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February 05, 2012

Remember When the Super Bowl Used To Be About Football?

I'm sure there will be some great Super Bowl ads, but this one featuring the mayors of New York and Boston won't be one of them.

The ad will reportedly talk about gun laws and the need for the presidential candidates to address the issue. What the ad most assuredly wont talk about is gun violence itself. Because the last thing these two big-government grannies want you to know is that gun violence is plummeting, even as gun ownership has skyrocketed.

Never let facts get in the way of a good story, I guess.

Oh, and you know who else is making an appearance:

President Barack Obama will sit down for an interview Sunday with NBC News' Matt Lauer during a special pre-game edition of TODAY airing late Sunday afternoon before the Super Bowl.

Dammit, liberals. Do you have to politicize everything? Can I not have one day ... a few hours, actually ... where I don't have to see your stupid mugs on the screen and have your crap agenda forced down my throat? I'm trying to save room for wings and beer, TYVFM.

Game prediction: I can practically see Boston from my house, but the Pats' secondary is ripe to be picked apart by the G-men, so Imma go with the Giants.

Also, if you haven't seen this story on Giants' wideout Victor Cruz, it's a good one. (h/t Slublog)

A Deceptive Stat [ace]: Ed quotes the true-but-misleading stat that the Giants have the league's 29th-ranked passing defense, which is just terrible.

But that's misleading, because a lot of starters were out for most of the season. They're back in now.

If you watched the past three playoffs games, you surely noticed there were not a lot of big-time pass completions for the Giants' opponents, or really many pass completions at all.

And that was against one great passing team and a couple of other good ones.

How many times did Aaron Rodgers scramble for 8 or 12 yards? A bunch. And as much as I hated seeing him pick up first downs with this legs, it's impossible to miss the deduction: Even with the extra time he made for himself with his mobility, there was still no one open downfield.

The NFL cameras rarely show that (the "all 22" films showing the entire field are a closely guarded secret), and it makes for a boring game, with so much of the real game -- the coverage -- invisible to viewers at home.

But while we talk about the Giants' defensive line a lot, in fact they've been made average in the last few outings. They did a decent job, but their recent opponents have denied them the huge impact people keep looking for.

Meanwhile the Giants' secondary continues to quietly prevent things from happening. It's hard to see a non-event, but its presence is seen on the field every time a quarterback has a good four seconds to throw the ball but elects to either run or throw it out of bounds.

The Giants were rated as the 29th pass defense during the regular season. But in the playoffs (and their last couple of regular season games), they've been playing like a top 5 passing defense.

If the Giants stick to what they've been doing, they will put linebackers out in coverage and consistently pass rush with only 4 (or even 3) guys. The gamble they've been making is that if they can just cover the receivers, those pass rushers will get to the quarterback eventually, sporadically.

A lot of the focus is on that defensive front, but Tom Brady is not having a career season due to his offensive line playing shitty. They're very good too, so I have to think the battle of the lines will pretty much be a wash.

Which might suggest gambling by calling more stuff like cornerback and linebacker blitzes, but Brady reacts well to that sort of thing and can burn you if you don't get to him fast enough. Kind of the old "If you're going to take a shot at the king, you'd better kill him" sort of dealio.

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posted by Andy at 01:02 PM

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