New England wants a Giant rematch

January, 17, 2012
1/17/12
11:45
AM ET
Stumbled on this bit of gun-jumping from the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy, who's already looking beyond this weekend's conference championship games and dreaming of a New York Giants-New England Patriots rematch in the Super Bowl. Dan posits that the Patriots and their fans want this matchup in order to exact revenge for the Giants' spoiling the Patriots perfect season with their victory in Super Bowl XLII:
The Patriots have to beat the Ravens. The Giants have to beat the 49ers. It’s destiny. Four years after history was derailed in the Arizona desert, the Patriots are going to get another shot. Belichick and Tom Brady finally will have a chance for that elusive fourth ring and they get to do it against the same coach and quarterback who broke New England’s heart in February of 2008.
I don't know. I feel like I'm out on this limb by myself, but for all of Tom Brady's considerable gifts, I think he and his fans are smoking the drapes if they think the Patriots are going to win three playoff games with that excuse for a defense. I feel almost certain that the Ravens, who know how to (a) win playoff games in Foxborough and (b) make a stop, will beat them this weekend. And while I have no idea at this point how to pick the NFC Championship Game, I think whoever wins it will and should be the favorite to win the Super Bowl.

I think the Giants' next game looks much tougher than any potential Super Bowl matchup does at this point. The 49ers play fearsome defense at all three levels and have shown ability to make fourth-quarter plays that win games. The Giants can beat them, but it surely won't be easy.

If they do, however, and the Patriots win the AFC Championship Game, I believe Giants fans will and should do cartwheels for the two weeks leading up to the game. To me, the Patriots look like the Packers except not as good. The Giants aren't scared of Brady and could put up 500 yards on New England's defense. And while my Super Bowl prediction wouldn't come out until Friday, Feb. 3, I feel like it wouldn't take much thought if that were the matchup.

I don't think it'll matter, though. As much as New England might want to see a Super Bowl XLII rematch, if the Giants do manage to win Sunday I think we're a lot more likely to see a rematch of Super Bowl XXXV -- the one for which the Giants' fans will want revenge.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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