Today: Defensive Line/Linebackers
Tomorrow: Defensive Backs
Wednesday: Special Teams
Thursday: Running Backs/ Offensive Line
Friday: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Sunday: Game Predictions
When analyzing defensive front seven for both of these teams it is hard to miss their size. Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is 6’5’’ 280 lbs. Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork 6’2’’ 325 lbs. Both of these guys, despite their massive frames, can get after the quarterback. In fact, only three guys (Osi Umenyiora of the Giants, J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed both of the Houston Texans) have more sacks than Wilfork. Despite playing in one fewer game than Umenyiora, Wilfork has 2.5 sacks to Umenyiora’s 3.5. But, outside of Wilfork and linebacker Rob Ninkovich (1.5 sacks), the Patriots front seven only has 3 total sacks this post season. The Patriots have seven total sacks in two games (3.5 sacks per game). They are going to need to step up their pressure on the quarterback if they plan to take down Manning and the Giants. One thing the Patriots front seven does well is tackle. The front seven of the Patriots have three guys with 12 or more tackles in the playoffs, lead by Jerod Mayo’s 17 tackles.
When looking at these numbers, they certainly skew in favor of the Giants because the Giants have played an extra game because the Patriots had a first round bye. The two defenses are different. The Patriots run a 3-4 defense whereas the Giants run a 4-3. This is one of the closest position battles to decide but, having watched the pressure that the Giants front seven has put on quarterbacks in recent weeks, it is hard to give New England the advantage despite what the numbers might say. This could go either way but, in a close matchup, the Giants get the nod.
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