The stage is set for one of the most hotly anticipated rematches in Super Bowl history as the New York Giants will take on the New England Patriots in Indianapolis.
Just like in 2008, the Patriots will be playing their third game of the postseason, while the New York Giants will be in their fourth, and the Giants have needed a hot streak to get them to the point that they are at today.
New England is not the juggernaut that they were entering the last Super Bowl when they were seeking perfection, but that doesn't mean that their offensive attack is not fierce. On the other side, the Giants are playing at a much higher level on offense than they were four years ago, calling for a tough test facing the Patriots' defense.
Will revenge be served by New England? Or will the Giants continue their postseason dominance and win their eighth playoff game out of the nine they have played since 2008?
In 2008, the New England Patriots were given a nice game by the Giants at the end of the regular season, but the Patriots surely didn't expect to see them again in the Super Bowl.
When they did find the New York Giants as their opponent, they saw them as a nice story and a decent team, but not a challenger to their pursuit of perfection.
This season, the Patriots enter as a team grateful to be a member of the game and not having to carry the sense of invincibility and entitlement that they did in 2008. They know full well that the Giants pose an extremely difficult matchup and deserve every second of preparation that the Patriots have for them.
The New England defense was not fantastic when they entered Super Bowl XLII, and they may be worse entering Super Bowl XLVI.
The Baltimore Ravens inexplicably found ways not put the ball in Ray Rice's hands on the outside, and that will not be a mistake that the New York Giants will make.
Bradshaw only had nine carries in the first Super Bowl against New England, but Kevin Gilbride and company will make sure that he doubles that total.
The Giants will do what every team tries to do against Brady, which is control the ground and keep him off the field—and they will succeed. Look for Bradshaw to flirt with the 100-yard rushing mark in the big game.
There is no clear information about Gronkowski's leg injury, but the chances that he won't be on the field for Super Bowl XLVI are slim.
As long as Gronkowski can stand and close his huge mitts around a ball, he is dangerous, and the New York Giants will have no answer in coverage for him. This means that Gronk will likely get loose and find the end zone at least once in the game.
The only way to stop Gronkowski is to keep Brady from delivering the ball to him, and lucky for the Giants, they have plenty of tools to accomplish that.
In the first matchup, it was the New York pass rush getting home five times against Brady and the Pats that kept New England's offense off track.
The Giants have retooled the defensive line and added a future super star in Jason Pierre-Paul to assume the role of "Michael Strahan" in this revival of the epic drama that unfolded four years ago.
This time around, Brady is a little older and a little wiser, and he will likely be more conscious of getting rid of the ball, as evidenced by the fact that he was only sacked twice in the game with New York earlier this season.
In contrast, even though Eli Manning is playing inspired football, he was sacked six times against the 49ers and might end up taking a few more than Brady in an attempt to find ways to get the ball to his game-changing receivers.
The most unexpected part of Super Bowl XLII was that Tom Brady was held under 300 yards passing and to only one touchdown. Another surprise was that Eli Manning actually came close to throwing for 300 yards and had two touchdowns.
This time around, both elite quarterbacks will light up the air with 300 yards passing apiece. Where Brady's yards will come from meticulous drives down the field and many completions, Eli's yardage will come mainly through yards after the catch by Nicks and Cruz.
This game may not be the barn burner that the oddsmakers are expecting with a 55-point over/under, but it will likely get above the 31 points that were amassed in the first matchup.
Most of that scoring will be from the arms of each team's respective quarterback.