it feels like you are watching NFL reruns this January, you are not alone.
Patriots and Giants are meeting in the Super Bowl (stop me if you’ve heard this
one before), a week after both utilized epic goat-like performances by the
Ravens and 49ers, respectively, to set up a rematch of Super Bowl XLII.
the 19-0 subplot of 2007, New England returns to this showdown as a No. 1 seed
while the Giants come in as a No. 4 this time (they were a wild card and No. 5
seed in ’07).
the similarities don’t stop there. Not even close, at least for the Giants.
Big Blue squad was 10-6, and at the time became just the second six-loss team
to win the Super Bowl (Green Bay did it last year). If they win Super Bowl
XLVI, they will become the first-ever 9-7 team to take home the Lombardi
the ’07 and ’11 squads began 6-2 and had many people singing their praises.
This year’s pinnacle of the first half was a 24-20, comeback victory over the
same Patriots they will meet on February 5. But things started to go south,
just as they did four seasons ago.
2007, the Giants put their 6-2 mark on the line against division rival Dallas,
a team that had beaten them once already. The Cowboys put a stranglehold on the
NFC East with a 31-20 win, and the Giants would ultimately settle for a wild
year, their 6-2 mark turned into a 6-6 debacle in a hurry. They lost to San
Francisco – who, like with Dallas in ’07, the Giants figured they would see
again down the road – then followed that up with a home loss to the Eagles and
a blowout loss in New Orleans.
came perhaps the ultimate symmetry. In Week 13, starting 6-6 in the face, the
Giants welcomed in the 11-0 Green Bay Packers in an attempt to thwart their
quest for perfection. It was similar to the 2007 finale, when the Giants,
albeit in a meaningless game for them, hosted the 15-0 Patriots attempting to
complete the perfect season.
a hard-fought game against Green Bay, Mason Crosby drilled a last-second field
goal to give the Packers a 38-35 win. Fittingly, that was the same score the
Giants lost to the Patriots by on that Saturday night at the end of the 2007
games proved to be wake-up calls for the G-Men. Everyone remembers their
stellar postseason run in 2007 that began with a dominant win over Tampa Bay.
This time, it was a season-saving, 37-34 victory in Dallas after New York
trailed by 12 points late in the fourth quarter.
just when it seemed same to assume the Giants were back, the Redskins came to
town in Week 15. In 2007, Eli Manning had one of the worst games of his
professional career, setting the NFL record for most incompletions in a game as
the Giants lost to the Redskins, 22-10, and lost Jeremy Shockey to a broken leg
in the process.
time in Week 15, the Redskins came to town seeking a season-sweep. Indeed, they
got it, as Manning threw three picks and the Giants lost. The score? 23-10.
season’s final two weeks were momentum-shifters for the Giants, much like Weeks
16 and 17 were in 2007. In ‘07, the Giants turned a 14-0 deficit in Buffalo
into a 38-21 win in the snow. In ’11, Victor Cruz may have changed fate for
good with a 99-yard touchdown reception as the Giants knocked off the Jets,
Week 17, rather than simply playing to prevent perfection this time, the Giants
needed to win just to get in, and they rose to the occasion with a 31-14 win
over the Cowboys to complete the season-sweep. This time they earned a home
playoff game against an NFC South team, with Atlanta being their opponent
rather than the Bucs.
24-2 drubbing of the Falcons sent New York to Green Bay to avenge an earlier
loss to the conference’s top-seed, just as they went to Dallas in 2007 to
avenge their two regular-season losses. The defense turned it up a notch, and
the Packers never knew what hit them.
a flash, their 15-1 season was gone, and the Giants were on their way to the
NFC Championship Game with a 37-20 win. In 2007, they ended Dallas’ 13-3 dream
season with a 21-17 upset.
then there is the NFC Championship game parallel. In ’07, the Giants went to
Lambeau to face a Packers team that had lost to way back in Week 2. In ’11, the
Giants returned to San Francisco to try and avenge a 27-20 loss to the 49ers in
times, celebration ensued as Lawrence Tynes hit overtime field goals to give
Big Blue the George Halas Trophy. 23-20 over the Packers, and now 20-17 over
so now here we are again, with the Giants looking to capture another Super Bowl
win over the favored New England Patriots. Last time, it was Manning to David
Tyree to keep the drive alive, then Manning to Plaxico Burress to complete the
so many things have repeated themselves four years later, will history repeat
itself once again in Indianapolis? We shall see.