Pats TEs are tough matchup for Giants


Through seven weeks, the Giants' defense has done a solid job against tight ends.

Perry Fewell's unit has given up an average of three catches and 38 yards to tight ends this year.

Of course, they struggled in Week 1 against Washington’s Fred Davis. Davis found plenty of open space between the linebackers and safeties Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant, catching five balls for 105 yards in the Redskins' win.

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez

#81 TE
New England Patriots

2011 STATS

  • Rec29
  • Yds298
  • TD4
  • Avg10.3
  • Long30
  • YAC103

Taking Davis out of the equation, tight ends have averaged just two catches for 29 yards against the Giants this year.

So how have they done it?

Says Fewell, “I think they are focused more.”

That focus will be put to the test on Sunday against New England.

The Patriots feature a deadly duo at tight end.

First, there’s Aaron Hernandez, who is essentially a receiver in a tight end's body. Hernandez has missed two games due to injury but has still amassed 29 catches for 298 yards and four TDs.

“He will be a handful for us,” Fewell said.

Same goes for Rob Gronkowski.

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

#87 TE
New England Patriots

2011 STATS

  • Rec36
  • Yds495
  • TD5
  • Avg13.8
  • Long30
  • YAC210

The 2010 second-round pick ranks in the top five in catches (38), touchdowns (5) and yards per game (70.9) among NFL tight ends.

The Giants secondary, however, believes it matches up well against the tight ends.

Grant says the Giants are at an advantage because they feature a three-safety set and, according to Grant, all three can line up one-on-one against Hernandez.

"All of us like to play man-to-man and can play man-to-man," the veteran safety said he, Rolle and Kenny Phillips.

Linebacker Michael Boley should have an opportunity to cover Gronkowski. But he'll have plenty of help if he struggles.

“It’s a challenge even with one tight end," Grant said. "So it will definitely be a challenge with two."