Rob Gronkowski's ankle has dominated the headlines in the lead up to Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants this Sunday. The record-setting tight end finally returned to practice on Thursday for the Pats and is expected to play, though just how effectively remains to be seen. As the SB Nation blog Big Blue View points out, there is much more to this game than Gronkowski's ankle, however, like which starting quarterback will be playing from his butt more often.
2. Which Quarterback Is Under The Most Duress? -- The Giants have talked all week about putting pressure on Tom Brady, and about how they might already be in the head of the New England quarterback (shush, JPP!). Drawing less attention has been New England's need to put pressure on Eli Manning, and the poor pass protection Manning received in the NFC Championship Game victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants have too many receiving weapons for New England to cover consistently so, like the Giants, the Patriots defensive game plan is likely to revolve around getting pressure.
Other keys include the duel between two so-so running games, the effect of Vince Wilfork on the game's proceedings, and the impact of Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks, who were forced to sit out the regular season meeting between the two teams.
I'm sure by now you realize that no football game ever truly hinges on a single facet. To illustrate that point, this year's Super Bowl appears to have no shortage of intriguing matchups to chew on.