Patriots prepared for Giants

Tom Brady threw five of six touchdowns in first half

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knows exactly what to expect from the New York Giants defense in Super Bowl XLVI – but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

The Pats and Giants will do battle in Indianapolis on Sunday in a repeat of the 2008 showdown that saw the men from the Big Apple come out on top.

On that occasion New York ruined their opponents’ hopes of a perfect season by getting to Brady and sacking him five times, slowing down a player who had set an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes in the regular season.

The Giants will hope history can repeat itself at Lucas Oil Stadium, particularly as their defensive line has again been a key component to their success this season.

“They have a very good pass rush. I’ve seen it game after game this year,” Brady said.

“They can get to the quarterback, they can hit the quarterback, force the quarterback into bad decisions and some bad throws.

“We’re going to try to eliminate those. We really can’t afford many of those on Sunday.

“We had too many of those last time we played them and we’re not going to be able to win the game making mistakes.”

The Giants managed to sack Brady just once in the last regular season meeting between the two franchises, a game that New England eventually lost 24-20 in front of their own fans.

But because of the players they have at their disposal, the Giants can sometimes send out four specialist pass rushers on their defensive line, including explosive ends Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck.

“The better job you do protecting him (Brady), the better chance you have to win. Hopefully he doesn’t need much laundry work on his jersey,” said Patriots guard Logan Mankins.

In preparation head coach Bill Belichick has tried to simulate in practice how the Giants push rush operates – now he must hope the hard work will pay off come Sunday night.

“Their ends are a combination of power, speed and athleticism. We try to move our guys around a little bit and get them to play like the Giants play,” he said.

“I don’t know if anyone can play like the Giants play.”