Beware The Patriots

Giants or Patriots?
Patriots or Giants?

I would have thought, immediately after the Conference title games of last Sunday, that the Patriots would have been favored going into the Super Bowl. And from what I have been able to gather, that's the way the early line went, New England favored by 3 1/2 and there has been some movement, but not much, and it is now 3.

But listen to sports talk radio and the conversation is all about the Giants. About a day after the games last week, all the talk seemed to be how the Giants really have the edge in the upcoming NFL championship. Former Giants players are interviewed, current Giants players are interviewed, the 2008 Super Bowl, in which the Giants beat the 18-0 Patriots, is re-hashed, the Patriots shaky defense is broken down and left broken. It sounds like there is a rush to announce to the world, "Not so fast, my friends! The Giants can win the Super Bowl!"

What if he plays better in the Super Bowl than
he did in the AFC title game?
And the response to that is, "Well, yeah, they can win the game, nobody said they couldn't." But while the whole world is looking over at the Giants have you noticed nobody is talking about the Patriots? Have you noticed the Patriots are not talking. Well, except where quarterback Tom Brady said he would play better. And I guess that was supposed to be a private conversation.

I think it's possible that the Patriots go into "nobody believes in us" mode. Now, that's a little hard to do when you are still a 3-point favorite, but Coach Belichik has the knack for building unity in a professional team like few other coaches. He can talk them into thinking nobody believes in them and preparing like it. It is possible this game may not be as close as we are presently expecting. Remember what happened after Spygate a few years ago? After being punished by the NFL, the Patriots played like they were possessed for the next few weeks, and were obliterating people.

I'm anticipating something similar this coming week. I think the Patriots won't be just playing to win. I think they will be playing to make a statement.

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