Ranking XLVI starters: No debating Giants, Pats split evenly with talent
INDIANAPOLIS — The line says Super Bowl XLVI will be a close game.
Ranking the starters 1-48 (counting the four kickers and punters) based on their potential and how each and every has played this season and in the playoffs also signifies a close game is coming.
Each the New England Patriots and New York Giants, the two combatants in this week’s Super Bowl, every have 5 gamers ranked up in my top 10 of starters in the game.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tops the list — who could argue with that? — and he has three of his offensive teammates with him in the top ten.
The Giants’ leading player is defensive finish Jason Pierre-Paul, who is ranked 2nd on my list. He had 3 offensive teammates and a single defensive teammate joining him in the top rated ten.
Each and every group has ten players in the best 20, once more indicating we need to have a close game.
Let’s hope that is the case. Here’s the list, go ahead and start the debate.
one. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots — Simplest pick of them all. He is one particular of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
two. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, Giants — He is a freakish talent who plays challenging all the time. His potential to rush the passer somewhat overlooks the fact that he is a great run player.
three. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots — He is now the NFL’s finest tight finish, a receiving threat who can also block a minor.
four. Vince Wilfork, DT, Patriots — He was sensational against the Ravens and is a huge explanation why the Patriots defense is a lot enhanced.
five. Eli Manning, QB, Giants — He’s elevated his game this season to a new higher. With one particular a lot more victory, he’s firmly in the conversation about the elite.
6. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots — He led the league in receptions, undertaking most of his harm in the slot. He is Brady’s safety blanket.
7. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants — He is a massive and rapidly receiver that scares defenses. His improvement is a massive explanation why the offense is greater.
8. Chris Snee, G, Giants — The son-in-law of coach Tom Coughlin, Snee is a mauler and a fighter. He is an all-day battle.
9. Justin Tuck, DE, Giants — He has some injury troubles this season, but he’s a leading talent who has been rolling in the playoffs.
ten. Brian Waters, G, Patriots — This veteran guard outplayed Logan Mankins, the team’s left guard. Waters was a great offseason pickup for the Patriots.
11. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants — He is small, quick and a lot faster than a lot of anticipated. He is fearless in the middle of the field.
12. Jerod Mayo, LB, Patriots — He quietly is obtaining 1 of his greatest seasons as the team has utilized much more 4-three defense, which looks to suit him better.
13. Logan Mankins, G, Patriots — Even however Waters was slightly better, Mankins nevertheless plays a large level.
14. Mathias Kiwanuka, OLB, Giants — He can thump in the run game, but he can also rush the passer having been a defensive end at occasions in his career.
15. Brandon Spikes, MLB, Patriots — His improved play right after coming back from an early-season injury has genuinely sparked the defense. He plays with a lot of passion.
16. Kenny Phillips, S, Giants — He has been regular in the back finish of the Giants defense, flashing the talent that made him a 1st-round pick.
17. Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots — He is the 2nd half of the team’s double-tight set. He can also line up in the backfield and run the ball, which he has carried out in current games.
18. Corey Webster, CB, Giants — If you required 1 word to describe his game, it would be sound. He isn’t a Pro Bowl player, but he’s not far off.
19. Matt Light, LT, Patriots — This veteran left tackle continues to be a sound player defending Brady’s backside.
20. Michael Boley, LB, Giants — He is a great run-and-chase linebacker who will be crucial in coverage against the New England tight ends.
21. Linval Joseph, DT, Giants — He may well be the most improved player on the area over the program of the season. He is actually underrated.
22. Kyle Really like, DT, Patriots — His improvement in the middle of the defense has really helped complement Wilfork. He is a broad-body player who is challenging to move.
23. Chris Canty, DT, Giants — This strong veteran is very good against the run, but he can also produce some issues with his pass-rush potential from the within.
24. Antrel Rolle, S, Giants — He talks a huge game, but inconsistency keeps him from staying a best-degree player. He is useful in that he can drop down and cover the slot.
25. Devin McCourty, CB, Patriots — He looked like a star last season as a rookie, but has struggled this season. He is staying utilized as a safety in sub-packages now.
26. Stephen Gostkowski, K, Patriots — He was third in the NFL in scoring and missed just 5 area ambitions and tied for 10th with 41 kickoffs for touchbacks.
27. Kevin Boothe, G, Giants — Negative physique, but plays difficult all the time. He has been a pleasant surprise up front for the Giants’ O-line.
28. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants — The Giants are a distinct team when he’s on the field. They are a a lot quicker team when he’s carrying, instead than Brandon Jacobs.
29. Aaron Ross, CB, Giants — He has moments where he can appear like a star and other people exactly where he appears like he should be on the bench.
30. Nate Solder, T, Patriots — This rookie has had some excellent games as a starter for the injured Sebastian Vollmer. There is a opportunity Vollmer could perform this week.
31. David Diehl, T, Giants — He will take a lot of warmth, but he is better than some think. He’s a reliable left tackle.
32. Mark Anderson, DE, Patriots — This veteran pass rusher is truly the only genuine pass-rush threat. He has been regular all season.
33. Rob Ninkovich, OLB, Patriots — He is a normal Patriots player: A difficult, difficult-nosed player who plays tough all the time.
34. Jake Ballard, TE, Giants — Never go to rest on him since he’s the “other” tight end in this game. He had a great game the last time these teams met.
35. Benjarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots — He’s a trustworthy runner who does not fumble and runs tough. He will not get 65-yard runs, but he can move the chains.
36. Kyle Arrington, CB, Patriots — Whilst McCourty tailed off, he enhanced. He has seven picks on the season.
37. Deion Branch, WR, Patriots — The veteran former Super Bowl MVP does not run like he employed to, but he can even now make plays on the intermediate routes.
38. David Baas, C, Giants — He has battled injuries this season and hasn’t played as nicely as expected.
39. Brandon Deaderick, DE, Patriots — He stepped in when Andre Carter went down and has done a nice task. He is not a great pass rusher, but does a great job against the run.
40. Patrick Chung, S, Patriots — He missed time with injuries and the Patriots’ pass coverage truly struggled. It has improved with him back in the lineup.
41. Chase Blackburn, MLB, Giants — He was signed in the midseason and has played properly in the middle of the defense. He is intelligent and can play the pass as well.
42. Zoltan Mesko, P, Patriots — He was third in the NFL in net common and had 24 inside the 20.
43. Henry Hynoski, FB, Giants — He is a lead blocker most of the time, but he does slip out of the backfield now and then.
44. Lawrence Tynes, K, Giants — His two overtime kicks in championship video games place the Giants in two Super Bowls. He’s clutch.
45. Kareem McKenzie, T, Giants — He is a veteran who has struggled at times this season. He has to be far better come Super Sunday.
46. Dan Connolly, C, Patriots — He is taking part in for the injured Dan Koppen, which is a step down. He is a fighter, but large potent players give him difficulty.
47. Steve Weatherford, P, Giants — He’s a reliable punter who has been consistent all season extended.
48. James Ihedigbo, S, Patriots — He is a reliable run-help safety, but he is beatable against the pass.