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  1. #1
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    GIANTS-PATRIOTS MATCHUP OF THE DAY: SATURDAY

    GIANTS-PATRIOTS MATCHUP OF THE DAY: SATURDAY

    "Here's a key matchup to watch in Super Bowl XLVI:



    Giants third-down offense vs. Patriots third-down
    defense




    The Giants want to score points, move the football, collect first downs and
    keep Tom Brady off the field. The Patriots want to get their weakest unit — the
    defense — off the field and get Brady and the offense on the field.




    Simple, but a crucial matchup to deciding the outcome of the Super Bowl.




    The Giants were 14th in the league in third-down efficiency this season, and
    the Patriots were a woeful 29th in third-down defense. Eli Manning and company
    can wear down the Patriots' "D" by converting third downs and keeping Brady off
    the field as much as possible.




    First, let's look back at the Week Nine matchup, where the G-Men struggled to
    convert on third down. In the game, they were 4-of-14 on third-down
    opportunities, and 2-of-12 entering their final drive of the game.




    But the two third-down plays on that game-winning drive made the
    difference.




    On 3rd-and-10 from his own 39-yard line, Manning hit TE Jake Ballard on a
    deep seam route for a 28-yard gain. Four plays later, on 3rd-and-goal from the
    Patriots' one-yard line, Manning hit Ballard again, this time for the
    game-winning touchdown.




    Part of Manning and Ballard's success came from the fact that the Patriots
    had to employ LB Tracy White, their special-teams ace, on defense in that final
    drive. That likely won't happen on Sunday.




    The Patriots, who were last in the league in third-down defense in 2010, have
    not improved much in that area. In their AFC title win over the Ravens,
    Baltimore was 9-of-17 on third down. Lack of lock-down personnel in the
    secondary and a pass rush that does not strike fear in opposing quarterbacks is
    a big reason for New England's difficulty getting its defense off the field the
    past two seasons.




    The Pats have been without their top pass rusher, DE Andre Carter, since Week
    15, but Mark Anderson has provided a spark. He had a sack and two QB hits in the
    win over the Ravens and 10 sacks in the regular season. He will be key in
    getting pressure on Manning early in the play on third-down situations.




    In the secondary, look for the Patriots to bring Sterling Moore on as an
    outside corner and move Devin McCourty to safety in their nickel package. It's
    something they have done this postseason and could continue, unless Bill
    Belichick believes that McCourty can man up on the crucial down. WR Julian
    Edelman also has seen a lot of his time on defense on third downs, though it
    would be a big mismatch if he's covering Giants WR Victor Cruz.




    Manning has been exceptional this season on third down. He had a 109.4 passer
    rating — good for third-best in the league behind Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers
    on third downs. He also had the most completions of at least 25 yards on third
    down — 18. Getting pressure on Manning will be important for the Patriots' front
    line, but Manning has shown the ability to escape pocket pressure and find the
    open man. It helps when you have receivers like Hakeem Nicks, Cruz and Mario
    Manningham.




    The Patriots don't blitz that often, and might avoid it on Sunday because of
    the one-on-one matchups that would give an advantage to the Giants' receivers.
    If Manning can convert third downs at will, it will be a blow to the Patriots'
    defense, but any time that New England can force a punt might be considered a
    win on Sunday, and it will get Brady the ball back."

    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1






    # 80

  2. #2
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    Re: GIANTS-PATRIOTS MATCHUP OF THE DAY: SATURDAY

    [quote user="RoanokeFan"]



    The Patriots don't blitz that often, and might avoid it on Sunday because of
    the one-on-one matchups that would give an advantage to the Giants' receivers.
    If Manning can convert third downs at will, it will be a blow to the Patriots'
    defense, but any time that New England can force a punt might be considered a
    win on Sunday, and it will get Brady the ball back."

    [/quote]

    Only way the niners kept themselves in that game was almost getting to Eli on just about every play in the second half. He was ripping them pretty good in the first half. Pats don't blitz, thats fine by me. Eli, with just a bit more time than a blitzer usually allows, is going to find one of his 4 main targets just about every play.

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