When it comes to defeating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, the Giants have to sack Tom Brady. They have to slow him down and get him off rhythm. You could say that was one of the reasons they one their first match up. Brady was sacked five times in that title match four years ago.
Brady threw for 50 touchdowns that year and the team was on the path to completing a perfect season: 19-0. But those sacks and the pressure put on Brady disrupted his rhythm enough so so that he threw only one touchdown in that game, ending the night at 29 of 46 for 266 yards.
This year it may be different. Brady is a quick passer with two great tight ends that seem always to be open up the middle. Dumping it off to them for quick gains could be enough to make the Giants defense honest and spread the field.
Lots not forget Wes Welker.
Wes Welker is a wide receiver who can play like a tight end–except really fast. That’s what makes him such a versatile threat.
These three players–Welker, Grankowski and Hernandez–make for great quick targets. Throw in the fact that the ageing offensive Matt Light needs help, Brady ended up throwing nearly 3,000 yards on throws under 10 yards.
The Giants, on the other hand, have Justin Tuck and two-year standout Jason Pierre-Paul. Tuck recorded two of those touchdowns from four years ago and Pierre-Paul is a beast to stop. He’s easily one of the best defensive players in the playoffs so far.
And he’s healthy. So is Tuck. But there are some defensive players who are not as healthy. Here’s the injury report the Giants released today.
- David Baas C Abdomen – Limited participation in practice (LP)
- Chase Blackburn LB Calf – LP
- Will Blackmon CB Knee – Did not participate in practice (DNP)
- Ahmad Bradshaw RB Foot – LP
- Hakeem Nicks WR Shoulder – DNP
- Umenyiora, Osi DE Ankle/Knee – LP
- Corey Webster CB Hamstring – DNP
- Jacquian Williams LB Foot – DNP
If the pressure isn’t put on Brady, then the New York Giants secondary has to hold up and cover the Patriots wide receivers if they want to win the game. Then again, if they can’t, Eli Manning needs to be prepared for a shootout. That’s means Nicks and Ahmad need to be healthy. Even if they aren’t fully, Victor Cruz may end up being the MVP.
Dr. Rick Lehman is a distinguished orthopedic surgeon in St. Louis, Missouri and an articular cartilage reconstruction pioneer. He owns U. S. Sports Medicine in Kirkwood, MO, and LehmanHealth. Learn more about Dr. Rick.