Sunday, January 22, 2012
Quick Take: Giants-Patriots Super Bowl
By Dan Graziano
Three things to know about Super Bowl XLVI, which will be played Feb. 5 between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots in Indianapolis:
1. Been here before: This is a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, in which the Giants beat the Patriots in Glendale, Ariz., to spoil New England’s chance at an undefeated 19-0 season. That’s the only time the Giants and Patriots have met each other in the Super Bowl, but each of these franchises has been to this big game plenty of times. The Patriots are making their seventh Super Bowl appearance, which is one short of the record of eight by the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is the Patriots' fifth Super Bowl appearance with Bill Belichick as their head coach and Tom Brady as their starting quarterback, and they’re the first coach/quarterback combination to have that many. It’s the fifth Super Bowl appearance for the Giants, who have won three of their previous four.
2. No D in Indy? It’s hard to imagine there’s ever been a Super Bowl played between the team that finished the regular season 27th in the league in total defense (Giants) and the team that finished 31st (Patriots). The Patriots have been patching their defense together much of the season, using converted wide receivers as defensive backs and things like that, and they’ve obviously played just well enough to support Brady and that brilliant offense. But the Giants aren’t scared of Brady, whom they beat in that Super Bowl four years ago and also this season in Week 9 in Foxborough. They believe they can get him off of his game and force him into mistakes if they get enough pressure on him, and they’re extremely confident in their ability to create that pressure.
3. The rematch: In the Week 9 game, the Giants sacked Brady twice, intercepted him twice and forced two fumbles (one of which was by Brady). Even with all of that, they needed a fourth-quarter comeback drive by Eli Manning and some brilliant catches by tight end Jake Ballard to pull out the win. The Giants weren’t at full strength in that game, either, as running back Ahmad Bradshaw and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks both sat out with injuries.