Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 5, 2012

James Cook: Bet against Belichick?


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---- — There's one big reason the pick is New England.

Remember 2008?

Everyone in the world was picking the Patriots to roll against the New York Giants. Thanks to a circus catch by David Tyree, the Giants pulled a stunner.

Now seemingly everyone is picking the Giants, even though the Patriots are favored by three points in Las Vegas.

That's good enough for me.

The safer bet may be the over (54). Both teams have awful pass defenses, and both teams also have good passing games.

The Giants have been talking a lot of smack this week, taking shots at Tom Brady and others. One thing I would never want to face in the NFL is an uber-motivated Bill Belichick. That is way beyond tempting fate.

Even Rob Gronkowski at 50 percent gives the Patriots far too many weapons for the Giants to stop their diverse attack that can hit you from so many different looks that it's scary. New York, on the other hand, is a known commodity. There's not much new they are going to be able to pull out of the hat.

The Giants' defense isn't good against the pass (ranked 30th; Patriots are 31st), but they've also given opponents 10 first downs on 18 fourth-down attempts, which is horrible and can be pinned on their somewhat under-sized front four.

And then there's Brady, who on an average gay is still better than Eli Manning on a good day. All the talk of Eli being better than his brother if he wins a second Super Bowl is ridiculous.

Patriots 31, Giants 24