Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports Columnists

February 5, 2012

Giants on Cruz control

Two weeks ago I predicted a Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh match-up in the Super Bowl.

So close. If Baltimore's Lee Evans hangs on to that pass in the end zone with 22 seconds left, if San Francisco doesn't make two special teams miscues ...

So, instead we have a repeat of 2008 — the New England Patriots and New York Giants. That was a good Super Bowl, and I expect today's game to be equally entertaining.

Once again, the Giants come in as the underdog and once again I think they leave with the Vince Lombardi trophy.

I don't think the Giants are the most talented team in the NFL. I still can't believe they beat the Packers in Green Bay and the 49ers in San Francisco. But they have Eli Manning, who's playing like Aaron Rodgers did last year, and they have a defense that keeps them in every game.

In fact, that's why I think New York wins tonight. I like the Giants defense better than I like New England's. I'm also wondering how effective Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will be after suffering that high ankle sprain. He's such a huge part of the New England offense that if he's limited it will certainly hinder the Patriots.

The player who has really emerged this season is New York receiver Victor Cruz. Here's a guy who played at the University of Massachusetts and wasn't even drafted. He's the Wes Welker of the Giants. Cruz has continually come up with clutch receptions in this post-season and I think he'll give the Patriots fits.

Eli Manning, a year after throwing 25 interceptions, rebounds to win MVP honors.

New York Giants 27, New England 20

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