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51 for LI: Deja Vu in Super Bowl XLVI

[lead align=”default”]This season’s Super Bowl is 46 days away. That brings up memories of Super Bowl XLVI, which was twice as nice for the New York Giants.[/lead]

This game was a rematch of Super Bowl XLII four years prior, arguably still the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. The aforementioned Giants faced the New England Patriots yet again with the championship on the line. Most of the same key faces were there for both, but a renewed sense of purpose existed on each sideline.

Super Bowl XLVI: How They Got There

The New York Giants, four years removed from their last Super Bowl appearance, started their run with a win over the Cowboys to take the NFC East. Just a 9-7 squad, they thrashed Atlanta in the wild card round, and then did the same to Green Bay, the defending champs. Finally, they beat San Francisco in overtime on a Lawrence Tynes kick to head to Super Bowl XLVI.

All throughout the postseason, people wondered if the Giants and Pats would meet again. The teams got closer each week until eventually their paths intersected again. New England started the playoffs a game further along than the Giants, but smoked Denver to get to the AFC title game. There, they beat Baltimore to advance to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLVI: How The Giants Did It Again

Almost everything about the 2011-12 playoffs felt like 2007-08. The Giants had to fight and claw their way into the playoffs, but then, the defense took over. They cruised through the first game, then pulled a huge upset in the second, and got through overtime on the road to win the NFC championship. And, of course, they met the Pats in the Super Bowl.

As Yogi Berra would say, it was deja vu all over again. The Giants played a close, hard fought game with New England, taking the lead in the closing minutes. The defense kept them in the game, but Eli Manning and his wide receivers helped do the rest. With one last chance, Tom Brady and the Patriots were stopped once more.

The only difference is that a perfect season wasn’t on the line here. Yet, if New England sought revenge for Super Bowl XLII, they didn’t get it. On the other hand, Brady and Belichick together have faced five different teams in the Super Bowl, and only one has their number. That’s a pretty good track record.

Super Bowl XLVI: Highlights

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