Anyone who says they knew who Stevie Brown was before the 2012 NFL Season is either a liar or a diehard Giants or Michigan Wolverines fan. It is doubtful that fans of the Raiders, Panthers or Colts knew who he was before this year and he had short stints with all of those teams through his three year career.
Brown, a seventh round pick in the 2010 NFL draft, got a shot with the Raiders but didn’t stick. He then was on the Panthers for a total of three days before being waived and signed by the Colts. However, Indianapolis never gave him a legitimate shot and he landed on the Giants roster in April of this year.
After Kenny Phillips went down early in the year with an injury, Brown got his chance and has helped stabilize a Giants secondary that seems to always be battling injuries year in and year out. Brown has had a breakout season and if he keeps it up, could find himself in his first career Pro Bowl.
Stevie Brown (center, 27) forced a fumble Sunday against the Saints and has been a mainstay in the Giants starting lineup for most of the season. PHOTO COURTESY: JEFF ZELEVANSKY/GETTY IMAGES
On Sunday, Brown added to his career year with two interceptions of Drew Brees and forced a fumble to help the Giants rout the Saints 52-27. It was his second multi interception game of the year and gave him a total of seven, which is second in the NFL behind Chicago’s Tim Jennings.
To go along with his interceptions, Brown also has a total of 61 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumbles recovered. His high level of play has not only made him a mainstay in the Giants starting lineup, but a household name to Giants fans who are now recognizing his skills.
Brown is just the latest Giants “sleeper” who has seemingly come out of nowhere to make his impact felt. Everyone knows the story of Victor Cruz and before he got hurt, Andre Brown was looking like a solid number two running back behind Ahmad Bradshaw (David Wilson’s performance Sunday may have people forgetting about the injured Andre Brown).
Stevie Brown though is the first guy like this that the Giants have found in their secondary and he is making a huge difference for a unit that has normally been seen as their weakest point defensively. The Giants have 20 interceptions as a team, which is good enough for second in the league and Brown’s ball hawking is a big reason for that.
Brown will have a shot to add to his interception total with a few vulnerable quarterbacks remaining on the schedule. The Giants travel to Atlanta this Sunday where they face Matt Ryan, who has had a tremendous season but has thrown seven interceptions in his last four games. They finish their season against the Eagles and their rookie quarterback Nick Foles so the opportunity is certainly there.
When it’s all said and done, Brown could have one of the finest seasons for a Giants defensive back in team history. It will be an uphill battle to tie or beat the 11 interceptions set by Otto Schnellbacher and Jim Patton in the fifties, but if he does, he will certainly have to be seen as the defenses’ most important player.
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Contributor – Dave Ragazzo – @DRagazzo_Sports
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