The AFC Champion New England Patriots and NFC Champion New York Giants will battle for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVI. Both teams picked up three-point victories in their respective conference championship games to reach the season's biggest game.
It's a rematch of Super Bowl XLII in 2008, when the Giants ended New England's bid for a perfect season with a 17-14 upset victory. David Tyree was the hero of that contest, making a miraculous catch to keep New York's chances alive before Eli Manning found Plaxico Burress for the winning touchdown.
Tom Brady and Co. will enter Super Sunday's game seeking revenge for that loss. There were plenty of questions heading into the playoffs about the team's defense's ability to make a deep run, but a combination of improved play and shaky opponents has landed them a spot in the title game.
As for the Giants, they were written off as pretenders more than once throughout the season. They continued to battle, though, and managed to get hot at the right time. They'll rely heavily on a strong pass rush making life tough on Brady if they want to upset the Patriots once again.
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
When: Sunday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Betting Line: Patriots -3, according to Bet Online.
Storylines to Watch
New England came within two minutes and seven seconds of a perfect 19-0 record four years ago. The Giants ultimately stopped the Patriots' bid to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only unbeaten team in league history.
That will be a huge motivational tactic used by the coaching staff as they prepare for this year's Super Bowl. The Patriots won't be able to completely erase that failed opportunity from their memory, but a win would go a long way in easing the pain.
Eli Manning has always been viewed with skeptical eyes after the success his father and brother had in the NFL. He's slowly removed himself from that shadow and another Super Bowl ring will allow him to have a case as the best Manning quarterback.
He'll shake off any questions about that possibility during the build-up, but it's surely something he probably never thought would even be asked. It's a testament to his work ethic and progression despite the heavy media pressure that comes with playing in New York.
Bill Belichick vs. Tom Coughlin
Belichick has long been considered a mastermind of the game, while Coughlin is seemingly on the hot seat at least once per season. It's an interesting dynamic considering both men have proven they can lead their team to the mountain top.
The game is probably more important to Coughlin because his doubters are still numerous. Another Super Bowl triumph should earn him a little bit more breathing room the next time the Giants get off the a rocky start.
Belichick already has that cushion.
National anthem singer: Kelly Clarkson
Halftime entertainment: Madonna and Cirque du Soleil
Commercial cost (30 seconds): $3.5 million
NBC Announce Team: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth
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