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In the 2011 season, the New York Giants played the strongest teams the NFL had to offer. The Giants faced off against the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.
Despite a 1-3 record in these matchups, the Giants had opportunities to win each game. This season, the Giants have played the best offenses in the NFL and they've faced the best defense in the NFC twice.
These games have provided experience that cannot be measured on paper. It's an experience that has prepared them for Super Bowl XLVI.
The Patriots, on the other hand, had one of the weakest schedules in the NFL. They only faced off against two teams that finished with winning records. They lost both of those games. One of those teams was the Giants, who forced three Tom Brady turnovers in that game.