I have been trying to convince myself to come right out and say it for a while now, so here it is -- the Giants are going to win on Sunday.
There is no logical argument you can make that shows that the Giants are a better football team than the 18-0 juggernaut known as the New England Patriots. But, there is also no reason the 12-point underdog Giants can't do this.
They have spent the entire season doing things nobody thought they could do.
• They have been better after the retirement of their best player, Tiki Barber, than they were with him.
• They have won a single-season record 10 consecutive games on the road.
• Tom Coughlin has gone from a guy likely to be kicked to the curb to a guy who is going to be with the Giants for several more years.
• Since an 0-2 start in which they looked horrible, the Giants have gone 13-4.
• On the road the Giants won playoff games in Dallas and Green Bay against two teams thought to be better than they were.
So, there's no reason the Giants can't finish this improbable season with the most improbable accomplishment of all -- thwarting the Patriots' bid to become the first 19-0 team in NFL history.
Here is one other thing to keep in mind. During the past four weeks, the Giants have played their best football of the season. The Patriots may come up with a great effort on Sunday, but in recent weeks they have appeared more beatable than they did early in the season.
Can I tell you how they are going to do it? No. Can I tell you the Giants have clear advantages in any phase of Sunday's matchup? No. Can I say the Giants should win Sunday? No.
But, I believe that they will.
Led by Coughlin, this is not a pretty team. But, it is a team that plays hard and believes that no matter what the circumstances it will find a way to get the job done. More often that not, it has.
I believe that, against the odds, that will again be the case on Sunday.
Prediction: Giants 31, Patriots 27
Playoff Predictions Overall: 5-5