Super Bowl 2012: 5 New England Patriots That Must Step Up vs. New York Giants

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIJanuary 27, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14:  Deion Branch #84 of the New England Patriots scores a 61-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Super Bowl XLVI is just a little over a week away, and it cannot get here much faster. The extra week in between the conference championships and the Super Bowl is just too long and drags by so slow.

With that being said, it gives us some extra time to analyze the Super Bowl to the best of our capabilities and really gear ourselves up for the big game. 

Super Bowl XLVI is going to be a Super Bowl for the ages as it's a rematch of Super Bowl XLII—which all Patriot fans would love to forget.

If Patriot fans want to have Super Bowl XLII erased from their memory with a Super Bowl win this year, there are five players who are going to have to step up in order to for New England to win Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants

Patrick Chung

There's no question that Patrick Chung is New England's best defensive back, and he's going to have to step up in a big way to contain New York's explosive offense.

We all know by now that the Patriots defense is pretty pathetic, especially when it comes to stopping the pass. With that being said, Chung needs to have the game of his life, flying around the field and making plays left and right, for the Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVI. 

Aaron Hernandez

As Rob Gronkowski is suffering from a sprained ankle and will likely be double-covered against the Giants, New England's other tight end, Aaron Hernandez, is going to have to pick up the slack.

Hernandez had a hell of season in 2011 as he caught 79 passes for 910 yards while scoring seven touchdowns. 

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

BenJarvus Green-Ellis really picked up the slack for the New England Patriots a week ago in the AFC Championship as he ran for 68 yards and a touchdown in the team's win over the Baltimore Ravens.

There's no secret that the Giants are going to do whatever it takes to contain New England's high-flying passing attack, which means Green-Ellis is going to have to step up his game when he gets the ball and will have to punish the Giants in the running game.

Nate Solder

A year ago Nate Solder was coming out of Colorado and preparing himself for the NFL draft. Now, Solder is New England's starting right tackle and will be playing in the Super Bowl in a little over a week.

Solder had a solid rookie season as he allowed only four sacks in 16 games for the Patriots.

Solder will likely have to block Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka, two of New York's best pass-rushers. He is going to certainly have his hands full come Super Bowl Sunday.

Deion Branch

With so much attention being paid to Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, Deion Branch must have a big day.

The former Super Bowl MVP needs to search for some youth inside his body and have a huge day. as his opportunities will come and he will have to take them when they're presented to him. 

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