Giants Not Afraid Of Patriots

Giants Not Afraid Of Patriots

Wes Welker and Tom Brady are on pace for 130 hookups this year, but that doesn't scare the Giants' secondary.

Okay, so count Antrel Rolle as one of the Giants who aren't quaking over the prospect of facing the Tom Brady-Wes Welker connection on Sunday.

And while you're at it, throw in the rest of the schedule, too.

"I don't worry about the schedule," Rolle said Wednesday. "I think the schedule needs to worry about us."

Bold talk. But let's face it, at least for this most recent part of a schedule -- the beginning of a killer five-game stretch -- the Giants have plenty to worry about. History, for one. The Patriots have taken care of 20 straight regular-season opponents in Gillette Stadium. On top of that, the Pats lost last week, and Brady is 14-4 lifetime at home after a loss.

That's not to mention the Pats' 18-1 mark against the NFC at home since 2002.

And now, you throw in yet another great passing combination of Brady-to-Welker, which is on pace for 130 connections this year, and it's all rather formidable.

Unless you talk to the Giants' defenders, that is.

To them, Welker is just another receiver. A pass-catcher, by the way, who didn't practice Wednesday.

Asked why Welker, a slot receiver who is fearless going over the middle, gives defenses so much trouble, Rolle replied, "I don't know. You have to ask those guys he's given trouble to. I don't plan on having to answer those questions."

Welker isn't the only issue the 13th-ranked pass defense will face, of course. There's tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, too.

But Welker is the centerpiece this year. And he could alternately draw the attention of Rolle, Kenny Phillips, or Corey Webster.

"We're not too shabby, either," Phillips told reporters.

Still, Phillips knows what the perception is. If the league's second-ranked passing attack tears up the Giants, it will be nothing but expected.

But if the Giants pull the upset special -- rememeber, they did it before on a bigger stage in 2007 -- he knows what the reaction will be. A lot like it was when the clock hit 0:00 in Super Bowl XLII.

"If we win this, which I feel we will, the outside world will say the Giants are now a great team," Phillips said.

Maybe not. But perhaps they'll have been great for a day.

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