How could anyone forget the classic Super Bowl XLII matchup between the underdog New York Giants and the then-undefeated New England Patriots? A true thriller resulted in a 17-14 Giants victory, as New York turned Vegas upside down with perhaps the biggest upset in the Super Bowl since Joe Namath’s 1969 Jets topped the Baltimore Colts.

Lucky for football fans, the Patriots and Giants are set to duel for the championship for the second time in five seasons. The AFRO’s Perry Green believes it’s New England’s Super Bowl to lose. His colleague, Stephen D. Riley, thinks the opposite, in favor of the Giants. Who’ll win Super Bowl XLVI? The AFRO Sports Desk debates.

Green:
With a chance to match Joe Montana’s record for Super Bowl wins, Tom Brady won’t flinch. He wants to get to four titles just to guarantee he’ll never be left out of the “greatest quarterback ever” talk, and to sprinkle in a little revenge against the Giants. I can’t see Brady not being prepared to dissect and dismember the Giants defense. New York’s pass rush is fierce, no doubt, but they have an extremely generous secondary if the opposing quarterback has time to throw. This opposing quarterback is Brady, a guy who rarely, if ever, gets touched. I like the Pats by at least 10 points.

Riley: New England’s offensive line does a masterful job at protecting Brady and he, in turn, does an equally impressive job of showing patience and precision as he can attack a defense with both short and long passes. But New York’s pass rush is one of the most feared in the NFL, and for good reason. The Giants defensive front is deep enough to rotate eight equally talented players, allowing New York to never miss a beat. The Giants have guys sitting on their bench that would be star sack artists on other clubs. No team in the league can bring to the table what New York does in terms of rushing the passer. And that’s the reason why they’ll top New England.

Green: I’m not so much concerned with New York’s pass rush, especially considering that New England just escaped Denver and Baltimore, two defenses that had strong regular seasons. Brady isn’t just a quarterback, he’s a chess player and he’ll counter the Giants rush with audible run plays. What Brady does offensively, puts so much pressure on opposing teams psychologically that they often find themselves exerting everything they have to match the Patriots’ offensive production. Giants quarterback Eli Manning knows he is going to have to engineer some scoring drives and the league knows Manning can be prone to mistakes when trying to force things.

Riley: To me, if Manning forces anything it’s really not going to matter anyway. New England’s defense is one of the least impressive in the NFL and Manning has been having a career year. With all this talk about Brady, it’s about time you mentioned Eli. New England couldn’t stop anything that Baltimore ran against them, especially in the second half of the AFC Championship. Now pitted against Manning and a terrific band of receivers, New England could be walking into a shootout. The Giants pass rush combined with the Patriots lack of a pass rush is going to be New England’s undoing.

Green:
New England’s defense has been bad all year, yet they’re still representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. They know how to compensate for an average unit. New York’s offense is good, but let’s not mistake them for the record-setting 2007 Patriots. They can be tempered. The Pats have a defense that’s good enough to slow the Giants and most importantly, they have Brady.

Riley:
When it comes to picking a Super Bowl winner, I like to go with the more balanced team. The Giants have an elite defense—or at least they’ve been playing like it the last few weeks—and an elite quarterback. Easy pick for me: expect the Giants to dethrone the favored Patriots, again.

 

Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley

AFRO Sports Desk