EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Justin Tuck stepped up to the lectern for his press conference wiping his eyes before saying he hasn't gotten a wink of sleep since the NFC Championship win over the Niners.
The New York Giants defensive captain might not sleep much for the next 12 days as he prepares for what he believes could be "another one of those epic Super Bowls" against the Patriots.
But while Tuck heaped praise on Tom Brady for being the type of quarterback who can give a defense never-ending nightmares, the Giants defensive end loves the way his unit matches up with the New England Patriots' offense.
"He thrives on mismatches," Tuck said of Brady. "And I think we match up well with them. With those tight ends and Wes [Welker] and [Deion] Branch, they can pretty much go with any route that they want to go with creating mismatches. The people that we have in our secondary, we have safeties that play like corners and we can pretty much match up with those guys."
On Tuesday, the Giants expressed confidence in their ability to match whatever Bill Belichick and Brady throw at their defense. Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez along with Welker and Branch have been absolute terrors to opposing defenses.
But the Giants counter with a pass rush that has been able to slow down and keep Brady out of his rhythm and a defense that is supremely confident it can cover the Patriots' weapon.
The Giants enter this rematch with Brady feeling confident because of the success they've had against the former Super Bowl MVP.
The Giants sacked Brady five times in Super Bowl XLII and held him to 266 yards passing and one touchdown.
This season, the Giants beat the Patriots 24-20 in New England. Brady threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns but was picked twice and sacked twice. During that game, the Giants were able to keep Brady and the Patriots to three points entering the fourth quarter.
But Antrel Rolle said he saw what makes Brady so good.
"During the course of a game I'm covering my guys, and when I'm in zone coverage, I can just see him scanning the field," Rolle said. "I've played against a lot of great quarterbacks in my career, and the way he scans the field, I was like, 'Dang!' During the play I was like, 'Wow.' It kind of stuns you for a second. He's an exceptional quarterback, man, and he gets all the credit he deserves and then some. And he deserves it all."
Tuck says that Brady can figure out a defense a lot quicker than that, and they will have to change things up from the last time they faced each other in early November.
"Every time you play against Tom, you have to go to the drawing board," Tuck said. "He is definitely going to look at what we had success against him with the first time and come out with something to beat that. You have to do something different. He is that type of quarterback that by the [end of the] first quarter he probably has a sense of what a team wants to do to him and his offense."
The Giants may have to come equipped with multiple plans for Brady.
"We are going to have to have a few game plans in, and it is going to be a chess match," Tuck said. "I think every quarter we will have to throw something different at him that he hasn't seen or hopefully that he hasn't seen from us. That will have the ability to slow down his reads, because if he gets a beat on what you want to do to him before he snaps that ball, it is going to be pretty much impossible to stop him with the weapons that he has around him and just his knowledge of defenses."
In their last meeting, Welker had nine receptions for 136 yards and Gronkowski added eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Hernandez also caught a touchdown as one of his four catches for 35 yards.
That game came down to the last two minutes, as Brady and Manning exchanged touchdowns in the final 1:36.
"I think it is going to be another one of those epic Super Bowls," Tuck said. "It might come down to the team who has the ball last. It is going to be fun getting prepared for these guys. They do so many different things. We are going to have a long week of study."