Couch Side Super Bowl Preview: Defense
BY CHUCK CONSTANTINO & TREVOR GOULD, Couchsideshow.com
The 2011 Super Bowl will feature a rematch of 2008’s classic Giants–Patriots showdown. The Giants are coming in hot, but the Patriots are the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Couch Side Show bloggers Chuck Constantino and Trevor Gould weigh in on the matchup.
Trevor Courtland Gould (TCG): The Giants possess a defensive line that makes offensive lineman quake in their shoes. They are athletic, relentless, and have a mean streak to them. When Justin Tuck isn’t repping Subway sandwiches, he is wrecking havoc against opposing offenses. Linval Joseph and Chris Canty are solid tackles, and Jason Pierre-Paul has established himself as one of the premier athletic freaks in the NFL. And when one of them is tired, in comes veteran Osi Umenyiora, who is probably extra angry due to being relegated to back-up duty. This defensive line is scary.
Chuck Constantino (CC): This isn’t even close; the Giants hands down own the scariest defensive line in football. The speed and relentlessness of the front four cannot be simulated during practice leading up to the big game. These big uglies will hit Tom Brady all night.
TCG: Neither linebacker core is extraordinary, but I feel the Giants trio of Mathias Kiwanuka, Michael Boley, and Chase Blackburn have the edge. They are athletic, possess good play awareness, and benefit from having a beast defensive line pushing back plays and instigating all forms of chaos.
CC: The play of New England’s linebackers is somewhat underrated. Jerod Mayo is no slouch, and Brandon Spikes proved he could come up with the big play when needed. They will not be able to line up with wide receiver Victor Cruz in the slot though. Advantage Pats.
TCG: Some of the Giants’ more vocal defensive players reside within their secondary, and this season they have backed their tough talk with results. Aaron Ross and Corey Webster combined for 10 interceptions over the course of the regular season, and have established themselves as one of the most formidable cornerback duos in the NFL. They are athletic and lanky corners who aren’t afraid to play physically and aggressively. Watching their backs is talented free safety Antrel Rolle, whose field vision and quickness help him track and break-up potential big plays.
CC: While New England’s Kyle Arrington shook off the bust label this year leading the league with seven interceptions, he alone can’t make up for the lack of talent in the secondary. I mean, Julian Edelman was matched up against Anquan Boldin in the AFC title game. Webster has been able to match up against opposing teams best wide outs all year and Rolle tends to step up in big games, look for the Giants to have the clear advantage.