SB UPDATE: I'll be live blogging the game a bit with comment moderation off, so dig in and enjoy the game and post your comments which will be visible immediately.
That should be the headline Monday. Will it be?
The last time the Giants beat the Cheaters in the Super Bowl they battered Brady into submission. So that should be the playbook this time, right? Lots of blitzes and stunts and safeties shooting the gaps.
Not this time. Not if Giant Coach Tom Coughlin is smart. The way to beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick this time is not to blitz, but to rush two or three and keep eight or nine men in coverage, a/k/a The Dime Defense. Go ahead and let the Patriots run. Their running game never beat anyone and it never will. But their wide receivers break the best teams if they aren't properly covered.
Most important change: the Giants best defensive back plays Wes Welker wherever he lines up, including the slot. This is key. Welker beats linebackers like The Mavs beat the Heat- easily.
In a dime defense, there are six defensive backs, and then either four defensive linemen and one line backer or three d-linemen and two linebackers. The key is to put a corner back and/or safety on every Patriot wide receiver when the Patriots go five wide, which they do quite often. And out of the five wide set you will see if you study their film that they run crossing routes, Welker in the slot waiting while Branch crosses in front of him at the snap. By the time the linebacker sheds Branch's "pick" Welker is eight yards down the field. Tight man coverage at the line will stop that.
The Giants offensive will score almost at will against a weak Patriots defense. Belichick will take his QB in a shootout against any QB in the league. So this game boils down to the Giant defense stopping the Patriot offense.
When there are seven or eight defensive backs in coverage, it throws off Brady's short passing timing routes. Tight man coverage by corner backs with two safeties playing zone and perhaps one linebacker either blitzing or doubling one of the troublesome Patriot TEs is the way to disrupt the Patriot routes and confuse Brady. With eight backs n coverage, a tipped ball turns into a pick six more often than not. If the Giants can do this, they will win.
Giants 35-Patriots 27.
Take Heads in the coin toss.
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