A Totally Biased Feature: Five Players to Keep an Eye on During Super Bowl XLVI

As the Super bowl draws closer with every passing day, new things are looked at. For example, on Monday, we looked at what some of the nearby Pats fans might not know about their foe next Sunday, the New York Giants. Tuesday and Wednesday, we took to Facebook to get an idea from our readers on what each team would have to do to further their chances of hoisting the coveted Lombardi Trophy.

Today, we take a look at five players who for better or worse, will shape a good amount of the outcome of Super bowl 46.

Although not the most important men on the field, if these guys can execute well, and win their own personal match-ups, their team will have a serious advantage.

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5. Kyle Arrington, CB, New England Patriots

One of the big advantages the Giants have from their previous meeting with the Pats in week nine, is that their number one receiver, Hakeem Nicks, missed the contest with an injury. I’m not someone who believes that the previous meeting between these two clubs will have any profound effect on the Super bowl, but it is worth noting. Arrington didn’t get the opportunity to cover Nicks in the first contest, and slowing him down at the line will prove vital.

Similar to the Patriots in 2007, Victor Cruz can do his best work when Nicks is preoccupying safeties, and burning corners. In the games against Atlanta and Green Bay, both teams clogged the middle of the field, and allowed single coverage on Nicks for most of the game. Big mistake. Nicks averaged had six and seven catches respectively, for 280 total yards, and four trips to the endzone. The Niners didn’t want to fall victim to the same thing, so naturally, they left Cruz with a single corner playing zone, and a linebacker to play him into his route. The result? Cruz finished with 10 catches, and over 140 yards. If Arrington can slow down Nicks, Cruz will suffer also. If he can’t? Well, it won’t end well for the Flying Elvii.

4. Jacquian Williams, LB, New York Giants

Williams was forced into a starting role early into the season, from injuries to Jonathan Goff, Michael Boley, and just about everyone else. He has had his moments, but he has also been exploited many, many times. The Giants would be foolish to think they can stop Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but they must focus all their efforts on slowing them down as much as possible.

Williams will primarily play the pass, while Mathias Kiwanuka will stop the run, and occasionally pin the ears back and go after Tom Brady. If Williams can play even an average game, and make things difficult for either of the Pats premier tight ends, it will make it much easier for the Giants to rush only four, and let the coverage do it’s thing.

3. Mark Anderson, DE, New England Patriots

When Andre Carter went down before Christmas rolled around, Patriots fans knew how devastating of a loss it would be. Carter missed the last three games, but still finished tied with Anderson for the team lead in sacks. Eli Manning has proven time and time again this year, if you don’t pressure him, he will find a way to not only find receivers, but do it rather easily. Anderson will need to be on his “A” game on the defensive line, and pressure the younger Manning into some of signature follies.

With the secondary the Patriots have, they can go one of two ways with the gameplan. They could primarily rush four, and drop seven back, and hope that the opportunistic defense is able to slow down the Giants passing game, and allow their LB’s to still play the run. Plan B, and probably what we’re going to see next Sunday, is to bring pressure early and often. If Anderson and the Pats defense sticks to the bend-don’t-break mentality, and can eventually some big blue mistakes, they’ll have their work cut out for them.

2. David Baas, C, New York Giants

Baas, like Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw, also missed the game in Foxboro this season. Unfortunately for him, that might not be such a good thing. You see, Baas pulled the short straw, and will be covering Vince Wilfork, perhaps the most dominant player at any position, for any team this postseason. He regularly tosses aside opposing offensive lineman, and as witnessed in the Baltimore game, has no problems planting quarterbacks into the turf.

Wilfork regularly clogs running lanes as well, which could definitely pose a problem for the G-Men. As I have said in the past, the Giants don’t need run well to win this game, but it would certainly be a big help. If Baas, with help from Kevin Boothe I’m suspecting, can slow down the big man, it will make Eli Manning one happy quarterback.

1. Chad Ochocinco, WR, New England Patriots

I know, crazy, right?

Here’s the thing. Ochocinco has done absolutely nothing. SO much of nothing in fact, I have found the SINGLE statistic that makes me smile the most. Ochocinco signed a three year contract with the Patriots for roughly 11.5 million dollars, with 4.75 in signing bonuses. Stretch all that out, and he is making roughly $5,000,000 per season. He had 15 catches this year, or, 300 thousand per catch.

Victor Cruz is making 405 thousand. No. Not per catch. Per season.

Even with that being said, Ochocinco remains the sole player on this team that scares me going deep for a big one. In a game like this, the Giants need to do everything possible to prevent a homerun from happening. The last thing Giants fans want to see is Ocho slinking through their weak secondary, and catching the big one.

After a long conversation with a fellow associate, this is about the only way Chad can make up for this season. I mean, you get benched for Taylor Price, who THEN gets cut the following week? It baffles me. I feel that if Ocho had the work ethic to truly grasp this Patriots playbook, he would be out on the field. There is no excuse for having 20 weeks to learn the intricacies of the calls, and flat out not getting it done. He gets a free pass for Baltimore game, following the death of his father, but he needs to step it up on the biggest stage to make it all worth it. Simply put, if Ocho catches a deep ball, the Giants are as good as toast.

Comments
2 Responses to “A Totally Biased Feature: Five Players to Keep an Eye on During Super Bowl XLVI”
  1. bob saget says:

    when teams that played in the regular season meet again in the super bowl, the winner of the regular season match-up is 5-7. Plus the New England Patriots acquired Ochocinco in a trade with Cincinnati after he restructured a three-year contract for $6.35 million. fact check your ish please

    • Travis Rand says:

      First of all, thanks for the comment, and for taking the time to read the article.

      Second, although your stat is correct, I don’t think it holds any merit. These teams had a 0-0 tie at halftime, and the lead changed three times in the final three minutes. If that ball slips out of Jake Ballard’s fingers instead of his securing it for a TD, and the Giants lose, does that all of a sudden swing it in NE’s favor? Not at all.

      Third, you are wrong about your Ochocinco fact. He was SCHEDULED to make 6.35 THIS season with the Bengals, and the Patriots needed him and also Albert Haynesworth to restructure their deals to fit the team under the cap.

      It originally came out that Ocho would be on the Pats on July 29th, and on August 5th, he restructured his deal so he would be making 1 million this season, and 3 million in the next two seasons. He also got a 4.5 million dollar signing bonus [up front], and even 1.5 million in bonuses every season. He also gets 100k for offseason workouts.

      Before you decide to call someone out, you might want to search a little deeper.

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