Here we are four years later same two teams, different circumstances. When the New York Giants and New England Patriots faced each other in Super Bowl XLII in Arizona the Patriots had the entire spotlight on their back as they tried to become the second team in NFL history to go through the regular season and playoffs undefeated. The Giants meanwhile quietly went about their business and ended up pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. The Patriots now come in seeking revenge, as the Giants are unable to sneak up on anybody after taking a similar unexpected path to Super Bowl XLVI.
Looking at the records it is easy to see why the Patriots are the favorites, they posted a 13-3 record, while the Giants were 7-7 and needed to win the last two games just to sneak into the playoffs. Though in this case records are deceiving, the Patriots had the road paved in gold as they had no injury issues and a powder puff light schedule that saw them only face three playoff teams in the regular season. One of those was the Giants who handed them a 24-20 loss in Foxboro in November. Against teams with a winning record the Pats struggled losing both games they played against teams that finished 2011 with nine wins or more. Their first win against a team with a pulse one can say was in the AFC Championship, and they came with in a eyelash of Lee Evans scoring a winning TD.
The Giants meanwhile have survived a tumultuous season that saw ten players go on injured reserves. Both Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyora missed significant time and the Giants running game limped most of the season. At the end of the year things improved for Big Blue as Tuck and Umenyora finally got healthy and the running game finally got on track as Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw shook of injuries of their own. In the playoffs they have been the best team, blowing out the Falcons and Packers, while surviving a defensive battle against the 49ers, who had one of the best defenses in the NFL all season.
Beating the Patriots twice in the same season is not easy and this game is clearly a toss up. However, if each team brings their A game, and in the Super Bowl with these teams you have to expect their A game, the Giants have the upper hand. Tom Brady can be flustered as the Giants have shown before and if they are able to make him rush his throws he won’t be able to able to have a dominant game. Meanwhile the Patriots secondary is basically made of Swiss cheese there are many holes, and a good quarterback can exploit them. With the Giants able to use the running game as a balance their passing attack it could be a big day for Eli Manning as he play’s in the place his brother built. The Giants receiving core will be the key, as Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham each can be the game breaker. The bottom line is unless Brady has a historic game and Eli is off his game the Giants should win, and in the end it will be another title for the New York Football Giants.