"The Giants have to keep pressure on Brady and score touchdowns when in the Red Zone," said Pugh. "Not field goals."
For Swampscott coach Steve Dembowski, an aficionado of the spread offense, the Patriots offensive game plan should revolve around balance and protecting the football. It's not about the ratio of pass attempts to handoffs, rather taking advantage of the rushing opportunities as they present themselves.
On the flip side, Dembowski talked about Manning's effectiveness when he scrambles outside the pocket and keeps his eyes on his dangerous receivers down the field.
"It's all about keeping Manning in the pocket and then preventing the big play in the passing game. Manning has had a lot of luck in the playoffs buying extra time by escaping (the pocket)," noted Dembowski, who revisited the game-film from the regular season match up for insight.
"Watching the replay of the game in week 10, when he (Manning) escapes the pocket, the extra time, it breaks down the coverage and he has really been good at that late down the stretch."
For as great a tactician as Dembowski is, the Big Blue boss believes one of the biggest factors of the game has nothing to do with Xs and Os. Las Vegas has the Patriots as a three-point favorite, but anybody following the media coverage coming out of Indianapolis this week knows most people considered to be in-the-know, nationally, are taking the Giants.
And Dembowski knows how it feels to have bulletin board material working against you.
"They have the Jim Rudloff psychological advantage," Dembowski said referring to the Marblehead coach and his ability to motivate when his team is the underdog — particularly against Dembowski's Big Blue.
"Everyone nationally, all week has said the Giants are the better team, the Giants will win the game. That's the Jim Rudloff factor."