Four years later, the Giants are taking on the Patriots again, and the Giants’ front four figures to be a vital component of the game.
The good thing for the Giants is that the faces on that line have essentially stayed the same.
Osi Umenyiora is the elder statesmen of the line, recording 69 sacks during his tenure with the Giants. The defensive end has been battling injuries the last couple of years, but is still a dominant force on the line.
Justin Tuck had the game of his life in Super Bowl XLII, getting two sacks and forcing a fumble. Despite only registering five sacks this season, down from 11.5 in 2010, Tuck will be drawing a lot of attention from the Pats on Sunday.
Mathias Kiwanuka actually sat out Super Bowl XLII with a broken leg, but figures to play a prominent role on Sunday. Kiwanuka is a double threat, mostly playing linebacker but occasionally seeing time as a defensive end when Umenyiora was out.
Jason Pierre-Paul is probably getting the most attention during Super Bowl week, and for good reason. Pierre-Paul led the Giants in sacks with 16.5 in a breakout season that brought back memories of one of the guys he replaced, Michael Strahan.
The Patriots will have their hands full with four pro bowl defensive players, but which one of them is the best?