The New York Giants have defeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl twice. The Seattle Seahawks look to replicate the Giants’ formula as they prepare to battle the Patriots on the first of February.
The Patriots were an historic 18-0. The Giants knew they could fight with the Patriots after a 35-38 regular season finale. The Patriots had gained more yards than any other team ever did in a season, and they also scored the most points than any team (The 2013 Denver Broncos broke both these records).
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The Giants on paper, were the lesser team. They won the game though and its because they won the battle at the line of scrimmage. The Giants’ defensive line was dominant. By getting inside pressure on Tom Brady, they were able to get him out of rhythm.
By rerouting their wide receivers, in aggressive coverage, the Giants defensive backs changed the timing of the play. The Giants helped to prove that playoff football is not about who is the best team, but who has the better match ups.
Nov 24, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) gets up after a sack by the Denver Broncos in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots’ offense that barely broke a sweat to obliterate most of the teams on their schedule finally had to deal with frustration. The Giants won the game 17-14. It was all about the battle upfront. The Giants were able to get to Brady, who is an almost robotic mid-line passer. When Brady could not step into the pocket and drive his passes, the offense didn’t run the same.
In 2011, the teams met again in the Super Bowl. The Patriots and Giants were both very different teams but the result was very similar. Instead of Michael Strahan it was Jason Pierre-Paul. Instead of Randy Moss, it was Rob Gronkowski. It was still Brady and the game plan was pretty much the same. The Giants won the game 21-17, once again frustrating Brady.
The Seahawks will try to replicate what the Giants did twice. They will stunt their outside pass rushers inside to collapse Brady’s precious pocket. They will use their shut down secondary to reroute and derail Brady’s receiving targets. The Seahawks must force the Patriots to play their kind of ugly, grind it out football game.