- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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Of Chris Canty's 16 career sacks, zero have come against Tom Brady.
"It would be about time for one, though, right? Canty said. "It would be a good time for one."
It certainly would. Just like they did in 2007 and like they try to do in every game, the Giants are hoping to bring the pressure and get after Brady when they face the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Giants have registered nine sacks in their first three victories in the playoffs after recording 48 in the regular season.
"I think that's going to be a big part of it," defensive end Dave Tollefson said of pressuring Brady. "When you're playing with one of the best quarterbacks of our generation, you don't want to let him sit back there and pick his spots. There's going to be some great pressure on us up front to get pressure and that's what we want. Big players make big plays in big games and this is as big as it gets."
As the Giants have defeated the Patriots the last two times they have faced them, the pressure the team has been able to put on Brady has been key. The Giants sacked him five times in the Super Bowl and two times back when the teams met in November, a 24-20 win for the Giants that came down to the final minute.
With Brady able to slice up opposing defenses almost at will when he's afforded the time, the Giants are out to try and make life uncomfortable for New England's hurler. The Giants have had success thus far in the playoffs taking opposing quarterbacks, including likely MVP Aaron Rodgers, out of their element with a consistent pass rush.
"You want to rush the passer and you want to hit the quarterback and obviously hits on the quarterback are cumulative, they effect him, the continuous pressure affects the quarterback," Canty said. "Obviously you want to be in situations where you can get hits on him but to be able to do that you have to stop the run."
Canty stressed the importance of being able to stop the run before the Giants can start sending the masses at Brady. The defensive tackle said stopping the run means the Giants can put the Patriots in downs and distances that will be more favorable for the defense. If the Patriots are able to establish the run and face short distances on second and third down, that makes it harder for the pass rush to have an effect on the game.
"You have to create second-and-long, third-and-long situations to allow the pass rusher to really get after the offensive line in pass situations," Canty said.
In the playoffs, the Patriots' offensive line has been very stingy by allowing just one sack in its two games. The Giants' pass rush is going to have to be at its best to try and rattle one of the premier quarterbacks in the league.
"Applying pressure is a big thing otherwise he is going to dink and drop us all the way in our secondary," defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. "We just have to get to him fast enough and at the same time we have to play the run game and stay positive and focus on what is in front of us."