Super Bowl XLII preview

It is time for the most bitter?sweet day of the year: Super Bowl Sunday. Super Bowl XLII marks the culmination of what has been a bizarre (18-0), tragic (R.I.P. Sean Taylor) and wildly entertaining season. This year’s game is a battle of Northeast powerhouses – the upstart New York Giants against the undefeated New England Patriots. The big question heading in to the game is do the Giants really have a chance to win? The answer is yes. Well, sort of.Three weeks ago this was a no-brainer. Tom Brady and Randy Moss both put up record-setting numbers this season.However, Peyton and Eli Manning apparently traded places with one another before the playoffs began – kind of like Lindsay Lohan in the Parent Trap – and Eli has been lighting it up ever since. Plaxico Burress dominated at Lambeau Field and it will be interesting to see how well the shutdown corner Asante Samuel can match up with the 6’6″ Burress’ height advantage.The best matchup, however, will be the Giants’ league-leading pass rush vs. a Patriots offensive line that allowed just seven sacks all season. It will surely be a battle in the trenches.Advantage: Patriots Critics have pointed to the Patriots defense, one that has a penchant for giving up big plays and has had trouble stopping the run, as New England’s only weakness. However, the Pats are undefeated, so experts are really just splitting hairs there.On the other side, the Giants have the best pass rush in the league, led by Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan. Though they are lacking big name players in the secondary, R.W. McQuarters, Aaron Ross and Corey Webster have all made a number of plays during their surprising playoff run.Advantage: Giants The PickI can’t pick against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in the freakin’ Super Bowl. I just can’t – especially when coach Tom Coughlin and Eli (or is it Peyton now?) Manning are involved. Patriots 31, Giants 21So, who ya’ got?Staff PredictionsAustin Danforth Editor-in-ChiefNew England Patriots 38, New York Giants 20Dakota Rubin Managing EditorNew England Patriots 30, New York Giants 27Joanna Benjamin Sports EditorNew York Giants 28, New England Patriots 20Jake Ahrens Senior Staff WriterNew England Patriots 34, New York Giants 20Jason Bushey Asst. Sports EditorNew England Patriots 31, New York Giants 21Zach Parker Sports Copy EditorNew York Giants 31, New England Patriots 28Kat Williams Senior Staff WriterNew England Patriots 21, New York Giants 10