Patriots and Giants: 2012 Super Bowl Rematch and Rivalry Set for Sunday

Austen E. MarshellCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 6:    Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots congratulates  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants after the New York Giants 24-20 win on November 6, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Super Bowl XLVI is less than a week away, and the New England Patriots and New York Giants are almost sure to give us a fulfilling climax to the season.  After the Giants spoiled an undefeated season by the Patriots four years ago in the Super Bowl, this game is a rematch with an underlying pretense of a rivalry.   

Hindsight isn't always warranted, but for the Patriots, after going undefeated in the 2007 regular season, they had the unfortunate pressure of having to win the Super Bowl to complete a season of perfection.     

As an observer, if the Patriots hadn't been undefeated that season, they would have beat the Giants in the Super Bowl. 

This year's Giants team is different, and according to the ever opinion-swaying mass-media, the Giants are better than this years Patriots.

Eli Manning playing in big brother's house gives him an edge in comfort.  But how comfortable can a quarterback be with Vince Wilfork breathing down his neck?

Some of the similarities between the teams are very interesting. 

In the past 10 games, the Patriots are 10-0.  In the past seven games, the Giants are 6-1.  The Giants have 19 players from their Super Bowl team to the Patriots 10 and the coaching style of both Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick are strikingly similar in their abilities to make in-game adjustments during the Super Bowl. 


But Tom Brady and Belichick are among the most experienced and knowledgeable in the NFL, and this surely isn't their first go round.   

Rob Gronkowski and his injury are a glitch in the system, and if he were to not play or be ineffective, it wouldn't be a complete downfall for the Patriot offense. 

They still have Aaron Hernandez, and both Wes Welker and Deion Branch are Super Bowl experienced.  And for some odd reason, Chad Ochocinco is due for something big—seriously.

Games like this aren't blowouts.  These are the games that come down to a few minutes in the fourth quarter. 

The Giants and Patriots have never been coached to just lay down and take a loss so this really should be a classic.

There are a cast of new faces for this year's Giants as Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham and Ahmad Bradshaw make their first Super Bowl appearances. 

Cruz has become the Giants' focal point in the passing game, and with Manning getting him the ball, he can put a lot of points on the board.  Bradshaw seems to play with a confidence but slight chip on his shoulder and has big-play ability that's rare for a player without elite speed. 

Will the Coughlin-coached Giants put enough pressure on Brady to force him into uncharacteristic mistakes and allow Manning to put points up?  Or will Belichick and Brady be fully prepared for another Super Bowl ring? 

Only time will tell now as these two teams are officially on countdown.