Super Bowl XLVI Preview: Tom Brady against the New York Giants Defense

Dan Vasta@CI_StatsGuruSenior Writer IIIJanuary 26, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The countdown has already begun for Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.

The Giants of course won Super Bowl XLII back in 2008 (17-14), which ended the legendary undefeated season of the Patriots.

Tom Brady had the most passing touchdowns in a season (50), Randy Moss had the most receiving TDs (23), and yet the Giants defense made the Pats offense look ordinary.

There were several factors into why both of these teams are back at it once again, but let us talk about nearly every matchup there is that will determine your Super Bowl XLVI winner.

I will break down a different matchup every single day leading up to what many believe is the best sports day of the entire year.

After talking about Eli Manning's chances against the Patriots defense, now it is time to discuss Tom Brady's chances against a ferocious Giants defense.

The G-Men have won three playoff games in a row and allowed only 39 points in the process. During the regular season, New York surprisingly averaged 25 PPG (25th) whereas the Patriots hung 32 PPG (third).

However, the Giants are nearly as dominant on defense as they were during their Super Bowl run back in 2008.

Osi Umenyiora's 3.5 postseason sacks have been huge since Justin Tuck (1.5 sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul (0.5 sacks) have also been unblockable. 

It was the pressure of Osi, Tuck and Michael Strahan that gave Tom Brady major issues in their 17-14 loss in Super Bowl XLII.

However, the offensive line (Logan Mankins, Matt Light, Dan Connolly, Brian Waters, Nate Solder) this time around has been sensational in the postseason allowing just one sack (the Patriots defense has sacked the opposition eight times).

Brady will key on Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski against a Giants secondary that gave up the fourth most passing yards per game (255) in the NFL during the regular season.

Aaron Ross, Corey Webster and Deon Grant will be matched up against the fierce foursome.  

Behind the Giants' pass rush, safeties Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips must play like stars.

"Gronk" will likely demand double-teams all night long (ton of bracket coverage), which should open up the slots for Welker and or Hernandez.

The linebackers (Michael Boley, Chase Blackburn Mathias Kiwanuka and Jacquian Williams) for New York are fairly athletic, but they have not seen the likes of New England's fabulous group of receivers and tight ends.

Plus, Brady has shown great feet in the pocket for years. He will face some relentless heat and pressure by arguably the baddest (and most talented) men on the planet.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady #12 makes a call during Super Bowl XXXIX between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6, 2005.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Still, nobody has been able to sit back and step up in the pocket better than the former sixth-round draft pick and three-time Super Bowl winner ( MVP in '02, '04).

Brady's Patriots were second in the NFL averaging 318 passing yards per game, but the hope is that the future Hall of Famer does not have another sub-par game as he puts it against the Ravens (some thought of a separated non-throwing shoulder won't be an excuse for Tom especially since we know how The Hoody deals with injury talk).

Completing 68.6 percent of your passes are not bad numbers in the postseason (105.8 passer rating) and he is spreading the wealth with the best of them right now (Gronk 15 receptions, Welker 12 receptions, Hernandez 11 receptions).

Despite the Giants improving against the pass for the past few weeks, Brady has been to four Super Bowls and has seen it all (This Pats team much better than the ones that lost 24-20 to NYG earlier).

His biggest advantage this past season has been the stellar play of "Gronk" and the consistency from Welker. In fact, one could argue that the tools around Brady might just be the best he has ever had.

Moderate Edge: Patriots


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