With the start of Super Bowl XLVI rapidly approaching, it should come as no surprise that many of the NFL's top minds have made their predictions for the big game. While there seems to be a consensus among fans that the Giants are the favorite, there seems to be a genuine split with NFL writers.
Over at ESPN, six of the prominent writers believe the Patriots will exact some revenge and win the Super Bowl, while four are picking the Giants. According to John Clayton, the resolve of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick should be enough to lead the Patriots to the win:
John Clayton: Patriots, 24-20
It's hard to beat Tom Brady three times in a row at his game of comeback football in the fourth quarter. Although I worry about the Patriots' defense, I think Brady and Bill Belichick will find a way to squeak out a victory.
The writers at CNNSI are even more confident that New England will be celebrating later tonight, as five of the six writers believe the Patriots will win the Super Bowl. However, Peter King believes the Giants will pull out the victory, thanks to a couple key plays from Osi Umenyiora:
Why the Giants will win: The only thing I know is it'll be a two-minute-warning kind of game. One team's going to have a chance to win this one late. It comes down to the Giants' terrific pass rush, and whether Matt Light can hold up for 60 snaps against the dangerous Osi Umenyiora. I say Umenyiora makes a few decisive plays.
SBNation.com Prediction: Like plenty of others, I think this is one of those games that comes down to whoever has the ball last. Neither side has a major, game-altering advantage either way. That said, the Patriots have won 10 in a row and I don't see the momentum being stopped right now. Patriots win, 30-27.
It's the writers over at CBSSports.com that are the most confident in the New York Giants. Of the nine writers asked to make a prediction, seven believed that the Giants would take care of business again. However, according to Mike Freeman, the trash-talking from the Giants may serve as some added motivation for New England:
Normally, as Tom Coughlin would say, talk is cheap but this is Brady who thrives on talk and doubters. I’ve seen it happen with Brady on more than a few occasions. Not to mention the Patriots are on a revenge tour. I think the Giants would have been better served shutting the hell up. I know they are talkers. I know the Giants thrive on emotion and yapping but don’t pull on SuperBrady’s cape.
The Giants will still win but their mouths just turned this game from a comfortable win for them into one of the tightest Super Bowls ever.
Final score: Giants, 28-27
For more on the Patriots and their Super Bowl run, check out SB Nation's Patriots blog,Pats Pulpit as well as SB Nation Boston. For more on the Giants and their Super Bowl appearance, visit Giants blog Big Blue View and SB Nation New York. For all news and information regarding Super Bowl XLVI, please stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated Super Bowl hub.