Patriots vs Giants: Super Bowl Positional Breakdown (Defense)

Patriots Super Bowl Spikes

Brandon Spikes' presence in the middle could be the difference in Super Bowl XLVI. (Photo: ICON SMI)

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

I took on the offensive positional breakdown yesterday, today I’ll concentrate on the defense, special teams and coaching to see who has the overall advantage in Super Bowl XLVI.

Even though the Patriots have been playing out of more of a 3-4 base the last couple weeks, I’ll be doing the defensive breakdown as if both teams are playing a 4-3, it will make it easier for the sake of the breakdown.

DEFENSIVE END
Patriots: Mark Anderson, Brandon Deaderick
Giants: Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul

This is where the Giants start to regain some advantage in this game. The Giants have one of the best pass rush defenses in the league, and the Patriots have one of the more inconsistent ones.

Advantage: Giants

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Patriots: Kyle Love, Vince Wilfork
Giants: Chris Canty, Linval Joseph

This is incredibly close, but the Patriots have the best player by far, but both Giants DTs are better than Love. I do think Love is an underrated defender though.

Advantage: Patriots

DEFENSIVE LINE DEPTH
Patriots: Ron Brace, Shaun Ellis, Gerard Warren
Giants: Rocky Bernard, Jimmy Kennedy, Dave Tollefson, Justin Trattou, Osi Umenyiora

It’s confusing why Dave Tollefson was even getting the amount of snaps he was this season, but Osi Umenyiora is so good, the edge has to go to the Giants. Gerard Warren is one of the more underrated players playing in this game though.

Advantage: Giants

MIDDLE LINEBACKER
Patriots: Brandon Spikes
Giants: Chase Blackburn

Blackburn has really come on as of late for the Giants, but Spikes adds an entirely different dimension to the Patriots defense with his run stopping skills and his overall tenacity.

Advantage: Patriots

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER
Patriots: Rob Ninkovich
Giants: Mathias Kiwanuka

This one is incredibly close. According to Pro Football Focus, Ninkovich as a 13.2 rating on the season while Kiwanuka has a 11.3. Combine that with the fact that Kiwanuka has been averaging about 50% of the Giants snaps during the playoffs, and the edge has to go to Nink.

Advantage: Patriots

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER
Patriots: Jerod Mayo
Giants: Michael Boley

A lot of people seem to think that Mayo has been struggling playing in a 4-3 this season, but in fact he’s had a really solid season. Boley’s a good player, but he’s not Jerod Mayo.

Advantage: Patriots

LINEBACKER DEPTH
Patriots: Dane Fletcher, Gary Guyton, Niko Koutouvides, Tracy White
Giants: Mark Herzlich, Greg Jones, Spencer Paysinger, Jacquian Williams

This is a pretty rough group. Dane Fletcher is an inconsistent but mostly solid player and Gary Guyton likely won’t even be active to be as terrible as he could be. Williams is the most active reserve linebacker for the Giants and has been a solid player throughout the playoffs.

Advantage: Giants

Click on Page 2 for the defensive backs, special teams, and coaching.

Continue to Page: 1 2

Tags: Julian Edelman, Mark Anderson, Pat Chung, Super Bowl, Vince Wilfork

10 Responses to “Patriots vs Giants: Super Bowl Positional Breakdown (Defense)”

  1. TD says:

    Not sure why you are comparing same units to each other, this game will be decided on whose offense can score against the others defense.

    I think our OLine this time around can keep Brady from being killed by Gints DLine. I also don’t think the Gints offense will score at will because their OLine has a lot of weak links, especially at the OT spots. Our edge guys, Anderson and Nink could have big days.

    • Tom says:

      Agreed. The Pats front seven are going to cause a lot of problems for the Giants o-line.

    • HakeemtheMachine says:

      the Giants did score 24 points without Nicks and Bradshaw in the first meeting. That is kinda a big deal from the Giants offense perspective.Teams have had to pick there poison in how they roll there coverage.The Pats didnt even have to worry about that and the Giants still won the game.

  2. Billy C says:

    All three linebacker spots are probably closer to a push than a Patriots edge. Also I love Wilfork and agree that Love is underated (even though his production fades as he plays more snaps), however, I may give the edge to the Giants on this one. I just think there is more of a pocket push from the middle with the Giants than the Patriots. I know the middle of the Giants front four benefits from great DE’s, but that entire defensive front line is playing great football.

  3. Rick says:

    Score prediction??

  4. Phil says:

    I agree with you for the most part. I do actually favor out nickelback position Moore than the Giants nickelback position –pun intended. Both Moore and Edelman have really been great for us.

  5. HakeemtheMachine says:

    Tollefson got a lot of snaps because Osi missed half the season and Tuck was falling apart physically.When u added Kiwis snaps did u add in his snaps at DT and DE. He only plays LB on first down and run situations



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