How well the New England Patriots star quarterback eludes the pursuers and throws to his receivers will likely play a major role in whether or not Brady can match an all-time record with his fourth Super Bowl victory.
Brady will equal the Super Bowl quarterback record five starts of former Denver star John Elway. But can he equal the record of four victories of boyhood idol Joe Montana of San Francisco and Pittsburgh legend Terry Bradshaw?
“I haven’t given much thought to any records. This game is more about the challenge the Giants give us,” Brady said.
“It all comes down to preparation and going out there with confidence. We’ve had a couple of good days of practice trying to understand the Giants’ defence. We’ve got to work hard on that this week.”
The Patriots will face the Giants in Super Bowl 46 in a domed stadium at chilly Indianapolis, a rematch of the 2008 championship spectacle in which New York edged New England to deny the Patriots an unbeaten title run.
“I remember we lost and that still burns some of us,” Patriots blocker Logan Mankins said. “We can learn a lot from that.”
New England won the Super Bowl in 2002, 2004 and 2005, all under Brady’s direction, just as the 2008 loss was, thanks in part to a Giants defensive unit that kept Brady under pressure throughout the game.
“It has been a strength of their team for as long as I can remember,” Brady said. “They really go after the passer.
“Any time you can limit the quarterback the time it takes to make accurate reads and accurate throws, it’s much more challenging.”
Brady threw for a personal-best 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns this season, making the Patriots the top yardage gainers in American football by quickly analysing and picking apart defensive schemes.
New York will counter with pass rushers Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, whose job will be to make certain Brady does not have enough time to find his receivers.
“Justin Tuck is as good as they come. Osi week in and week out can ruin a game for an offense,” Brady said. “You understand you can’t hold the ball all day. Certainly I’m not going to be able to outrun them.
“I’ve got to find somebody quickly and get the ball to somebody who can do something with it. You’re not going to have a lot of time back there.”
Mankins, whose task as a guard will be to protect Brady from the pass rush, accepts the challenge he faces.
“They have the personnel to really get after you,” Mankins said.
“It’s their speed and they know how to rush the passer. They are good with their moves and they are very athletic.”