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Dirty Cleats: Analysis and predictions for Super Bowl Sunday

One thing is for certain: this will not be a boring game.

Four years ago, in Glendale, Arizona, the New York Giants shocked the New England Patriots -- and a nation of football fans -- as what many have claimed to be the greatest Super Bowl of all time.

An improbable catch and final touchdown by the Giants ended the Patriots' road to perfection that year.

This Sunday, they will be at it again.

To say that revenge will be on the minds of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is an understatement.

Will they get it?

Tune in Sunday for that answer and for some of the best commercials you will ever see.

And -- and this is a very important and -- don’t you dare walk away from the television at half-time, as the Queen of Pop, Madonna, takes the stage for a show you won’t want to miss.

My Predictions for Super Bowl XLVI

Sunday February 5, 2012, 3:30 pm (PST)

New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

Once again, the Patriots are favored, but only by three this time.

I have been reading, watching and listening to all the rants and raves about how well the Patriots defense has played in the post-season. I don’t disagree.

In fact, if not for their defense against the Ravens, they would not have won that game, as Tom Brady had one of the worst games of his career.

However, when I look a little deeper at the Pats post-season opponents, it’s hard to grant their defense too much credit. Not only were the Pats in Foxboro for both games, they played Tim Tebow and Joe Flacco.

So although their defense might have been given an ego boost, to say they are playing that much better, given their last two opponents, is something I don’t agree with.

This week, New England’s defense will struggle, as they face a very under-rated quarterback named Eli Manning. He is tearing defenses up with his receiving core, and this will be difficult for the Pats secondary to cover from beginning to end.

The Patriots defensive secondary has struggled all year, and their explosive offense has compensated for this weakness. Similar to Green Bay, and we saw what the Giants did to Green Bay in Wisconsin.

My guess is that this game is going to be played out similarly to that game. Tom Brady is going to be sacked. Often.

He is facing one of the best defenses in the league right now, and they have only gotten better throughout this post-season. Brady will feel pressure all day long and this is going to force an interception or possibly two, because he is not mobile enough to get away from this pressure.

He needs his tight ends, especially Rob Gronkowski.

Even so, there is no way the Giants are going to give up big plays to the Patriots biggest weapon, especially after being burned by the 49ers Vernon Davis twice in the NFC Championship game.

This game will not come down to the bitter end.

The Giants will have had this Super Bowl sealed up with at least five minutes to go in the 4th quarter. Their defense will execute when needed, and Eli and co. will keep the ball from Tom Brady, controlling time of possession, and out-scoring the Patriots.

In the end, Eli, the perpetual underdog, steps out of his brother’s shadow and finds himself in elite status among NFL quarterbacks. Finally.

Winner - Giants

For Jana's thoughts on all last season, further analysis on this week's match-ups, or to read anything else she feels like tossing out regarding the NFL, go to the dirty cleats blog.

Jana Newman lives in San Diego and has been an NFL fan for over 25 years (her not-so-secret obsession is still No. 13 Dan Marino). She has her bachelor of arts degree in English, and loves to write. To combine these passions, Jana created dirtycleats.com. It’s an NFL blog with a fresh look and a fun attitude. You can also follow dirtycleats on Facebook. To reach Jana, email her at contact@dirtycleats.com.