INDIANAPOLIS — It’s no secret how to stay out of trouble against the New York Giants.
Doing it, however, is another matter.
The Giants have perhaps the best pass rushers in the NFL, a group Brady knows all too well. He absorbed five sacks and was hit nine times when the New England Patriots lost to the Giants 17-14 in the Super Bowl four years ago. Brady was only sacked twice when the teams met Nov. 6, but one of those miscues resulted in a Giants touchdown one play later.
“This team has a very good pass rush. I’ve seen it game after game,” Brady said Wednesday. “They can get to the quarterback. They can hit the quarterback. They can force the quarterback into some bad decisions and some bad throws. We’re going to try and eliminate those. We really can’t afford too many of those on Sunday.
“We had too many of those the last time we played them, and we’re not going to be able to win the game making mistakes.”
Especially not with the way the Giants are playing right now.
The Giants finished the regular season tied for third in the NFL with 48 sacks. Eleven of those came in the last two games of the regular season, victories over the crosstown rival Jets and Dallas Cowboys, and the Giants have added nine more in their three playoff wins.
What makes New York’s pass rush so ferocious is that it never stops coming, with a line that goes eight deep. All Pro Jason Pierre-Paul led the team with 16 1/2 sacks in his second season, while Osi Umenyiora had nine in only nine games. Justin Tuck and backup defensive end Dave Tollefson had five apiece, Chris Canty added four and fellow tackle Linval Joseph had two.
Oh, and don’t forget linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, who had 3 1/2 sacks playing as a lineman in passing situations.
“It wouldn’t be the Super Bowl if they weren’t talking about coming to knock me down and trying to knock me out,” Brady said. “That’s what I expect. And you know what? Our offensive line gets paid to keep those guys out of there.”