My prediction? Patriots 35 - Giants 24
To me, it comes down to this. The Giants have made this playoff run on the back of their defense who has held opponents to 14, 17, & 20 points. This has allowed their offense to play ball control and hasn't forced Eli Manning to play catch up. They've allowed him to manage the game, protect the ball, and no have to take risks or overthink things. The Giants offense, while certainly efficient, haven't lite the world on fire this postseason. They've scored 24, 21, 23 points respectively. The last time their offense was forced to keep pace and score points was week 17 against the Pats when they gave 38 and Manning threw a late pick. The Giants scored a late cosmetic TD to make that score 38-35.
So it comes down to this. Do you think the Giants D can hold the Pats offense to under 20 points? I'll fully admit that the Giants defense has been fantastic, but not that fantastic. No team has held the Pats under 20 points and only a handful have held them under 30, one of which was not the Giants. I think at halftime we'll probably have a good game on our hands. I can see the Giants keeping pace and the Pats not running away with anything early... but like that week 17 game at some point the Giants will make a mistake, the Pats will capitalize on it and they'll start to pull away. I don't see the game as a blowout, but I don't see it as a nail biter either.
The Pats aren't a terribly young team, but after having 2 of the past 4 weeks off they'll be plenty healed and rested. Some people may be shocked by this, but I believe they've taken just as tough a road as the Giants have through the playoffs. Think about it, the unbeaten streak and the expectations have put pressure on them. The Giants have been playing with house money, always the underdog with nothing to lose. Plus, let's be honest... I'm an NFC guy, I'm sure we all are. But the teams the Pats have beat, Jacksonville & San Diego, are every bit as good if not better than the trio of Tampa, Dallas(who had imploded by then), and Green Bay. I'm not saying the Giants had an easy road by any means having won all their games on the road as the underdog, but let's also not act as if New England had it easy. They just make it look easy.
That's why they'll go 19-0. Hey, at least we can say we saw history.