Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Giant Miracle?

Tonight, history will be made. The undefeated New England Patriots will go against the New York Giants in their quest for a perfect season. The Giants, who have already siezed the wildcard for the playoffs, will most likely rest their starters in preparation for the playoffs. The Patriots, on the other hand, have set their sights on making history. By winning tonight, they will be 16-0, an amazing accomplishment even considering the easiness of their schedule and division. Not only this, but numerous records are threatened by the Patriots. Quarterback Tom Brady is within reach of the touchdown record, currently held by Peyton Manning. Randy Moss and Wes Welker are also close to breaking records. Not only are individual player's records at stake, but the Patriots are close to breaking the record for the most points scored by a team in a season. With all this at stake, it is likely that the Patriots will not rest their starters tonight for the playoff battles ahead. Instead, the Patriots will probably play the hardest that they ever have this season.

Should we expect a blowout then tonight? With the Patriots using all their key starters and the Giants giving theirs a rest, it seems as if New England's perfect season is inevitable. Certainly, the odds are in the Patriots' favor. However, there are some elements for tonight's game that could give the Giants the boost they need to make some history of their own: beating a 15-0 team aspiring for perfection in the last game of the season.

The Giants' advantages in tonight's game are small, but together they may prove to be enough to beat New England. Their first advantage is that this historic game will be played at Giants Stadium. As the hometeam, the Giants will have a slight edge over the Patriots. Of course, being a visiting team hasn't stopped the Patriots yet, but this is still an advantage held by New York. The second advantage held by the Giants is the possibility of bad weather. If it rains tonight in New York, Brady will not be effective in passing. He will not be able to make the huge, groundbreaking bombs to his receivers. This will limit Brady to shorter passes thereby giving the Giants the opportunity of containing him. Of course, bad weather affects the Giants' offense as well. However, New York's primary concern in tonight's game should be Brady. Anything that limits Brady will be a huge asset for the Giants, even if it harms their team as well. The third advantage possessed by the Giants is that they have nothing to lose, but the Patriots have so much to lose. The Giants are already in the playoffs. Tonight's game is not a concern for them. They are preparing for their matchup with Tampa Bay. The Patriots are playing for perfection. They are playing for the perfect season as well as the shattering of numerous records. Since the Patriots have so much more to lose than the Giants, there is alot more pressure on them to win. This added pressure could lead to them making some mistakes on the field. One mistake like a dropped pass or an interception has the potential of altering the entire course of the game.

These advantages, although small by themselves, might prove to give New York the edge they need to beat New England. And just imagine what would happen if the Giants do prevail against the Patriots. They will have enormous confidence going into their game with Tampa Bay. They beat the unbeatable Patriots. This confidence boost could be what New York needs to scoot past the playoffs and into the Super Bowl. And also imagine the effect tonight's game would have on New England if they lose. Their confidence would be broken. This could have negative implications for them during the playoffs. Tonight's game, then, has more than just the potential for record-breaking and history-making. It has the potential for determining who will make it to play in the Super Bowl.

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