Colts Key Matchup: Brock vs. Diehl

In his second key matchup article this week, Greg Talmage explains the impact that the battle in the trenches between DT Raheem Brock and LG David Diehl will have on the outcome of Sunday's game. See how their skills match up and who's likely to come out on top Sunday night in this key matchup.

For the last few seasons, Raheem Brock has shown off his versatility by playing base LDE on early downs and then moving inside at the 3-technique on passing downs. Now he's made the move to a full-time defensive tackle -- and to think, he was pegged as a DE/OLB going into the scouting combine in 2002.

Being an every down DT has been a real learning experience so far for Brock. He often had trouble this preseason creating any type of consistent pressure from the defensive tackle position. For Brock to be successful, he must be in one-on-one situations where his speed can dictate the matchup. He gets in those situations because of the talent around him, especially with sack artists like Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on the edge requiring extra attention and extra blockers.

If left guard David Diehl has success beating Brock to the punch and blowing him off the line, it will allow the Giants' interior linemen to consistently get to the second-level quickly to block linebackers and defensive backs, creating nice running lanes through the middle of the field for Tiki Barber.

David Diehl is the workhorse of the Giants offensive line. He hasn't missed a game or a start since being drafted in 2003 (49 straight regular season starts). Diehl is a big, smart, aggressive lineman, but not what you would call a mauler. He lacks ideal upper or lower body strength, so he's focused on developing into more of a technically-sound blocker.

That lack of strength and the inconsistency in his base will cause Diehl to struggle at times when a defender is able to get into him and knock him back. Brock, however, isn't the type of DT who will overpower opposing linemen often. He's had success as a DT because of his athleticism, interior speed, goods hands, and ability to adjust to blocking schemes. He knows how to use his hands to keep blockers off his lower body, and makes the necessary adjustments to counter the opposition's blocking strategies against him.

Given Brock's inconsistency from the interior in the preseason -- and the fact the Giants love to run Tiki Barber between the tackles -- I think we can count on Tom Coughlin to emphasize and test this match-up. Coughlin knows if Barber is gaining yards and eating up the clock, then that means more time spent on the sidelines for Peyton Manning and the Colts offense.


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