Whether you’re interested in football or not, you’ll be watching Sunday night as the New England Patriots face off against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Not because you think it’ll be a close football game (which it will be), and not because of the commercials (which always disappoint).
You’ll tune in because it’ll be a chance to witness history, a chance to see the coronation of the greatest football team in history.
The Patriots are on the brink of sports immortality, led by arguably the best coach of his generation and certainly the most polished quarterback since Montana (yes, Tom, you know you’ve made it big when a camera is more interested in your foot than in your supermodel girlfriend).
If you’re a Giants fan, the one thing you can hold on to is the fact that expectations have never been lower going into a Super Bowl. You can’t lose (unless of course you’re foolish enough to bet for the Giants to make the spread).
If the Giants somehow manage to win this game, then you’ve just witnessed the greatest upset in sports since Herb Brooks’ squad took down the Soviets in 1980. It they don’t, well, at least they “kept it close.”
I could try to compare numbers for you, but to save some time, I’ll summarize: Patriots win, no-contest. New England is better in every facet of the game, and no matter what teams throw at them, they still find a way to win.
The advantage extends beyond just the field too, up to the front offices. Just consider the additions the Patriots made before the season began.
Randy Moss has been an important factor in these playoffs not for what he’s physically done, but for what he’s capable of doing. Going back to weeks 12 and 13, Randy Moss was shut down by the Eagles’ and Ravens’ defenses, which was one reason they were about to keep the game so close for so long. If you were a head coach watching this, it’s clear what you would focus on: stopping Moss.
The Jaguars and Chargers both did just that, holding Moss to only two catches and 32 yards over those two games. But just like the 16 teams before them, they couldn’t come out on top in the end.
Assuming the Giants follow a similar path, it’ll open up the field for the true difference maker on the Patriots offense, Wes Welker. The talented slot receiver has stepped up big when the Patriots have needed him, finding room in the middle of zone defenses.
A Patriots victory would inflame a debate over who is the greatest team in NFL history, a debate that actually began months ago. While people are sure to argue both ways on this, I’ll reiterate what Bob Costas pointed out earlier this week. In going 14-0 in the 1972 regular season, can you guess the best record that a Dolphins opponent had? 8-6. Seriously. Sure they went on to win three tough games in the playoffs, but the 1972 Dolphins just don’t compare. This year’s Patriots have already beaten playoff teams eight times, including the defending Super Bowl champions on the road.
I’m sure they won’t be treating Sunday’s game as a formality, but let’s be honest, the Patriots are the best team in football … ever.
Our pick: Patriots over Giants