Vince Wilfork vs. Giants’ interior
Covers: "Wilfork was the biggest reason why Baltimore couldn’t get All-Pro Ray Rice going. On 14 of Rice’s 21 attempts, he was held to three or fewer yards....The Giants know what’s coming. In the Week 9 meeting, they only ran between the guards three times, gaining seven yards. New York center David Baas, who did not play in Week 9, is a terrible run blocker, so the Giants won’t run up the middle more than a few times. ...On pass plays, the Giants must give Baas help. Otherwise, Wilfork will collapse the pocket and Eli Manning won’t be able to step up."
GFB Editor John Fennelly: Agree. The Giants need to get Mitch Petrus in this game, put him in the middle of the line and leave him there for the next decade. He is - in my opinion - the toughest guy they have. He'll batter Wilfork's thighs, tiring him out. The running game thrives when he is in there.
WRs Cruz, Nicks, Manningham vs. Pats’ secondary
Covers: "The Giants wideouts have combined for 4,134 receiving yards - most of any NFL trio. They’ve got speed, size, reliable hands, and a QB who trusts them to beat their defenders.....They face a secondary that let Joe Flacco and less-talented receivers hook up for 306 passing yards and two touchdowns....New England’s secondary isn’t atrocious, like it was early this season. But don’t expect any of these corners to hold up in man coverage."
Fennelly: Agree. In my 45 years of watching NFL Football, I can't recall any secondary that would be able to shut this group down. Translation: these guys have no chance. Why do you think they're using Edelman back there....?
WR Wes Welker vs. CB Aaron Ross, Giants safeties
Covers: "New York will try to match up Webster on Welker at times. The 6-foot, 202-pound Corey Webster excels at jamming receivers, disrupting their timing. ...But New England will put Welker in motion, line him up in the backfield, and do everything possible to get him a free release. "
Fennelly: Welker doesn't get 100 catches a year because he's easy to cover. His routes are basically crossing, underneath routes and he and Brady have it down to a science. The Giants won't stop this. They just have to limit his yards after the catch.
DE Justin Tuck/Jason Pierre-Paul vs. RT Nate Solder
Covers: "Veteran tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back, ankle) is expected to be active for the first time since Week 12. But with offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia saying Vollmer will play in the game “at some point,” it sounds like the rookie Solder will get most of the snaps......Solder struggled in pass protection (ranked 50th among tackles by Pro Football Focus), giving up a combined 33 hits, pressures and sacks and committing five penalties in 14 games. ....Finally healthy enough to make an impact, Tuck will use his experience to beat the rookie.....And lately, the Giants have frequently used Pierre-Paul (16.5 sacks) at left end. Pierre-Paul rushed from the left side 67 times in the last four games. ....New York would be wise to exploit that matchup often."
Fennelly: Someone has to say this, so why not me. The Giants should not restrict JPP to putting his hands in the turf. He should rush straight-up a la an OLB (DeMarcus Ware style) on some plays. When he rushes from a three-point stance, he cannot disengage himself from the tackle often enough (and still had 16.5 sacks!) and is subjected to constant chipping.
Let's hear your opinions.....