Patriots: Rush to judgment day

Justin Tuck and the Giants pass rush put pressure on Tom Brady all night long in Super Bowl XLII.
ELSA/GETTY IMAGES

There’s nothing worse for Patriots fans than watching Tom Brady get drilled into the ground.

 Last Sunday, it didn’t happen — and the Patriots won. That’s not a coincidence. The Ravens’ defensive line and pass rush is one of the best in the biz, but the Patriots’ offensive line proved to be better that day.

 If Brady gets time to throw, he’ll eventually find his men – Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez. If he’s constantly pressured and unable to do anything between the hash marks, then it’s going to be a long game.

 Perhaps that’s the biggest matchup that needs to be focused on: the Pats’ dependable O-line against the Giants’ lethal D-line — one that’s even better than Baltimore’s.

“Those four or five guys, six guys, they have a bunch of them, they roll them all in there,” Bill Belichick said of the Giants D-line. “They’re all good and some of them have their own unique skills to rush the passer, so that makes it a different match up when one guy is in there relative to another guy.”

 The Patriots brought on two-time All-Pro guard Brian Waters to the offensive line this year and put him next to rookie right tackle Nate Solder. Matt Light and Logan Mankins have held down Brady’s left side for years — Light for Brady’s entire career. Those four have done an exceptional job this season.

 But Light knows how much havoc the Giants can wreak.

“I think that’s the heart and soul of that defense,” Light said. “And you see how they play the game and the impact that they have. They can get it done rushing four, they can get it done rushing three in some cases. (They like to) bring (Mathias) Kiwanuka in there and bring him into the mix as well.”


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