Gronk practices for first time during Super Bowl week

There was a welcome sight on the practice field on Thursday as New England tight end Rob Gronkowski participated on a limited basis for the first time since suffering a sprained left ankle during the AFC Championship Game.

“He did some things. He didn’t do everything,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow. I think that will be the big key — how he responds to this today.”

Asked how encouraged he was by what Gronkowski did Thursday, Belichick said,

Super Bowl Countdown: View From A Giants Writer

In the build up to this weekend’s Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots we have been talking to several Giants and Pats writers about the game.

Today we talk with Frank Gray from Big Giants Boom:

1) Super Bowl 46 is obviously a rematch of Super Bowl 42. What memories do you have from that game?

Super Bowl Build Up: View From A Patriots Writer

In the build up to this weekends Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots we have been talking to several Giants and Pats writers about the game.

First up is Matt Goisman of Sports of Boston.

Q: Super Bowl 46 is obviously a rematch of Super Bowl 42. What memories do you have from that game?

I remember thinking the Patriots would win 42 right up until the final touchdown. It happened so fast – the ridiculous catch by Tyree, the TD on the very next play. Then all I remember is a profound sadness.

Super Bowl a Loser for Host Cities

Every year you see cities around the country clamoring the NFL to get the rights to host a future Super Bowl.  Teams have been known to build new stadiums based upon the promise of being the home for the game’s feature event.

This Sunday Indianapolis will be the city which get’s to lose money on the game.  Yes, you heard correct.  Most cities lose money on the Super Bowl.  Indy is already expecting a loss of at least $810,000.  The Capital Improvement Board of Marion County, home of Lucas Oil Stadium, has budgeted for expenses at $8 million and revenue of nearly $7.2 million.

Day of Destiny for Two QB’s Nears

They call it the “game within a game.”  Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup will be intriguing for the many storylines that will develop during the encounter.  The Giants and Patriots may be the most evenly matched teams we have had play in the Super Bowl in years, possibly ever.

Look at the facets being highlighted currently.  The Giants defensive line getting pressure on Tom Brady with only four rushers.  Eli Manning throwing against the Pats suspect secondary.  The coaching philosophy for the game between Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick.

Super Rematch

I have deliberately not watched any sports media coverage this last week, nor will I this week.  I don’t want to hear every day about how this is a rematch or what happened last time.  This is this time.

The Giants and Patriots are both two very different teams now.  They have different players in many positions and their games are played very differently.  It’s not as if the same teams from 4 years ago are going to play in the Super Bowl next Sunday.  Yes, the quarterbacks are the same and a few of the players are the same, but many things have changed since that time.

Cundiff’s Miss Doesn’t Need an Apology

Kickers miss field goals all the time.  But we remember the kicks missed that mean the most to us.  Which means Baltimore Raven fans will be lamenting Billy Cundiff’s 32 yard miss Sunday forever.

Cundiff’s missed field goal would have sent the AFC title game into overtime against the Patriots in New England.  There was no guarantee the Ravens would have won the game.  But that means nothing to Ravens fans.  All they understand is Cundiff missed a kick he normally makes that cost the Ravens a game that could have sent them to the Super Bowl.  A lot of “coulds” were negated by that missed kick.

Defense Wins Championships

Most NFL fans have heard this phrase on more than one occasion and generally it holds true.  However, this year I’m thinking not so much.

The teams with the best records this year in the NFL have abysmal defenses.  In fact, the top 2 teams, the Patriots and Packers, have THE worst defenses in the entire league.  It doesn’t seem to matter.  No matter what teams they play, as long as the offense puts up enough points, the defense can give up almost as many and the teams still win.

Don Shula Gives Packers a Shot

It’s getting to that point of the season for the Green Bay Packers.  They are 11-0 and marching toward an unbeaten season.  But are they going to go for the undefeated status rolling into the playoffs?  Or will they pull an Indianapolis Colts and hold back?

The reigning Super Bowl champs have proven so far they are the best team in the league this year and maybe over the past several years.  Aaron Rodgers is, according to many, the best quarterback in the league and may be playing the best at that position in several decades.  And that is taking into consideration Peyton Manning’s outstanding seasons and Tom Brady.

2011 NFL Playoff Predictions

This should be fun.  A look down the road.  A look into the future of the NFL playoffs based upon what was projected earlier in the divisional races.  Yes you can take these picks to the bank because these are a lead pipe lock!   Well maybe…..

First let’s look at the AFC.  We Picked New England, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Houston to win the divisions.  The Wild card teams should be Baltimore and the Jets.  The first weekend will have Baltimore at San Diego, while the Jets travel to Houston.