Welcome to a live(ish) blog featuring all three BMC Sports bloggers.
I, Travis Miller, will be moderating, as I am neutral today, for all intents and purposes.
As I am the poor man's Tony Reali, if you will, Chris Barrows is our household New York Football Giants fan and Michael J. Clark is our New England Patriots fan. Let the games begin!
Travis: Let's start exactly how we're gonna end it guys. Pick your winner and pick the score. Chris first, then Mike can give his prediction.
Barrows: I'm going to be the different one I imagine here. I think the Giants are going to show up to play. With that in mind, a close game(though a much higher scoring game than Mr. Plaxico seems to think it's going to be). 30-27, Giants.
Clark:You are outside your mind, Mr. Barrows.
Clark: No question about it, the New England Patriots will win this game. Bill's been preparing for the Giants for two weeks now. The Pats will win a game very similar to the game they won in Week 17.
Clark: I think Tom's ankle is fine and I think Mr. Moss will wake up today. They much prefer warm weather (AZ) to cold weather.
Barrows: I agree, I think Tom's ankle is fine. And that's why I can't see this being a low scoring game. I'm a realist here, I realize the Giants have to do some big things.
Barrows: To win, the Giants have to win the game. Tom Brady is going to do well, it's a matter of the Giants cultivating their running game, and keeping turnovers down.
Clark: You say keeping turnovers down...you want to beat the Pats, you can't turn the ball over once
Barrows: Neither can the Pats, and the Giants are going to apply pressure. They put him under pressure, things can happen. Don't count out the Giants front line.
Clark: How can you say that though? The Pats turned the ball over three times Sunday against a good defense and still won.
Travis: Tom Brady has struggled throughout the playoffs, while Eli Manning has flourished. Barrows, do you buy into Eli's transformation?
Barrows: Eli's transformation has been fun to watch. I'm not going around comparing him to Peyton(because quite frankly, he'll never be THAT good), but here's my view on him.
Barrows: He's doing the job at hand. He knows that him alone can't win the game. He knows his teams strenghs and weaknesses, and uses them wisely.
Barrows: In that sense I buy it, can Eli improve, most definitely. Is Eli ready for the big stage though, I believe so.
Travis: Mr. Clark, care to comment on Brady's struggles or Eli's flourishing?
Clark: First off, Brady's has not struggled throughout the postseason...he broke a record against the Jags for his accuracy and could do no wrong.
Clark: I fully admit that Brady had the worst game of his career against the Chargers.
Clark: But he always comes up big on Super Sunday.
Travis: So three interceptions in your worst game ever doesn't entail a "struggle"?
Clark: It's a one game struggle. You said "throughout the postseason".
Clark: I'm just picking out semantics bro.
Clark: As for Eli, I think it's kind of funny that he's gotten a lot of credit for not giving away games. He's a former number 1 pick. The Giants traded picks to get him. He's supposed to be good
Barrows: I think he's progressed, maybe slower than some wanted, but he's definitely shown the fans what he brings to the game lately. The biggest thing he's attacked for, is a lack of "fire."
Travis: I think you mean Billy Volek
Clark: No, I mean the shit-talker Phillip Rivers.
Barrows: Not questioning his fire, but making it clear, Eli has it too. He simply doesn't need to make obscense gestures to the crowd to show it.
Travis: You two have done enough boasting about your own squads, so Chris, what should the Giants' main concern be when preparing for the Patriots?
Barrows: Is there any question. Tom Brady. I think the Giants can do damage against the Pat's secondardy and defensive line, but Tom Brady is the one who runs the offense, and the man who they have to put under pressure.
Travis: You're not afraid of the Giants collapsing after a turnover? Asante Samuel and Rodney Harrison?
Barrows: I think that's naturally something to think about, but Brady is still the key. Would you prefer for me to be concerned about the fact that the Pats could have taped the Giants super bowl practices?
Barrows: Oh, sorry, that wasn't mean of me, was it?
Clark: Uncalled for
Clark: Uncalled for
Travis: We'll discuss spygate later...
Travis: For now, Michael J.? Time for you to compliment the Giants. What should the Pats be most worried about?
Clark: Pats need to worry about Plaxico to the Axico. He may have a big mouth, but he's a great receiver. And the thing that worries me so much is his height. Asante and Ellis Hobbs are too short to cover him. I hope he's gimpy.
Clark: Also, the Giants have the best d-line in the league. The Pats offensive line needs to give Brady time. I have faith in them though.
Barrows: The Pats have a great offensive line, a big key to their success, so it should be interesting to watch.
Travis: Predictions for Moss' line today?
Clark: 9 catches, 150 yards, 2 TDs
Travis: Barrows, what will Plax's line be?
Barrows: 8 catches, 140 yards, 2 tds
Travis: You mentioned the weather earlier, Mike. What implications does this have on establsihing the run for the Patriots? Is it even necessary?
Travis: Or are we right back to the first half of the season where Maroney touches the ball eight times for 15 yards and no TD's?
Clark: If you look at the games where the Pats struggled (Ravens, Jets the second time, Chargers) one of the factors has been the cold weather. The Pats are a warm weather team.
Clark: I think the days of 8 carries for 15 yards are done for Maroney. He's been unbelievable in the playoffs.
Travis: Alright Barrows, the time has come. Let's play a little word association. I say something, you tell me whatever comes to mind
Travis: So through all the commotion, you ultimately don't care?
Barrows: No, not really. I think when it comes to game time, the Giants have to play great football. The Giants haven't helped themselves with Plaxico's mouth but when it breaks down,
Barrows: it's unfortunate this news came out yesterday. I'm not thinking about spygate, despite my joking earlier. I'm thinking about Tom Brady and the Patriots 18-0 team.
Travis: Your thoughts and feelings on Spygate, Mr. Clark?
Clark: It's such a non issue. I don't believe there was any wrongdoing in the Super Bowl six years ago and Spygate hasn't affected any of the outcomes this year.
Clark: The Pats are 18-0
Clark: No asterisk necessary
Clark: Well, I will say that as a Pats fan, Wes Welker has been a story all year. The biggest acquisition the Pats had for their offense this year was Welker
Clark: And that's a hard sell considering Moss caught 22 TDs
Clark: But Welker has been so consistent, he comes to play every day, and he never drops anything his way. He's been huge for the Pats this year. And for my fantasy team too.
Clark: So yes, I buy it. It's two weeks of downtime, you need something to keep fans interested
Travis: Did you draft him or pick him up later?
Clark: Actually, he was my first pick in the supplemental round on Draft Day. People looked at me funny, but I got the last laugh.
Barrows: I don't care about the stories surrounding it for the most part. When you look at the inspiriational stories, they're nice.
Barrows: That, and the whole road warriors reputation is the other fun story that I think the Giants would rather talk about.
Barrows: That's fine and all. But when you break it down, the biggest story is the fact that the Giants have a chance to be Super Bowl Champions.
Barrows: I think the story for the Giants has been the underdog story, and that's what actually makes them dangerous.
Travis: Clarkie--predictions for Kevin Faulk and Wes Welker in the big game?
Clark: 7 catches for 110 and a TD for Wes
Clark: At least two big first downs by Kevin Faulk
Travis: Barrows--how many sacks for the Giants' defense, and how many forced turnovers?
Barrows: Three sacks, and three turnovers, that's what it's going to take to beat brady.
Barrows: Not saying all those turnovers are him, but that's what they'll need to get to win.
Travis: Okay, with all that's been said, have there been any changes in your final scores? Barrows, yours was 30-27 Giants, and Clarkie, yours was 38-24 Pats.
Clark: No change to my final score. The Pats are a better team.
Barrows: No change, Pats are one hell of a team, but the Giants just might surprise people today. They have all playoffs, why not now?
Clark: Because the Pats are better, that's why not.
Travis: I first went with 49-17 Pats, but I owe the Giants' defense more credit. But also, after watching the Pats defense against the Chargers, I'm not sure I should grant the Giants two TD's.
Travis: So I'm going 38-16 Pats
Barrows: I love being the underdog.
Barrows: Guess that's why I'm a Giants fan (EDITOR'S NOTE: "Says the Yankees fan")
Travis: Oh one more thing.
Travis: Brady's line and Eli's line.
Travis: Just take your own QB in your predictions
Clark: 311 yards, 3 TDs, 0 Turnovers
Clark: Super Bowl MVP
Barrows: Eli Manning goes 20 for 28, 235 yards, 2 tds, 0 turnovers.
Barrows: The running game gets the other TDs.
Travis: Best of luck to you both.
Clark: Chris, worst of luck to you pal.