Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Defenses Eye Face Time with QBs at Super Bowl

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Defenses Eye Face Time with QBs at Super Bowl

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - The defenses in Super Bowl XLVI will head into Sunday's game with similar philosophies: No one likes to get hit, especially a quarterback. So Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Eli Manning of the New York Giants understand that it not only will take skill but toughness to celebrate on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in a shower of confetti.

"As a quarterback, you can't sit back there and think that you're going to have all day to throw the ball," said Brady. "You have to be able to find guys quickly and get the ball to them.

"You can't hold the ball too much. They have blitz schemes that are challenging to handle."

In the teams' regular-season meeting on Nov. 6 in Foxborough, it turned out to be a bit too much for the Patriots.

Brady hit 28 of 49 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns. But he was intercepted twice, sacked twice, and lost a fumble in the Giants' 24-20 win. Manning, meantime, was 20 of 39 for 250 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted once, but avoided being sacked.

He knows the Patriots will be coming at him hard this time.

"We work on the off-balance throws, throwing on the run, scrambling and moving the pocket," he said. "Sometimes we work on the awkward throws when your feet can't be set and you have to get the ball out.

"You'd love every play to work the way it's designed and be on that perfect rhythm, that five-step drop, you're hitting your fifth step and the ball's coming out. The reality is a lot of times you have to move around. Sometimes you have to break the pocket and scramble. Those are still opportunities to make plays and to make big plays in the game."

That's what happened when the teams met in the Super Bowl four years ago. Manning avoided a sack, just barely, and David Tyree made an incredible catch to extend a drive that led to a 17-14 Giants' victory.

"When it comes down to the fourth quarter, Eli is going to make plays," said New England defensive tackle Kyle Love. "So we as a defense have to finish it. We didn't do that last game, so we have to do that this game."

Neither defense has been great statistically.

The Giants ranked 27th in yards allowed per game and 29th in passing defense while giving up 25. …

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