Football Shrink: Giants Can Win Super Bowl by Coping with Pressure Better than Patriots

Share Article

Dr. John F. Murray, a Palm Beach sport psychologist called the "Freud of Football" by the Washington Post, provides his annual assessment of how the two NFL Super Bowl teams have been performing using his trademarked Mental Performance Index (MPI). While he shows one way the Giants can win this game, he concludes that it is more likely that the Patriots will achieve perfection. The Patriots are better on offense while the Giants are better on defense, but the Patriots are far superior in all categories of pressure management.

John F Murray's Logo

Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game

Dr. John F. Murray (, a licensed clinical and sport performance psychologist in Palm Beach (aka the "Football Shrink," and the "Freud of Football" by the Washington Post) provides Mental Performance Index (MPI) statistics to show that the New England Patriots should easily defeat the New York Giants on Super Bowl Sunday, but the Giants are capable of winning if they manage pressure better than the Patriots.

The MPI analysis of performance under pressure during the NFL Playoffs shows much better clutch performance as the reason why the Patriots should win by at least two touchdowns.

The Patriots annihilated the Giants in pressure offense (.590 to .467), pressure defense (.602 to .479) and total pressure (.589 to .463). This represents a huge contrast in how much better the Patriots manage critical situations.

Simply put, the Patriots performed better under pressure than the Giants. The Giants have hope only if they perform much better during pressured, stressed moments of the game, and/or the Patriots perform much worse. Since the Super Bowl stage presents the most pressure of the year, this trend is most likely to continue, and the Patriots will probably soon be perfect.

The complimentary Super Bowl numerology by "The Football Shrink," is posted on his website: . New England (.550) scored better than New York (.532) on the total MPI score throughout the playoffs, and higher than the Giants in five of seven categories.

The Patriots posted an amazing .621 to .537 advantage over the Giants on offense, but the Giants were clearly better on defense (.523 to .468) and slighter better on special teams (.605 to .598). This normally indicates a closer game, but the MPI analysis of performance under pressure tells why it probably won't be.

That the Giants scored higher on defense and special teams gives them some hope for an upset.

Dr. Murray's Mental Performance Index ( assigns points on each play throughout the playoffs for "focused execution," "pressure management," and "reduction of mental errors." The team scores, like a baseball batting average, are represented on a scale ranging from .000 to 1.000 (perfection).

The MPI's five year Super Bowl record is remarkable, beating the spread in 4 out of the 5 Super Bowls used, and accurately estimating performance each year. A summary chart of this football success can be seen at:

In addition to providing the annual MPI ratings and estimates, Dr. Murray provides sport psychology services out of his office in Palm Beach, Florida, and mental coaching via phone. He is a former tennis professional known for authoring the best-selling sport psychology book "Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game," cover endorsed by the world's ranked player at the time, Lindsay Davenport. He is also known for helping American tennis pro Vince Spadea bounce back from the longest losing streak in ATP Tour history (21 in a row) to return to a #18 world ranking and first ATP Tour title in Scottsdale (1984).    

Dr. Murray's work extends to other challenging performance situations. He has helped NFL quarterbacks, PGA Tour golfers, NCAA division I basketball teams, and hundreds of other athletes and teams, business executives and sales teams. While in graduate school at the University of Florida he conducted his Ph.D. dissertation on the 1997 national champion Florida Gators football team.

Dr. Murray is available for interviews by calling 561-596-9898. His website with hundreds of articles, videos and audios can be found at .

John F. Murray, PhD
Licensed Sport Psychologist
340 Royal Poinciana Way Suite 339J
Palm Beach, FL 33480
Telephone: 561-596-9898


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website