The New England Patriots are planning a visit to the Meadowlands in New Jersey this Sunday. The 8-0 Patriots, the first place team in the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) have a game to play against another East Division team.
However, it won’t be New England’s arch rival, the New York Jets. Instead, quarterback Tom Brady and his teammates will line up against the East Division leader in the National Football Conference (NFC), the New York Giants.
Both squads are led by quarterbacks who have been named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in one or more Super Bowls. As mentioned earlier, Tom Brady, a future Hall of Famer, probably a first ballot inductee, calls signals for the Patriots while Eli Manning, Peyton Manning’s “kid brother,” takes snaps for the home team.
Although both squads are currently in first place in their respective divisions, the visiting Patriots are undefeated while the home team, the Giants, have been beaten in four out of nine games played. The squad from New England has been “a scoring machine” from the season’s opening game while the team that plays its home games in New Jersey has been “hot and cold” offensively.
It seems obvious to most fans and pundits that this game presents little challenge to the Bill Belichick-coached Patriots. They have tremendous skill players on both sides of the ball and a quarterback that elevates the play of those who line up beside him. But past performances often have little to do with games that have yet to be played.
The New York Giants have a recent history of performing well against the hard-to-beat Patriots. In fact, the “G Men” have upset the “unbeatable” Patriots in two Super Bowls in the past half dozen years. In one of those games, the Patriots were playing for a “perfect season.” All they had to do was win the game, but it was the Giants that scored the most points.
As the big game draws nearer, there is no doubt that the visitors from New England will very likely be able to score early and often against “Big Blue.” But, the Giants may be able to match the Patriots, touchdown for touchdown if Eli Manning brings his “A” game with him.
New England, a squad not generally known for its defense, has been playing extremely well when Tom Brady is on the sidelines. The Giants, on the other hand, have been vulnerable defensively. It will take lots of improvement by the home team to stop Tom Brady from throwing touchdown passes this Sunday.
New York has “come up big” in the past against the Patriots. It remains to be seen if it will be able to “rise up and beat down” the home team this Sunday.
Courtesy of the LA Times