New England Patriots Behind Enemy Lines

By Chris Ransom

I asked Rant Sports New York Giants Blogger Jeff Shull some of his thoughts about the New York Giants prior to Super Bowl 46.  This brief Q and A lists the questions I asked Jeff about the Giants.  Jeff asked me some questions about the New England Patriots that you can read on the New York Giants blog.  My questions and Jeff’s answers to the questions are bolded in initials.

CR: Eli Manning only completed 19 passes in Super Bowl 42.  Do you believe Manning has to perform better this time around for the New York Giants to win?

JS: Yes, Eli Manning has to play better this time around.  The Giants had the luxury of relying on a strong running game in the first Super Bowl meeting, but now are forced to be a pass offense after the offensive line did not progress like the coaching staff hoped.  Eli carried the Giants pretty much the entire season, so they need him to perform well if they want to win.

CR: The match ups in the trenches will be vital in this game.  Are you more confident in the Giants ability to protect Eli or get to Tom Brady and why?

JS: I am way more confident in the Giants’ ability to protect Eli than I am of the Patriots OL protecting Tom Brady.  I actually believe the Patriots have a much better group up front, but they are going against a way better pass rush in the Giants.

CR: Last week in the Patriots blog, I raved about the Baltimore Ravens depth on secondary.  Can you tell me about some players on secondary that the Giants have and how they plan to combat the New England Patriots offense?

JS: The Giants’ secondary is an underrated group, but they struggled to stop Wes Welker in the meeting earlier this season.  Corey Webster is their best cover corner so look for him to stick with Welker most of the day.  The Safeties will have their work cut out for them with the tight ends, but I believe they are up to the task.  With this group though, it all depends on how much pressure the front four is getting.

CR: Middle linebackers are like the quarterbacks on defense.  Is Giants middle linebacker Chase Blackburn capable of stalling Brady?

JS: Chase Blackburn is not really the true middle linebacker of the defense.  Sure he plays in the middle sometimes, but Michael Boley is the real quarterback of the Giants defense.  He makes the calls in the huddle and makes the adjustments on the field.  I wouldn’t look for Blackburn to have too much of an impact on the field in terms of making adjustments.  The Giants got two interceptions on Brady in their regular season meeting, so I believie they will have a lot of confidence heading in to this one.

CR: How would you go about game planning against Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez if you were Perry Fewell?

JS: They didn’t do a great job on the two stud tight ends in the last game, but they did slow them down a bit.  If it were me I would try to make sure they have to stay in and block as much as possible.  Put early pressure on Brady and don’t allow him time to hit his guys over the middle.  Press coverage and not letting them get free releases are also big time factors.  The Steelers proved you can stop this Patriots offense by doing those things, and I believe the Giants will be able to make stops when they have to.

CR: Want to give a prediction for Super Bowl 46?

JS: I’ll take the Giants over the Patriots 23-20, Eli Manning leads the Giants down the field for the game winning field goal late in the fourth.

Thanks to Giants blogger Jeff Shull for answering those questions about the New York Giants.  The questions that I answered about the New England Patriots can be seen on the Giants team page at Rant Sports.  Below is where you can read my answers to Jeff’s full questions.



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