In Super Bowl XLII, the Giants and Patriots competed in one of the most exciting football games ever. The Giants won 17-14. With 1 minute left in the game, the Giants were down 10-14 but driving. After miraculously escaping pressure, Eli Manning heaved the ball to wide receiver, David Tyree, who hung on to the pigskin using his helmet. A few plays later, Manning found Plaxico Buress in the end zone to win the game. Now 4 years later, the two teams will meet again in Super Bowl XLIV. The teams are nearly equal, both offensively and defensively, but who has the slight edge?

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Quarterbacks: Everybody knows that Tom Brady is an amazing quarterback. This off-season Eli Manning said he was an elite quarterback. Manning has proved that this post-season. Throughout playoffs, Manning has led the Giants to the Super Bowl with 923 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, and only 1 interception. Brady, on the other hand, has not been elite this postseason. He has 602 passing yards, 6 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Tom Brady has historically been the better quarterback of the two, but Eli Manning is currently playing the best football of his life. Draw

Running Backs: Both offensives are pass-first offenses. The Patriot have 1,764 rushing yards this year (20th best), and the Giants have only 1,427 rushing yards (32nd best). The Giants’ running backs are more skilled than the Patriots’, but have less experience. Draw

Wide Receivers: The combination of tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Wes Welker make the Patriots extremely difficult to defend. If you double-team Gronkowski, Welker is open. If you double-team Welker, Gronkowski is open. If you double-team both Gronkowski and Welker, Tom Brady will find another receiver. The Giants don’t have the receivers to match the Patriots. Edge: Patriots

Offensive Lineman: In 2011, Eli Manning was sacked 28 times. Tom Brady was sacked 32 times. Both teams barely have running games, so this is another draw.Draw

Chris Canty and the Giants D-Line look to make Tom Brady’s Super Bowl Sunday a long one.

Defensive Line: The New England Patriots’ defensive line of Sedrick Ellis, Vince Wilfork, and Mark Anderson are no match for the Giants’ Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty and Jason Pierre Paul. The Giants’ have 48 sacks and 50 tackles for losses this year. The Patriots have 40 sacks and 41 tackles for loss. Although these stats may look nearly even, the Giants defensive line is far superior. The Patriots play a 3-4 defense, allowing there to be only 3 defensive linemen. The Giants play a 4-3 with 4 linemen, so the Giants are harder to stop. On almost every pass play, the Giants front four put pressure on the quarterback, which doesn’t show in the stats. Edge: Giants

Secondary: To defend Tom Brady and the Patriots’ wide receivers, the Giants will need exceptional play from their secondary. This season, the Giants have intercepted 20 passes. They have given up 4,082 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. The Patriots have had 23 interceptions. They have given up 4,703 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. Not all the Patriot interceptions were caught by the secondary though. 300 lb. Vince Wilfork caught 2! The Patriots also don’t have much depth in the secondary. When they play a nickel defense, Julian Edelman, a wide receiver, plays defense, showing the lack of depth found in the Patriots’ defense. Edge: Giants

Coaches: Both Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin are considered exceptional head coaches, but Belichick has been more successful. Belichick has coached in 4 previous Super Bowls and won 3. As a head coach, Belichick has a record of 272-175 (64% wins). Coughlin career record is 142-114 (56% wins), and he has one Super Bowl ring. Belichick’s Super Bowl experience will be the difference maker. Edge: Patriots

X-Factors: X-Factors like experience, momentum, and drive can help or hurt a team. The Patriots have more Super Bowl experience. In the past 11 years, the Patriots have played in 5 Super Bowls and won 3. Although they only have one Super Bowl appearance and victory the past 10 years, the Giants have more momentum than the Patriots. Coming off of an underdog victory in the NFC Championship, the Giants are flying high. Meanwhile, the Patriots were favored to beat the Ravens in the AFC Championship but barely won, and Tom Brady had a terrible game. The Giants also have more toughness and drive than the Patriots. The Giants made the play offs in the last week of the regular season, and have been considered an underdog all year. They play with passion. Anyone who plays for a team in New York must deal with being under the media’s microscope 24/7. This microscope has also given the Giants something to prove, and they plan to do that by winning in Indianapolis. Edge: Giants

This promises to be one of the most evenly matched Super Bowls in history. There should be fine quarterback play and strong play defensively. Although it will be close, the Giants’ defense will lead the­ G-Men to a 20-13 Super Bowl XLIV victory.

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