JPP: Tom Brady felt phantom pressure

INDIANAPOLIS -- One day after Jason Pierre-Paul announced that Tom Brady is not God, the dynamic New York Giants pass-rusher claimed Brady was so human during the Giants' regular-season victory over the New England Patriots that he was feeling pressure that did not exist.

Asked Thursday how much a consistent pass rush might negatively impact Brady's performance in Super Bowl XLVI, Pierre-Paul said the Giants didn't even have to get to him in their previous game to affect him.

"I think it won't have much impact on his performance, because ... if you look at Week 9 when we played them, it's like he felt us," he said. "We went back on the film, we watched the film and we didn't really rush as we can as a defense. ... He was throwing balls on the ground and stuff."

Brady was 28-for-49 for 342 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the November loss. He was sacked twice. On one third-quarter pass play, Brady ducked in the pocket with no Giants pass-rusher around him.

Asked in a follow-up if he was saying Brady reacted to phantom pressure in the Giants' 24-20 victory at New England, Pierre-Paul responded, "Yeah, he was. Yeah, he was reacting to pressure that didn't exist and he was just throwing the ball places that there wasn't a receiver there. So imagine us just getting there even faster and we're actually doing our jobs and getting there and getting hits on him."

These comments aren't likely to be embraced by Brady, known to be inspired by real and imagined slights. On Wednesday, Pierre-Paul caused something of a stir by saying, "Anybody can be rattled. Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but at the end of the day, he is just a quarterback. It's not like he is God."

Thursday, when a reporter reminded him that he'd said Brady isn't a god-like figure, Pierre-Paul interrupted and said, "He's not."

Ian O'Connor is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.