Revenge is in the air in Patriots Nation, even if the players and coach Bill Belichick are trying to play it down.
"All of the games in the past I don't think really mean too much at this point." Belichick said in Sunday's press conference. "This game is about this team this year. There aren't really a lot of us coaches and players who were involved in that game."
But the 25,000 fans present at Sunday's fan rally left the other 46 Patriots under no illusions. This is more than just a game. Boston/New England versus New York contests usually are. But avenging the hurt of "18-1" in a Super Bowl rematch? The stakes are higher than ever before.
Both teams have changed so much that it's almost impossible to draw any meaningful conclusions from their last Super Bowl clash.
Even the Week 9 regular season matchup—a 24-20 victory for the Giants at Gillette Stadium, featuring a scoreless first half—is unlikely to offer many clues as to how two high-powered offenses will attack on Sunday.
The Patriots will prevail at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in a shoot-out that will deliver tension and drama in equal measures. Let's take a look at the keys to a fourth Super Bowl trophy for New England.