Countdown to the BIG ONE
Now that we’ve gotten through ankle-gate — yes, Brady will play in the Super Bowl and did anyone seriously think he was going to hand the reins over to Matt Cassel in the biggest game of his life? — we can focus on other matters. Here are some things I think about.
How does Tiki Barber feel about being retired? Yeah, I’ve heard him say he doesn’t miss football and he walked away at the right time. Does anyone seriously believe that? It’s got to be killing him.
Will Troy Brown be activated? Forgive me if this is a stupid question. I know he’s only played in one game all year. But who wouldn’t love to see this all-time great competitor be a part of the fourth Super Bowl and a 19-0 team?
Can Eli Manning be the Eli Manning of the last three weeks? Or does he revert to the erratic guy who showed up every Sunday before that. Therein lies the answer to whether this will be a competitive game or a blowout.
Where is Randy Moss? He’s been virtually invisible the last two weeks. Can Moss get back to the dominant receiver he was earlier in the year? Will the Giants let him, or will they double him like the Jags did?
If the game comes down to a field goal, can Gotskowski be Viniatieri, or will he be Scott Norwood? It’s a valid question. Yes, yes, yes, I know Steve made a huge kick in San Diego last year and at least one big one in Indy in last year’s AFC Championship loss, but he’s never done it with a Super Bowl on the line.
Was the first matchup between these two teams a true measuring stick to how close they are? Or were the Patriots simply tight that night because of the 16-0 hanging over them? How much will Belichick adjust from what happened in that game? Ditto on Coughlin.
Prediction? Pats 43, Giants 27.
P.S. — Yes, this is still a baseball blog despite the football dominance lately. With that in mind, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia today weighed in on Johan Santana’s imminent trade to the Mets.