It's Super Bowl time, which means that blowhards and prognosticators are out in full force. Luckily, Adam Schein is here to dispel the falsehoods and set the record straight when it comes to all the predictions.
Tom Brady will outplay Eli Manning
FICTION! Did you notice how uncomfortable Tom Brady looked against the Ravens right from the beginning of the game? Bill Belichick did, and that’s why he started dialing up BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Brady is an all-time great, clutch quarterback, but he has to deal with the Giants’ revamped, intense pass rush. Manning, on the other hand, has speed receivers in Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham and is going up against the Patriots’ overmatched defensive backs on the Lucas Oil turf. Eli, in a season that proved he is elite, will have more yards and touchdowns and fewer picks. Book it.
Rob Gronkowski's injury will hurt the Patriots
FACT! How could it not?! Sure, Brady still has Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker to play with, and they represent problems for the Giants' defense. But Gronk is clearly not 100 percent after banging up his ankle on Championship Sunday, and he was seen in a walking boot this week. Gronkowski had a season for the ages in 2011, setting a tight-end record for touchdowns, and he dominated the Giants earlier in the season. I’m sure Gronk will play, but he won’t have the burst he normally does to barrel through potential tacklers. At 6-foot-6 with soft hands, incredible toughness and great speed when healthy, a neutralized Gronk hurts New England.
Bill Belichick will outcoach Tom Coughlin
FICTION! I am on record calling Bill Belichick the single best coach in all of sports over the past 30 years. But have you noticed how Tom Coughlin has coached and motivated during this incredible five-game winning streak? Coughlin challenged Justin Tuck before the Jets game, and Tuck’s back to dominating. Coughlin got malcontents such as Osi Umenyiora, Antrel Rolle and Brandon Jacobs to focus. And he coached the pants off of Mike Smith, Mike McCarthy and Jim Harbaugh in the playoffs.
The Giants will have more sacks than the Patriots
FICTION! The Giants only sacked Tom Brady twice in the first meeting this year. And an underrated storyline for the red-hot Patriots is that their defense has played much better down the stretch. They are generating a pass rush. Vince Wilfork is an absolute star. Mark Anderson’s had a great second half of the season. And the Giants offensive line nearly got Eli Manning killed against San Fran. Manning was sacked six times and hit another 12 times.
The Patriots are out for revenge
FICTION! Look, Bill Belichick refuses to acknowledge the past, good or bad. He won’t even confirm the name of his team is the New England Patriots. And that’s a good thing. The Patriots will never get back the chance to go 19-0. Belichick and the veterans know that. Revenge is a great storyline for the media and the fans. Belichick, Brady, Wilfork and company are solely thinking about beating the Giants in Indy and winning the 2012 Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl will come down to the wire
FACT! This game is going to be epic. Both teams know how to take a punch and deliver a punch. Belichick and Coughlin are two of the best coaches in the sport. Brady and Manning are among the five best, or elite, quarterbacks in the NFL. While I am surprised the Giants are underdogs since they beat New England earlier this year without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw, this is a very even matchup.