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.”
“Tebowmania” comes to Super Bowl
INDIANAPOLIS — Someday, Tim Tebow hopes to be playing in the Super Bowl rather than just visiting.
The Denver Broncos quarterback made the media rounds at the Super Bowl on Thursday, talking about everything from what he needs to work on before next season to his admiration for Eli Manning and Tom Brady to his video game rivalry with his brother.
“You play the game to be in a game like this,” Tebow said during a taping of “NBC Sports Talk Live from the Super Bowl,” which was to air later Thursday. “It’s definitely a dream to be in a game like this.”
Tebowmania swept the country after Tebow led the Broncos on five fourth-quarter comebacks and four overtime victories — each more improbable than the last. He spawned a new verb, “Tebowing” — the practice of kneeling on one knee, elbow perched on the other, fist to forehead — and everyone from skiing star Lindsey Vonn to high school kids was soon doing it. There was even a website devoted to the practice.
But a week after connecting with Demaryius Thomas on an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of overtime to beat heavily favored Pittsburgh in the wild-card round, Tebow and the Broncos were embarrassed by the New England Patriots.
“That Tom Brady is really good,” Tebow said when asked what he learned from the game. “And just to continue to work. … If we get better and continue to work, anything can happen.”
Tebow’s detractors have said he’d be better suited to play running back in the NFL than quarterback, with an unorthodox throwing motion. But Broncos boss John Elway has already declared Tebow the starter going into next season’s training camp, and the quarterback said he knows where he needs to improve.
“Definitely my footwork and drops,” he said. “Getting from receiver to receiver, my progressions. I continue to try and work on things and I was very blessed to have a good quarterback coach in Mike McCoy. But, ultimately, I’m just going out there and playing football.”
Asked whether he’d prefer to run or throw a pass if he had only one play to win a game, Tebow said he didn’t care.
“Probably the pass because I can get one more player involved in the game,” he said. “As long as we get a W, I don’t care how it happens.”