ravens. Admittedly, it's been easy to fling around "fluke" invectives while pointing to missed field goals and touchdown-receptions-that-weren't, but let's not forget the Giants' similar favors from the football gods in their conference championship game. QB Eli Manning spent that game drenched in terror sweat and fleeing from a frightening 49ers defense that made stop after stop. For whatever reason, the Giants' win on a special teams turnover from the 49ers hasn't been as readily dismissed. In fact, for the past two weeks, I'd argue that the most respect given to the Patriots is their opening as three-point favorites. There's been a little too much "New York KNOWS how to beat New England" analysis and referencing of the Giants' successful Super Bowl approach from four years ago. So, instead, I'll rely on my own analysis from two weeks ago: if the Patriots are involved, the final score will likely be close...and Eli Manning's drive-to-drive, play-to-play productivity schizophrenia could swing that score either way. Gulp. Pick: New England 17, NY Giants 14

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