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Why didn't the Giants fear the Patriots during those two Super Bowls?
Simple: New York's pass rushers knew they held the winning hand.
Rushing Tom Brady was the ultimate challenge, which they accepted with the utmost pleasure. They knew they could rattle him, both physically and mentally, which would cause a ripple effect and capsize New England's entire boat.
This singular conviction made the Giants' defenders obsessed with Brady. They gained inspiration and strength from the simple notion of rushing him. It's the motivation they needed to become world champions.
The Baltimore Ravens are cut from a very similar cloth, as we've seen over the last few years. The Ravens thrive on their toughness, which they force down the Patriots' throat in a variety of ways.
Bernard Pollard has been inextricably linked with the Patriots, both physically and verbally, since 2008. In addition, Tom Brady has been the subject of Terrell Suggs' obsessive hostility for years, with trash-talking that continues to hit way below the belt.
Like the Giants, the Ravens use this toughness to improve their swagger. That swagger makes them better. It's a natural cycle: A team must walk and talk like a big dog before they take over.
The Patriots haven't been able to walk or talk like a big dog during the playoffs for years, because the Giants and Ravens walk and talk like bigger dogs.
This constantly puts the Patriots at a disadvantage before the games begin, which is why they often look discombobulated during these postseason contests (for instance: Opening Super Bowl XLVI with a safety, not scoring a single point in the second half of the 2012 AFC Championship, and so on).
New England needs to acquire aggressive pass rushers who will change their image and forcefully neutralize their enemy's venom through intimidation.
If the Patriots get better pass rushers, the Giants and Ravens will think twice before throwing barbs at them, for fear of throwing red meat to New England's attack dogs and putting their own quarterbacks in jeopardy.
The Patriots need to get the most vicious rushers they can find. They should chase guys like Desmond Bryant and Henry Melton. They should chase everyone.
It's reasonable to overspend here.