A lot has been written the past two weeks about the Pats' passing game vs. the Giants' pass D, and the Giants' passing game vs. the Pats' pass D. Which team has the edge in the passing game? Usually it is framed thusly: Pats' TEs vs. NYG' WR. Which unit is stronger? Well, that's a false and useless comparison because, last time I checked, the Pats' WR and Giants' TE also play the game. First, let's look at who has the better pass defense. NE finished #31 in the league in pass yards allowed per game at 294. But the Giants were not too far ahead of them, ranking #29 in the league allowing 255 yards per game. Both teams allowed an identical 86.1 passer rating by opposing QBs. NY allowed more passing TD (28) than NE did (26). NE had more INT (23) than NY did (20). NY had more sacks for more yards (48-335) than NE did (40-274). When all is said and done, the two pass defenses are essentially equivalent, something not often mentioned by the media in the SB lead-up. After a dismal first 4 games of the season, where the Pats' D averaged 369 yards per game allowed, they really clamped down (relatively speaking). Their last 12 regular season games they allowed just 269 passing yards per game. In the playoffs, that number dropped to 195 per game. Over their last 14 games, following that awful 4 game start, they have allowed 258.4 yards per game. Now, what about the Giants? They allowed an average of 255 yards per game over the course of the season. During their amazing 5-game stretch, they are allowing 215.8 yards per game. So essentially, we still see the 40-yd per game spread that existed between the two pass defenses. Overall pass defense edge: NYG, but only slightly. But what about pass *offense*? The Giants feature a big-time QB in Eli, and three very good receivers in Cruz, Nicks, and Manningham. Their TE can catch but they aren't big-time play makers. Their RB are more productive receiving than NE's running backs are. The Patriots, meanwhile, feature the best TE in the league, another pro-bowl level TE, a WR that led the league in receptions, and as their #4 receiving option, a player who, in his two Super Bowl appearances, is #2 all-time in receptions (21) and has won a SB MVP. Here's a comparison between each team's top 4 receivers: NYG Cruz: 80 rec, 1536 yds, 18.7 ypc, 9 td Nicks: 72 rec, 1192 yds, 15.7 ypc, 7 td Manningham: 39 rec, 523 yds, 13.4 ypc, 4 td Ballard: 38 rec, 604 yds, 15.9 ypc, 4 td NE Welker: 122 rec, 1569 yds, 12.9 ypc, 9 td Gronkowski: 90 rec, 1327 yds, 14.7 ypc, 17 td Hernandez: 79 rec, 910 yds, 11.5 ypc, 7 td Branch: 51 rec, 702 yds, 13.8 ypc, 5 td When these two groups are compared, it's a very one-sided comparison. The Pats' foursome clearly is more dominant in almost every way (ypc being the one area they're not) versus the Giants' key receivers. The media is so focused on the Patriots' TEs that they are forgetting that Welker led the league in receptions, and in the last SB between these teams, Welker had 11 rec for 103 yds. He has played in 6 playoff games now, and has never had fewer than 6 receptions for 53 yards. He is going to contribute a great deal, even if he doesn't "go off". So while the Giants' pass offense clearly has the advantage over NE's pass defense, similarly - perhaps even more so - the Pats' pass offense has the advantage over the Giants' pass defense.