- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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NBC will broadcast this year's Super Bowl between the Patriots and Giants, and the following is a sampling of commentary and analysis from their studio team (as provided by the network's public relations staff:
"The Giants' trip to the Super Bowl closely mirrors what happened last time. The Patriots are not the juggernaut they were then, but the Giants had to go on the road and beat the Packers and beat San Francisco. It certainly feels like what happened four years ago. And there’s an irony that I am sure will be repeated a thousand times between now and two weeks from now that Brady meets Manning in Indianapolis, but its Eli, not Peyton."
"Despite that fact that Tom Brady was very critical of himself after today’s game, he is one of the greatest of all time, obviously. And Eli is an elite quarterback as well, there’s no doubt about that. So you have two great quarterbacks and two really outstanding coaches. Bill Belichick is clearly one of the best of all time and I think Tom Coughlin will finally get some of the respect that I felt he has deserved for a long, long time."
"It’s not often that Tom Brady needs help from anybody to make his way to the Super Bowl, but you know that he is going to be inspired in a way that he hasn’t been, maybe ever. Hearing his post-game self-critique, you know that he has a little chip on his shoulder going into the Super Bowl."
"The pass rushers are going to tell the story. Both quarterbacks and receiving corps are operating at a high level. I expect the secondaries to have a tough time, which is why I think the team that can generate the most quarterback pressure will have an advantage. The Giants have obviously been hot at pressuring the quarterback the latter part of the season, but the Patriots have gotten hot the last two games."
"If you’re the Patriots, you have to be excited about how your defense is playing. They are really showing a mental toughness that wasn’t there in the regular season. They aren’t perfect, but they are playing a lot better. I think what Bill Belichick has done is to tell the unit that the regular season is over and now they have an opportunity to prove themselves based on what they’ve done in the playoffs. They are playing loose and having fun."