INDIANAPOLIS — Super Bowl XLVI pegs two of the worst statistical passing defenses in the league against each other. The Giants' "D" ranked 29th overall against the pass during the regular season (255.1 passing yards allowed per game); the Patriots' 31st-ranked pass defense surrendered an alarming 293.9 yards per game.
With both passing offenses in the top five, something has to give, right?
At media day on Tuesday, Giants LCB Corey Webster discussed the obstacles of trying to slow down New England.
"It's kind of hard to match up with how they do because they line up people anywhere. You just have to be cognizant of where their playmakers are at all times, know where they are on the field, and hopefully disrupt some timing between the quarterback and the receivers, and that will help us out."
Translation: The Giants are unlikely to shut down the Patriots; instead, being as physical as possible and knocking receivers — including big, athletic tight ends — off their routes will be paramount.
Webster said making Patriots QB Tom Brady uncomfortable will be equally important. In the Giants' Week Nine win over New England, Brady was under constant duress, and his play suffered as a result.
"I had a coach — Coach (Nick) Saban — that always told me, 'If you show me a good defensive end, I'll show you a good cornerback.' He just said that to say that it goes hand in hand. For a rusher, you've got to have a good back seven. I think what we did — everything didn't start out as smooth as we would have liked it to, but it's not a perfect world. So, I think we did a great job of getting better all year long, and I think our secondary is doing great, doing wonderful. I think we're one of the best secondaries here. We might not have started the season that way, but we are great."
Webster thinks going up against the Giants' talented WR corps in practices this season has made the "D," on whole, a better unit. After barely escaping the 49ers to advance to Indianapolis, New York's "D" is in store for a significant step up in class from San Francisco's offense this weekend.