There are numerous factors that indicate Eli Manning will have a better Super Bowl performance than Tom Brady. Obviously, this doesn't mean that the Giants will come out on top. It just means that factors and indicators show Manning will outperform Brady. This also increases the Giants opportunity to win their second Super Bowl in four seasons.

We are currently in a quarterback-driven league. Sure, teams that don't have that "elite" signal-caller can have success once in a while, but that's far and few between. In short, having a top of the line quarterback enhances your chances come playoffs.


This was proven in the NFC Championship Game when Eli Manning, facing a tremendous amount of pressure, led the Giants to an overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers. By saying this, I am not indicating that Alex Smith can't lead the 49ers to a title. What I am saying is that Eli was better, and that's one of the primary reasons New York moved on.


He will be going up against a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Tom Brady, who will be appearing in his fifth Super Bowl. The remarkable amount of success that the New England Patriot' quarterback has had cannot be lost in the pregame predictions and analysis of this game. You cannot deny that Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the modern history of the game.


That said, there are numerous factors that indicate Eli Manning will have a better Super Bowl performance than Tom Brady. Obviously, this doesn't mean that the Giants will come out on top. It just means that factors and indicators show Manning will outperform Brady. This also increases the Giants opportunity to win their second Super Bowl in four seasons.


So lets take a gander.


Eli Manning is playing at an extraordinary level right now


After throwing three interceptions in the Giants Week 15 loss to the Washington Redskins, Eli Manning has been on fire.


Despite being hit 20 times against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, he stood up against that pressure and led the Giants to a stirring overtime victory. This is something that he has repeated over the course of the 2011 season, accumulating six fourth-quarter comebacks.


By comparison, Tom Brady struggled a great deal in the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens, failing to throw a touchdown for the first time in his postseason career.


The New England Patriots' pass defense


Just the idea that Julian Edelman is going to be on the field in nickel coverage against the Giants star-studded receiving core has to scare the collective crap out of the New England Patriots defense. He was a gamer against Baltimore but lets face it—corner isn't his natural position.


More than that, the Patriots struggled all season long in pass defense. Despite picking their game up a little bit recently, New England has given up a total of 11 300-yard passing games so far in 2011. Sterling Moore, who was on the Oakland Raiders during training camp, has played well but doesn't nearly have the talent, frame or experience to come up big in the Super Bowl; you can expect him to be overwhelmed on the outside.


The New York Giants trio of receivers are much better than what the Patriots have faced in the playoffs thus far. The matchup problems that Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham cause is just crazy. I fully expect the Patriots secondary to struggle a great deal, especially if they cannot get a pass rush.


The New York Giants' front seven


This past weekend, I wrote an article naming the top 25 defensive lines in NFL history. It won't come as much of a surprise to you that the New York Giants were on that list. They have a ton of different weapons along the front four that cause extreme migraines for opposing offensive coaches.


What Perry Fewell and the Giants defensive coaching staff does in terms of scheme is also a major problem for opposing offenses. You will see Chris Canty, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Rocky Bernard, Linval Joseph, Jason Pierre-Paul and Dave Tollfeson lined up in many different formations.


The ends will move inside, the linebackers will play with hands down outside, and the tackles will move outside. This type of "stunt" scheme really does confuse offensive lines.


Tom Brady did have rather good protection all season long, only being sacked a total of 32 times during the regular year and just two times in the postseason. If the Patriots pass protection can hold up, it will be huge for Brady and Co., if not, he's going to have a long day.


The Giants don't really have to worry a great deal about a strong New England pass rush in this game. The injury to Andre Carter really did hurt the Patriots front seven. You take Carter out of the mix, and they only recorded 30 sacks during the regular season.


The "three-headed" monster


This is probably the biggest matchup concern for either team going in. I have already touched on the Patriots' secondary issues, which have been widely publicized and promises to gain traction as Super Bowl week progresses.


Now, I am going to focus on the Giants receivers going up against that lackluster secondary.


Nicks, Cruz and Manningham combined for nearly 200 receptions (over 55 percent of Manning's completions) this season. It's possible to take one or two of these players away, but there's no way that the Patriots stop all three of them. If they rotate double coverage over to Cruz, that will leave Nicks in single coverage etc..


The importance of scheme when it comes to the Patriots game plan will go a long way in deciding the outcome of the Super Bowl. They are going to have to send blitzes in an attempt to throw the Giants timing off. If this fails, the majority of the receivers on the outside are going to be facing single coverage. They could go with a zone package, sending just four to the quarterback. However, that will give Eli Manning ample time to find receivers open and will give the receivers extra time to get open.


Conclusion


The indicators are there for Eli Manning to outplay Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. There are tremendous matchup concerns on each side of the ball that has led me to this conclusion. I guess we will find out in less than a week if my forecast was off, but somehow, I doubt it.