Inside Enemy Territory is a feature where I ask a blogger for the Patriots’ upcoming opponent questions about their team and the upcoming game. It’s the final Inside Enemy Territory of the season, and I can’t think of a better circumstance to close out the season. The New England Patriots will be taking on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, a rematch of Super Bowl XLII and Week 9 of just this past regular season. In preparation for the big game, I contacted lead writer Joe Tufaro from FanSided’s GMEN HQ, a New York Giants blog, and asked him some questions regarding the Giants, Super Bowl strategy, and some of the storylines surrounding Sunday’s contest.
Let’s get to the questions…
1. What has sparked the late-season surge that has propelled the Giants to Super Bowl XLVI?
Defense..The Giants went to a more aggresive, physical defensive stance. They are physical with the receivers, and rush the passer with 4 when they need to play coverage. Also the maturation of guys who had to step in for injured players has been key. Good defense made the Giants a very balanced team.
2. The question of whether Eli Manning is an elite QB has been answered. Where would you rank him among the top QBs in the NFL right now?
Rodgers can throw the ball better and can run for big yardage. Eli is just behind him with Tom Brady, Brees and Big Ben. Romo, Vick, Ryan, need to win something in a big spot to move up in my opinion.
3. Do Giants fans gain more confidence in their team from what happened in Super Bowl XLII or the Patriots-Giants Week 9 game?
Super Bowl XLII was a wonderful moment, but week 9 proved to us we can beat your team as it is presently constituted, or at least be competitive in all aspects. I think what happened 4 years ago is meaningless to most players, but the fact that our starting QB has been to a Super Bowl and won is a big confidence builder for him.
4. Much was made in the New York media about Tom Brady’s comments at the Patriots’ send-off rally. What’s your take on Brady’s comments? Was he trash-talking or was it much ado about nothing?
He said nothing wrong. These two teams, now that Plaxico and Randy Moss are gone, will never say anything out of bounds. There is no need to fuel any fires and both coaches are well aware of how players and they should act.
5. What matchup is clearly in the Giants; favor? Which matchup is clearly in the Patriots’ favor?
Giants clearly have the edge in the Wide Receiver vs D-Back match-up. I would say Vince Wilfork could be a force against our interior line if we are not careful.
BONUS: If Super Bowl XLII and the game in Week 9 of the regular season were any indication, it should be a great game on Sunday. Game prediction?
Great game for sure…I think it depends on how your defense reacts to the match-ups and if the Giants can get pressure on Brady, but more important put him in position to hold the ball for longer routes. I will share more on Thursday when we do our Spreecast!