D/ST of each team

Posted: 02/04/2012 by levcohen in Football

The big game is tomorrow, and it is now time to go over the defense and special teams of each team.

D Line- Giants: The Giants have a stacked defensive line, led by veterans Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, and exciting second year star Jason Pierre-Paul. Umenyioura and Tuck have been injured often this season, but when both are healthy the Giants have gotten great results. They are 10-5 (including playoffs) with Tuck healthy and 8-4 when Osi plays. They are 6-3 when both vets are in the lineup. This year, Pierre-Paul has been fantastic. He had 16.5 sacks in the regular season, and a few clutch blocked punts. He is a force to be reckoned with, as he possesses speed, power, and moves. The Patriots will have a hard time blocking all three, and the key for the Giants is to get a lot of pressure on Tom Brady. If that doesn’t happen, this could become a blowout.

D Line- Patriots:  The Patriots have two great players on the defense line, and one of those players, Andre Carter, is injured. Behind Carter and Vance Wilfork, they don’t have much talent or depth to speak of. Wilfork, though, is a complete beast at nose tackle. He requires a double team at all times on the offensive line, and has 2.5 sacks in 2 games this postseason.

At D-line, the Giants have a clear edge.

LB- Giants: The Giants and Patriots are pretty similar at LB. A few solid guys but no real studs. Michael Boley is probably their best linebacker, with 110 tackles. Mathias Kiwanuka is their second best LB, as he has almost 90 tackles this year. However, he hasn’t done much this postseason.

LB- Patriots: The Patriots have two above average linebackers anchoring the middle of the field, in Brandon Spikes and Jerrod Mayo. They also have a veteran outside linebacker, in Rob Ninkovic. Mayo is the most talented and highest paid player of the Patriots linebacking crew, and has 115 tackles this season. Spikes played in only 8 games of the regular season, and would have been on pace for 95 if he played all 16. This postseason, he has added 15 tackles, with a sack and a big interception. Ninkovic might not get enough credit. He has 86 tackles and 8 sacks this year, solid stats for an OLB. He also started every game this year. The Patriots LB core isn’t great, but might be the best unit on the shaky defense.

The LB groups are pretty even, but I’ll give the edge to the Patriots (they have the best LB in Mayo).

DB- Giants: The Giants have very solid defensive backs. At cornerback, they are led by Corey Webster and Aaron Ross. Webster had an impressive number of 16 passes defended, and added 6 interceptions to go along with 60 tackles, good numbers for a CB. Ross is not a household name, and this is the first year in the last three that he has started at CB. While at times he looked lost, he has 70 tackles, 12 passes defended, and 4 interceptions. Ross is more of a help against the run than Webster is. The Giants first round pick, Prince Amukarama, missed nearly all of the season with an injury, but has shown promise and has gotten into a few games. At safety, the Giants are led by Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle. Phillips is in his 4th season in the NFL, and his second consecutive year starting. He has posted 90 tackles, with 12 passes defended and 4 interceptions. A good tackler, he has also forced 2 fumbles. Rolle isn’t a great coverage guy, but is probably the Giants best tackler, with nearly 120 tackles.

DB- Patriots: The Patriots have some talented players in their secondary, but overall it needs some work, in terms of depth. The Pats leading CB’s are Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington. McCourty didn’t have a great regular season, but really turned up the intensity in the last four games of the year. In those four games, he recorded 75% of his PD’s (9/12) and both of his interceptions. He also added 24 out of his 87 tackles in that time. Kyle Arrington has had an up and down year, as he often blew coverages. However his stats don’t look too bad. He has recorded over 100 tackles, with 14 PD’s and 7 interceptions. At safety the Pats have Patrick Chung, who missed half the season due to injury, but was on pace for 125 tackles if he hadn’t gotten injured.

The edge here goes to the Giants.

ST- Giants: The Giants didn’t settle for many field goals, but when they did, Lawrence Tynes was their kicker, and made 19 of his 24 attempts, or 79%. On 82 punts, Steve Weatherford averaged 46 yards, and 25 of his punts pinned opponents inside their own 20. Devin Thomas returned 25 kickoffs for an average of 24 yards, and Aaron Ross returned 14 punts for 100 yards, and called for 13 fair catches.

ST- Patriots: The Patriots kicker is Stephen Gostkowski and their punter is Zoltan Mesko. Their kick returner is Danny Woodhead and their punt returner is Julian Edelman. In the regular season, Gostkoswi converted 28/33 of his field goals, or 85%, a solid season. On 57 punts, Mesko has averaged 47 yards, and has pinned opponents inside the 20 24 times. Woodhead is a decent returner, averaging 22 yards per return. Edelman averages 11 yards per punt return, another solid stat.

Edge- Patriots

  1. Marinite says:

    So who’s gonna win, Great Guru?

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