|ESPN.com: NFL Playoffs 2011||[Print without images]|
INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Giants got onto their charter flight on Monday at Newark International Airport, many of them recording every giddy moment with their video cameras and cell phones.
One thing they all definitely packed with them for the Super Bowl trip is their surging confidence. The Giants may have felt like third graders heading on a field trip as they left New Jersey, but they landed in Indianapolis ready to take care of business.
"We wouldn't have boarded the plane if we didn't expect to win," safety Antrel Rolle said when asked about coming to the Super Bowl with the mentality of expecting to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy. "I think that is the bottom line."
"We have come here for one thing and one thing only which is to win," Rolle added. "We are expecting to win this game come Sunday."
Rolle wasn't making a guarantee or a prediction. He was just expressing the confidence that permeates throughout the Giants roster. Ever since beating Rex Ryan's New York Jets on Christmas Eve, the Giants have been on a mission. They enter Super Bowl XLVI against New England on a five-game winning streak and supremely confident.
"We're very confident," right guard Chris Snee said. "We feel like we're playing good football right now. The thing is, you have two teams with great momentum -- New England has won 10 games in a row."
"We were confident (in Super Bowl XLII), we're confident now," Snee added. "If that rubs people the wrong way, then so be it. I don't think guys are crossing the line -- we're a confident bunch and you need that going into this game."
The Giants feel the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady are just as confident as they are. They did not take any offense to Brady's comments on Sunday at a Patriots pep rally about hoping for more people and a bigger turnout "at our party next weekend."
"I wish I could take all you guys to Indy with us," Brady told approximately 25,000 fans at the rally, according to ESPN Boston. "We're going down there, and we're going down there for one reason. We're going to give it our best and hopefully we have a lot more people at our party next weekend."
The Giants said they did not feel slighted.
"I read his exact words and the way he phrased it," linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. "When you get to this level and when you get to this game, you are confident in yourself. I wouldn't expect anything else. Now, if he comes out and throws out some legitimate trash talk, then we'll talk."
Rolle said, " It doesn't matter at all. The game has to be played on Sunday. That is the only thing that will determine the outcome of the game. No talk, no media, no speculation, no party, none of that stuff is really relevant at this point."
The Giants have certainly engaged in their share of trash talk this season from professing their dislike for the Dallas Cowboys to a back-and-forth with the Jets and Ryan over who the better team is in New York.
They have not been shy about expressing their self-confidence whether it be Jason Pierre-Paul declaring the Giants would win in Green Bay or Rolle saying the Giants will not be denied.
"We're not going to be denied," the safety said when talking about the difference between his situation now with the Giants in the Super Bowl compared to his trip with the Cardinals in 2008. "We're not going to be denied. We've come too far and this road has been way too tough for us to come up short right now. We will do whatever it takes."
Defensive end Justin Tuck said of the Giants' confidence: "It can be misunderstood for cockiness, and whatever else. At the end of the day, when we step on that football field, we believe we are going to win. If you ask any athlete and he tells you anything different, then there is something wrong."
Tuck also said the Giants have more of a calm and quiet confidence to them this time around in the Super Bowl compared to their trip here in Super Bowl XLII.
"Honestly, for us, that '07 thing was kind of like us coming together as a football team," the defensive captain said. "We just said we wanted to kill a dynasty, and that's what they were. But now, we've been here before and we felt as though all that is secondary. We just want to come in here and have our mind focused on playing a great football game, and not really getting caught up in all the hoopla around the game."
For Snee, though, the desire to beat the Patriots remains the same as it did in February of 2008.
"We want to beat them this week," Snee said. "I wouldn't say we dislike them. It's not because they win so much. Sometimes, you just want to see someone else hoist the trophy."Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.