The 2008 Super Bowl is being brought up far too often in comparisons to the imminent 2012 version. It just doesn’t make sense.
These are two teams that have evolved and changed many times since that meeting four years ago. Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still around, but the way they play and the rest of personnel on their rosters are largely different.
When the Giants shocked the Pats 17-14, Laurence Maroney, Randy Moss, David Tyree and Plaxico Burress were the four players to score touchdowns. All of them have either retired or moved on to other teams.
The major contributors that are still around do not believe that these games can be fairly compared.
According to Barry Wilner of the Associated Press, Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said,
This is something that is going to stick with you for the rest of your life—2007 was 2007, now we're in 2012. Both teams are different. I don't think we're looking for revenge.
Coach Belichick confirmed those sentiments:
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, and very few players, in relative terms, between both teams…To take it back years and years before that, I don't think it has too much bearing on anything.
The Giants won back in 2008 with a monster pass rush and the ability to contain the Pats’ extremely dangerous vertical passing game highlighted by Randy Moss.
Now New England relies on short to intermediate routes and working the ball to slot receiver Wes Welker and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
If either team tries to employ the same strategies this go-round, they will find surely find themselves on the losing side.
It’s going to be a great game, just like the 2008 Super Bowl, but it won’t be nearly the same type of contest.