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AFC guest analyst


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 24, 2001

ESPN analyst Tom Jackson, a linebacker for the Broncos from 1973-86, spoke with staff writer Joanne Korth about the Super Bowl.

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The Giants are a more balanced team. The Ravens have a great defense and an offense that seems to manage the game very well, but they depend on two areas to win: defense and special teams. Even though the Giants are underdogs, they are playing well in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams.

When you start factoring in quarterbacks, you give the edge to Kerry Collins. Offensive line? Edge Giants. Wide receiver? Edge Giants. Running back? Running back is a close call because it's Jamal Lewis versus Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne, so you combine their statistics and, again, edge Giants.

But I don't think the Giants can come out and waste time running. They have to come out and attack them downfield. The Ravens have pretty good corners, so I think you attack them in the middle and try to keep linebacker Ray Lewis busy with Barber. He's very seldom off his feet. But if the Giants can get Ray blocked, cut him off from the ball, who's going to make those plays? The Giants need to throw a lot on first down. If the Ravens stop you on first down, they get their nickel and dime package in. They put Peter Boulware in that three-point stance. They get Rob Burnett in the game. They get in an attack mode, and that's when mistakes are created.

People are going to talk a lot this week about how the Giants are going to score against the Ravens. If you're the Giants, you want to score on the first couple drives and make the question: How are they going to score against us?

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