Saturday, February 4, 2012

Giant Super Bowl project: Beat Brady

The key to dethroning the Patriots – who are indeed royalty in the modern NFL era – is to unseat King Brady. The Golden Boy of American pro football is one of the few quarterbacks whose body of work apparently excludes him from being pulverized by opponents. If, instead, Patriot enemies were permitted to work within the regular parameters of the sport, then Brady's torso, and not his resume, would occupy tacklers’ thoughts.
Nonetheless, there are other roads aspiring champions can travel. So to assist the New York Giants, because they're the team requiring greater help in the upcoming Super Bowl I believe, here are three ways to unnerve Tom Brady (none of which, I'm proud to say, involve commenting on his hair before the ball is hiked).
1. Rush him: it’s a straightforward plan employed with monumental success since the days of Ghengis Kahn. If you pester people enough, at least Ghengis found, they’ll surrender entire land masses. Similarly, when Brady wins, it's because he's been awarded too much time. Nobody holds firm in the pocket like Brady, nor steps up as effectively when the rush comes. So blitzing him is certainly easier said than done. With a concentrated approach up the middle, however, that limits Brady’s ability to step forward and load, the Giants can disrupt the Patriots passing rhythm. But they also need to be wary of the short, escape-hatch pass Wes Welker. Charge! Fluster! Hit! This is the best form of defense against New England.
2. Limit the short passing game: Rob Gronkowsi seems larger than his six-feet-six, which adds a psychological layer nobody needs. His hands, to make matters worse, are in more places than Jamie Oliver. But stunting the short game is vital to New York's success because it's central to Brady's act: it's where he'll hope to eclipse Madonna's medley. If Brady hits Gronk quickly though, the Giants will need to pounce. You don't want the big lug in stride, chugging for home. The goal is to take away the middle and force Brady to push it outside and long. The Pats move the chains and churn the clock better than anyone in the NFL, so the G-Men will want Brady to beat them via extraordinary plays only. That, at least, they can live with.
3. Be ready for the no-huddle, and play action: The Pats have a mediocre running game, led by a man so inspiring that they refer to him as The Law Firm. So if you're the Giants, how much sense does it make to fear the run? About as much sense as Bill Belichick's hoody. Brady and Co. will speed-up the battle by forgoing huddles, so the Giants need to finish tackles and hit their marks with the aplomb of Broadway performers. Then, if New York's secondary can hold in the slot for a moment and allow Brady his fake hand-offs and fancy pirouettes, they'll be better able to track the Pats' diligent but slow receivers, who let's face it, would've been late for the midnight ride had Paul Revere called in sick.

This article first appeared on Technorati as Three ways to beat Brady and win a Super Bowl

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