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