Super Bowl 2012

As the country prepares to watch the SuperBowl XLVI, the New England Patriots are preparing to protect their Quarterback Tom Brady from being sacked. Though Tom Brady has gone 126 consecutive season games without being sacked 5 times, it has happened twice in the last five years during post season games. Both those games ended in losses, most worryingly this includes the SuperBowl XLII loss against the New York Giant.

The writing on the wall is clear for the Patriots, they have to protect their Quarterback or risk losing again, and as the Giants finished the 2011 season with 48 sacks( only the Vikings have more) this is a tall order. For the Giants having more defenders is crucial against the Patriots, but this can come at the expense of pressure on the quarterback. Brady excels when his opponents use extra pass rushers at the expense of coverage. The Giants have played most of their season with 4 or fewer pass rushers and Jason Pierre-Paul is the biggest threat to the Patriots offensive line in such a situation as 11.5 of his 16.5 sacks have come with four or fewer pass rushers.

This means that Sunday will be a busy night for the Patriot’s offensive line of Matt Light and Logan Mankins most of the Giant’s sacks have come from players lining up at the right end. As Matt light has been having his best season in ages, this could prove to be good news for the Patriots. The Patriots also may have an advantage over the Giants in pass protection, as they have allowed only 142 pressures against the 220 allowed by the Giants. Other assets for the Patriots are Brian Waters, who has excelled at the guard position for New England, rookie Nate Solder as right tackle. It is interesting to note that with Solder as right tackle Brady has had 25 touch downs against 11 with Sebastian Vollmer.

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