The Underachiever (Giants) Beats The Overachiever (Patriots)!
You could make the case- and I will- that the Giants woefully underachieved this year with all that talent. You can also make the case that the Patriots were exactly the opposite and overachieved with a lack of talent yet a gaudy 13-3 regular season record.
That's one of the things that made this Super Bowl so fascinating and interesting. All year I talked about how the Giants were much better than their record and the exact opposite with the Pats. Think about it- the Giants beat, in consecutive games, the Jets, Cowboys, Falcons, Packers, 49ers and then the Patriots to finish the deal. That's a great streak of wins. This is also the team that lost at home to Seattle and Washington, and lost on the road to the same Redskins- who stink.
Just look at it on paper, not that this means anything. Who has more defensive talent then the G Men? No one not even the rough and tumble Baltimore Ravens or Pittsburgh Steelers. That front line is incredible. The Giants have at least 8 guys that could start for any ballclub in the NFL all the way down to Linval Joseph. Heck, they even brought in a substitute teacher in Chase Blackburn who could start on many clubs- and did- for the world champs!
On the other hand, look at the Patriots. What talent do you see on defense? No doubt the big fella Vince Wolfork is really good, but who else? Mark Anderson? Really? He was cast off by the Bears. How many Patriots could start on defense for the Giants? Maybe Patrick Chung. Maybe. Jerrod Mayo for sure. That's really about it.
It's a credit to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick that the Patriots got this far. I could say they were lucky in the AFC title game but luck is a residue of good planning. Good teams get lucky and so it is. You can't tell me the Patriots are a 13-3 team. They can't/don't run the ball. They were 32nd in defense. History says you take that combination and you find, at best, mediocre records.
As this championship game gets picked apart the one aspect people seem to forget is that while both these teams have a rich history, this wacky season comes to an end with a matchup between the little engine that did (Pats) and the big engine that didn't but then did (Giants).