The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.




by Jerry Keys

"Baseball is fathers and sons. Football is brothers beating each other up in the backyard." - Donald Hall

For only the third time in history of the Super Bowl has this occurred. Several times two teams have met in the Super Bowl, but the QBs had changed. Miami played Washington twice, SB VII and ten years later in SB XVII. Miami won the first and Washington the last. San Francisco faced off with Cincinnati twice, SB XVI and XXIII. Joe Montana was the 49'ers QB in each game. The QBs for Cincinnati was Ken Anderson in XVI and Boomer Esiason in XXIII. The 49'ers won both games.

Jerry Keys

But until now, there were two times the same teams had a re-match in the SB and with the same QBs from the first one. This first occurred in SB X and XIII when Pittsburgh locked horns with Dallas. Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach started both games as QB. Bradshaw won both games. And in back to back years, Dallas met Buffalo for SB XXVII and XXVIII. Troy Aikman and Jim Kelly were the QBs in each game. Aikman won both games.

This year's SB will give us a third look. The New York Giants and New England Patriots met for the SB just four years ago (XLII). New England had a perfect season at 16-0 and were victorious in their two playoff games at home. Their final regular season game for the 2007 season was against the Giants. The Patriots were blowing teams out right and left.

Only four games were considered close, the annual 'mini SB' against Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Baltimore (the infamous 4th down stop which was nullified because a coordinator for Baltimore had called a time-out) and the Giants.

The Giants gave New England all they could handle and almost won the game. Unlike their first meeting where 73 points were scored and was decided by three points, SB XLII was defense-dominated. The Giants prevailed with a late fourth quarter TD, 17-14. The Giants were not supposed to win that game.

They posted a 10-6 record and had to travel for all three playoff games. 2011 is not that much different. The Patriots were once again the AFC's #1 seed (13-3) and won both home games to advance to the SB. The Giants won the NFC East yet only compiled a 9-7 mark. Their playoff journey was much bumpier than the Patriots. After having their first playoff game at home, they had to travel to Green Bay and San Francisco. Both road playoff games were against teams who defeated the Giants in the regular season.

The re-match is expected to be close, just like their meeting in 2011. The Giants and Eli Manning engineered a last minute touchdown to prevail. This will be Eli's second SB and Tom Brady's fifth. Neither team has an imposing defense but seem to stop the opposition when games are in the air. Both offenses are pass-first and run to keep the corners honest.

Through the air, neither team has an advantage. They are both lethal with the pass. The Giants have a clear advantage on the ground. The pass defense for each team is ordinary and will be lit up by the opposing QB. The Giants should have more success at stopping the run and getting into the backfield to harass Brady.

If the game turns into an air show, there is no clear way to choose the winner. Four years ago New England was favored by 13 points. This time around, they are 2 point favorites. The score at halftime should be 21-17 Patriots. Eli will use the running game more in the second half and break the game open by the end of the third quarter. Final score: Giants 38; Patriots 29. Eli has already stepped out of his brother's shadow. Now, Peyton may step into Eli's shadow.

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." - Thomas Paine