Well, it all comes down to this.
The Patriots cruised through another regular season, posting a 13-3 record while sporting some gaudy passing numbers along with some pathetic defensive statistics. Meanwhile, the Giants tip-toed through a minefield of a season that saw them come out of the gates on fire, then look like one of the worst teams in the NFL whilst losing four straight, only to ignite an even more vigorous fire at the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.
These teams memorably met in the 2007 Super Bowl to the tune of a magical 17-14 New York Giants victory over the previously unbeaten Patriots. In fact, there are a few parallels that can be drawn between the 2007 Super Bowl matchup and the 2011 iteration.
In both seasons, the Patriots garnered the top seed in the AFC, going 16-0 in 2007 and 13-3 in 2011. Meanwhile the Giants performed significantly worse in the regular season, squeaking into the wild-card spot with a 10-6 record in 2007 and needing the final game of the regular season to take the NFC East crown with a 9-7 record in 2011.
In 2007 and 2011, Tom Brady had record-breaking seasons. His 2007 season saw him break Peyton Manning's record for touchdown passes in a season with an otherworldly 50 TD passes. In 2011, though slightly overshadowed by Drew Brees, Brady broke Dan Marino's single-season passing yards record, throwing for 5,235 yards.
While this season was the same old story offensively for the Patriots, the Giants came through in a totally different fashion. In 2007, the Giants were much more dependent upon the run, rushing for a total of 2,148 yards, while Eli Manning threw for 3,336 yards. In 2011, the Giants struggled to run the football, amounting to a meager 1,427 yards, while Manning burst out for 4,933 yards passing.
One thing that has definitely changed since 2007 is the playmakers for these two teams. While they are both still headed by star quarterbacks Brady and Manning, the supporting casts of these two offenses are a lot different. The Patriots are much different on the defensive side as well, while the Giants maintain a few of the same guys in the secondary and on the defensive line, along with a few new weapons.
The rematch of the epic 2007 Super Bowl is on, but look for a few different names to steal the headlines. These are a few of the most exciting players who will take the field in the grand finale—Super Bowl XLVI.