Well, I want New England to win. But I don’t think they’re going to. My prediction is:
Most of the matchups favor “Big Blue”. (Who I think will ironically be clad mostly in white and red against people wearing blue)
There is, however, a way for New England to pull off the win. I just don’t think they’re willing to do it. It was there four years ago, and they didn’t do it. It was there in November, and they didn’t do it. Why should they do it now?
The method I allude to is an esoteric one, which some younger fans may not know about. It is known as “running the ball”.
Now, if you are familiar with ColdHardFootballFacts.com, you know that running the ball is generally overrated in the postseason. The passing game is what brings home the championships, historically. This is true. But I believe that this game is a special case.
New England can have success running the ball because they are, famously, a passing team. They have the best quarterback in the game right now. Everyone is focused on stopping their passing attack. Therefore, they can win by doing what no one expects. It’s elementary strategy.
Look at the last game New York lost. Notice how Washington ran the ball 40 times in that game. Notice also how in their subsequent winning streak, none of New York’s opponents have run the ball more than 28 times on them. You can look it up.
If New England runs the ball 30+ times, they win this game. (Just for fun I’ll make my hypothetical prediction in this case NE: 26, NY: 21) But I don’t think they’re going to, because they pass the ball even in situations where conventional wisdom dictates running. They have too much confidence in their passing game. And as Luke Skywalker said to the Emperor, “your overconfidence is your weakness”.(A final note: obviously, New England will have to do some passing to keep the defense honest. But they need to pass only once the run game has been established. I would also try some sort of “double pass” play with Edelman–a former quarterback–and have him throw it long. That kind of trick play can take advantage of a strong pass rush.)