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Poll: Who wins Super Bowl XLVI?

02.03.12 at 3:16 pm ET
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What will happen in Super Bowl XLVI?

  • Patriots by 8-14 points (39%, 157 Votes)
  • Patriots by a touchdown or less (38%, 150 Votes)
  • Patriots in a rout (10%, 39 Votes)
  • Giants by a touchdown or less (9%, 34 Votes)
  • Giants by 8-14 points (4%, 15 Votes)
  • Giants in a rout (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 399

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National experts favor Giants in Super Bowl XLVI

02.03.12 at 3:05 pm ET
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With Super Bowl XLVI just a few days away many experts are making their game pick. The momentum from the Giants playoff run seems to have many predicting the same outcome as Super Bowl XLII: Giants over Patriots.

Out of the eight ESPN experts only Adam Schefter and Mark Schlereth picked the Patriots to prevail on Sunday.

Additionally, all five of the CBSSports.com experts picked New York to win. Pete Prisco thinks the Giants will win by a touchdown, 31-24, on the strength of Eli Manning‘s arm.

Wrote Prisco: This Giants team is on a roll and getting better. They handled Tom Brady for most of the first meeting, and I think they do a good job slowing him again. Eli Manning lights up the New England secondary.

Following are more picks from several national writers.

Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Patriots 31, Giants 27

Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun: Giants 28, Patriots 24

Peter Schrager, FoxSports.com: Giants 30, Patriots 21

WEEI hosts are more optimistic than national writers that New England will win its fourth championship on Sunday. The hosts of WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan morning show presented their predictions Friday morning. Gerry Callahan said he arrived in Indianapolis expecting to pick the Giants but now is going with the Patriots, predicting that Tom Brady will rise to the occasion and lead New England to a 26-24 victory. John Dennis predicts a 31-24 victory for the Patriots and an MVP for Rob GronkowskiJon Meterparel predicts a 31-27 victory for the Patriots, with Jerod Mayo earning MVP honors.

CBS Sports NFL analyst and New York radio host Boomer Esiason sided with the Patriots during his Friday appearance on D&C, predicting a 30-27 final. But Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, on Mut & Merloni, went with the Giants, 23-20.

WEEI midday show hosts Lou Merloni and Mike Mutnansky were split. Merloni said the Giants have too much for the Patriots to handle, and it will lead to a 34-30 victory for New York. Mutnansky went with the Patriots, 33-27.

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Read More: adam schefter, Bobby Valentine, Paul Pierce, Pete Prisco

Super Bowl roundup: Tom Coughlin says it’s ‘still us against the world’

02.03.12 at 2:21 pm ET
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Giants coach Tom Coughlin has made it known to football fans everywhere that despite numerous predictions of a New York victory, the Giants “are still the underdogs and we still have a lot to prove” heading into Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday.

“[It’s] still us against the world,’€ Coughlin said.”

It’s all about reinvention for the Giants if they expect to defeat Tom Brady and the Pats in the Super Bowl for a second time. For four Giants in particular — Deon Grant, Rocky Bernard, Antrel Rolle and Tony Ugoh — the losing end of a Super Bowl is not an option this year. All four players, prior to playing for the Giants, were members of teams that were on the losing end in the NFL’s ultimate game.

‘€œI don’€™t think people understand how draining, how much work it’€™s been, for us just to get to this point,’€ said Rolle, a safety who joined the Giants in 2010. ‘€œBut we’€™re here and we’€™re using that as our mindset, that we won’€™t be denied after all that work. We’€™re not worried about destiny. We’€™ve made our own path.”

For Rolle especially, Sunday’s game holds a sense of promise and great significance in terms of personal motivation and potential gain. He experienced a tough loss as a member of the Cardinals against the Steelers three years ago.

‘€œTo be so close and have a hard-fought game, I think that actually eased the pain a little bit, as opposed to going out there and just getting your butt whooped,’€ Rolle said. ‘€œBut I definitely don’€™t want to feel that again.”

The New York Daily News takes a look at how the Giants defense poses a major threat to New England’s offense.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, antrel rolle, Deon Grant, Rob Gronkowski

The art of asking Madonna a question

02.03.12 at 1:59 pm ET
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INDIANAPOLIS — With hundreds upon hundreds of reporters hoping to be one of the very few to actually get to ask Madonna a question at her Thursday press conference, Doug VB Goudie of Fox 25 Boston showed us all how it’s done …

Tom Coughlin: I don’t think we’re overconfident

02.03.12 at 1:28 pm ET
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INDIANAPOLIS — Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Friday he has no problem with what his team has said over the course of the week.

Many Giants have expressed confidence that they are going to beat the Patriots on Sunday, with defensive lineman Chris Canty going so far as to say that Giants fans should expect a parade through New York the Tuesday after the Super Bowl. Asked about his team’€™s confidence level heading into the game and the statements that have come down, Coughlin said he has no issue with what’€™s been said, comparing them to the statements Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made at a pep rally at Gillette Stadium before New England departed for the game. He said he doesn’€™t feel that his team is overconfident.

‘€œI don’€™t. I’€™m not sure what you’€™re referencing,’€ the Giants’€™ coach said during his press conference. ‘€œI mean, I know there are one or two quotes out there, but to be honest with you, I don’€™t know either one of them is any different than Tom Brady’€™s.’€

Coughlin said he wants his team ‘€œHumble enough to prepare, confident enough to perform. That’€™s the way we look at it.’€

‘€œI think it’€™s just a matter of our team has played good football against great football teams,’€ he added.

Read More: Chris Canty, Tom Brady, Tom Coughlin,

Bill Belichick: I’m not thinking about retirement

02.03.12 at 10:38 am ET
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INDIANAPOLIS — Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Friday morning that even if New England wins on Sunday, he’€™s not thinking about retirement.

Responding to a question about whether or not a win on Sunday would make him decide that it would be an appropriate time to call it a career, Belichick, who has been head coach of the Patriots since 2000, said he’€™s enjoying things too much to ride off into the sunset.

‘€œI enjoy all the aspects of the job,’€ said Belichick, who will turn 60 in April. ‘€œI enjoy the team-building, the drafting, the free agents, team acquisitions — those kind of things. I enjoy bringing in the young players and working with guys who haven’€™t been in the NFL and teaching them the basic fundamentals in how to become a professional football player for the New England Patriots.

‘€œAnd I enjoy working with the veteran players, the Tom Brady‘s and the Vince Wilfork‘s and the Wes Welker‘s and all those kind of players that can do really special things because of their not only talent, but experience. And I enjoy the competition on a weekly basis. Not just on Sundays, but the preparation leading up into the game. So I enjoy all of it. It beats working.’€

Several Super Bowl-winning coaches have decided to walk away after winning it all. Belichick’€™s pal Jimmy Johnson did it with the Cowboys, and Bill Parcells did the same thing with the Giants (although both would eventually return to coaching with different teams). In addition, Bill Walsh, Vince Lombardi and Dick Vermeil also retired after winning Super Bowls.

But that doesn’€™t sound like the case with Belichick, who could win his fourth ring as a head coach on Sunday and sixth overall.

‘€œRight now, I’€™m really thinking about, ‘€˜What’€™s the best thing I can do to help our football team on Sunday against the Giants?’€™ I want to really try to do a good job in the job that I have,’€ Belichick said.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Bill Walsh, Dick Vermeil

Super Bowl Nuggetpalooza, Part 2: When the Patriots have the ball

02.03.12 at 9:18 am ET
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We’re just two days from the “Big Game” and as promised, here’s part two of my Super Bowl Nuggetpalooza:

WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL:

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* – Against the Ravens, the Patriots won for the first time in their postseason history despite a turnover margin of -2 or worse. It was their 10th such postseason game, including their 2009 loss to those same Ravens.

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* – The Patriots have not scored in the first quarter in any of their four Super Bowls in the Belichick era, but they have either led (three times) or been tied (once, against the Giants) at halftime in all four.

Note this: In those four New England Super Bowls, there have been 92 points scored in the fourth quarter (both teams combined). In the first three quarters? Only 82 total points (both teams combined). The Giants (157) and the Patriots (142) ranked first and third during this regular season in fourth quarter points scored.

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* – Stephen Gostkowski went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts from 40 or more yards during the 2006 postseason, including the Patriots’ only postseason make from 50+. Sine then, he’s attempted only one kick from 40+ in the playoffs, and failed on that attempt. Over the last two regular seasons, Gostkowski and the Patriots are 12-for-15 from 40+ yards, a respectable 80% conversion rate, above the league average of 73%.

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* – The Patriots tight ends gained 136 receiving yards against the Giants in Week 9, one of four times during the regular season that the G-Men allowed 100 or more yards to opposing tight end combos. No team allowed 100+ yards to opposing tight ends more than the Giants this season (the Panthers also allowed 100+ yards four times). The 136 yards picked up by Gronkowski and Hernandez were the most against the Giants this (regular) season and the second most against them since the 2000 season (184 by Jason Witten and other Cowboys in 2009).

Note this: Vernon Davis’ 112 receiving yards was the most ever by a tight end against the Giants in a postseason game. Included was a 73-yard touchdown reception, just the third play of 70 or more yards by a tight end in NFL postseason history (Shannon Sharpe, 96 yards in ’01 and John Mackey, 76 yards in ’71).

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