Super Bowl XLVI: Game Preview

Official NFL Release

SUPER BOWL XLVI: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2012

NEW YORK GIANTS-NFC EAST (12-7) AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS-AFC EAST (15-3)

SERIES

GIANTS

PATRIOTS

LEADER (REG. SEASON)

5-4

STREAKS (REG. SEASON)

4 of past 5

COACHES VS. OPP.

(REG. & POSTSEASON)

Coughlin: 3-4

Belichick: 2-4

COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD

11-7

17-6

VS. COMMON OPP.

(REG. SEASON)

NYG: 6-3 (Buf. 1-0, Dal. 2-0, Mia. 1-0, NYJ 1-0, Phi. 1-1, Was. 0-2)

NE: 8-1 (Buf. 1-1, Dal. 1-0, Mia. 2-0, NYJ 2-0, Phi. 1-0, Was. 1-0)

PLAYOFF RECORD

23-24

23-15

LAST WEEK

W 20-17 (OT) at 49ers

W 23-20 vs. Ravens

LAST GAME (REG. SEASON)

11/6/11: Giants 24 at Patriots 20. New York QB Eli Manning throws 2 4th-quarter TDs, including game-winning 1-yard TD pass to TE Jake Ballard with 0:15 left in game.

LAST GAME AT SITE

(REG. SEASON)

---

LAST PLAYOFF

2/3/08: Giants 17 at Patriots 14. New York WR Plaxico Burress catches game-winning 13-yard TD pass with 0:35 left as Giants win Super Bowl XLII.

BROADCAST

NBC (6:00 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One Radio: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, James Lofton (Field reporter), Mark Malone (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 92 (NYG), 86 (NE). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (NYG), 226 (NE).

REGULAR SEASON STAT LEADERS

PASSING

Manning: 359-589-4,933 (3C)-29-16-92.9

Brady: 401-611-5,235 (1C)-39 (1C)-12-105.6 (1C)

RUSHING

Bradshaw: 171-659-3.9-9

Green-Ellis: 181-667-3.7-11 (2C)

RECEIVING

Cruz: 82-1,536 (3L)-18.7-9

Welker: 122 (1L)-1,569 (1C)-12.9-9 (T2C)

OFFENSE

385.1

428.0 (1L)

TAKE/GIVE

+7

+17 (1C)

DEFENSE

376.4

411.1

SACKS

Pierre-Paul: 16.5

Anderson: 10.0

INTs

Webster: 6 (T2C)

Arrington: 7 (T1L)

PR

Ross: 7.1

Edelman: 10.7

KR

D. Thomas: 24.3

Woodhead: 21.9

PUNTING

Weatherford: 45.7

Mesko: 46.5

KICKING

Tynes: 100 (43/43 PAT; 19/24 FG)

Gostkowski: 143 (1C) (59/59 PAT; 28/33 FG)

GIANTS: Have won 7 championships (1927, 1934, 1938, 1956, 1986, 1990, 2007), 3rd most in NFL history. Are 3-1 in SBs, including 17-14 win over NE in SB XLII...Have won 5 in row, outscoring opp. 141-67...TOM COUGHLIN joins BILL PARCELLS as only Giants head coaches to lead 2 teams to SB. Coughlin has led NYG to 5 postseason appearances, tied with Parcells for most in team history. Coughlin notched 7th postseason road victory in NFC Champ. at SF, tied with HOFer TOM LANDRY for most all-time...Giants are 2nd team in NFL history (Arizona, 2008) to reach SB by beating 3 opponents with better reg. season records...Have won past 2 vs. NE (SB XLII & Wk. 9). NYG defeated NE 24-20 in Wk. 9 & team is 3-0 in SBs when facing club Giants played in reg. season...Giants had 2 players selected to Pro Bowl: QB ELI MANNING (2nd) &DE JASON PIERRE-PAUL (1st)...QB Manning was MVP of SB XLII. Has won 7 of past 8 postseason starts. Is franchise postseason passing leader (min. 100 att.) in att. (316), comp. (189), comp. pct. (59.8), yards (2,220), TDs (16) & rating (87.5). Had 330 pass yards in Div. & 316 yards in NFC Champ. Is 2nd player to take team to SB with consecutive 300-yard pass games in Div. & Champ. (HOFer JIM KELLY, 1990). Had franchise-record 4,933 pass yards & 8 300-yard games in reg. season. Has 24 career 300-yard games (incl. playoffs), most in team history. Recorded 7th consecutive season with 3,000+ pass yards & 20+ pass TDs, most in team history. Had 15 4th quarter TD passes in reg. season, most ever in season, topping HOFer JOHNNY UNITAS & PEYTON MANNING...RB BRANDON JACOBS has 4 career rush TDs in playoffs, tied with JOE MORRIS (4) for most in franchise history. Jacobs (424) & RB AHMAD BRADSHAW (408) rank 3rd & 4th in team history with most playoff rushing yards...WR HAKEEM NICKS has 18 catches for 335 yards & 4 TDs in postseason. His 335 yards & 4 TDs are most by Giant in single postseason. His 18 catches are tied for 2nd most by Giant, trailing AMANI TOOMER's 21 in 2007. Nicks had 7 catches for 165 yards & 2 TDs in Div. & 6 catches for 115 yards & 2 TDs in WC. Is 3rd WR in SB era with 2+ games in single postseason with 100+ yards & 2+ TDs, joining HOFer JERRY RICE (1989) & LARRY FITZGERALD (2008). Nicks had 72-yard TD in WC & 66-yard TD in Div. Is only player in NFL history with 66+ rec. TD in consecutive games in same postseason. Ranked 2nd on team in reg. season with 76 catches, 1,192 yards & 7 TDs. Only player in team history with 75+ catches, 1,000+ yards & 7+ TDs in consecutive seasons. WR VICTOR CRUZ had 10 catches for 142 yards in NFC Champ. His 10 catches tied for 2nd most in playoff game by NYG (PLAXICO BURRESS, 11, 2007 NFC Champ). Had team-record 1,536 rec. yards in reg. season, 193 more than previous mark (1,343, AMANITOOMER). Had team-high 9 rec. TDs in reg. season, incl. 99-yard TD in Week 16, tied for longest in NFL history. Had 5 rec. TDs of 65+ yards in reg. season, 2nd most in season in NFL history (6, HOFer ELROY "CRAZYLEGS" HIRSCH, 1951). Had 7 100-yard games in reg. season, most by Giant in season. Cruz (1,536) & Nicks (1,192) are 1st set of Giants to each record 1,000+ rec. yards in same season. WR MARIO MANNINGHAM has TD in all 3 playoff games this year & is 1st Giant with TD catch in 3 consecutive games in single postseason...DE Pierre-Paul ranked 4th in NFL during reg. season with 16.5 sacks. Joined HOFer LAWRENCE TAYLOR & MICHAELSTRAHAN as only Giants with 16+ sacks in season. Had sack in Wk. 9 meeting. DE JUSTIN TUCK had 2 sacks in SB XLII, tied for most in postseason game by Giant. Had 1.5 sacks in NFC Champ. DE OSI UMENYIORA has 5.5 career postseason sacks, incl. 3.5 this year. CB COREY WEBSTER led team with career-high 6 INTs in reg. season...K LAWRENCE TYNES had 31-yard FG in OT in NFC Champ. Also had 47-yard FG in OT in 2007 NFC Champ. Is only player in NFL history to score winning points in 2 playoff OT games. Is team leader in postseason points (52) & FGs (11). WR-ST DEVIN THOMAS had 2 FRs in NFC Champ leading to 10 points.

PATRIOTS: Advanced to Super Bowl for 7th time in franchise history (3-3)...With win in Super Bowl XLVI, head coach BILL BELICHICK (3) can tie HOFer CHUCK NOLL (4) for most SB wins by head coach in NFL history. Belichick & QB TOM BRADY will make 5th SB appearance together, most by head coach-quarterback duo all-time. Belichick & Brady (16) have most postseason wins by QB-head coach duo. Belichick (17) is tied with HOFer JOE GIBBS (17) for 3rd-most playoff wins all-time, trailing only HOFers TOM LANDRY (20) & DON SHULA (19)...Brady's 16 postseason wins are tied with HOFer JOE MONTANA for most playoffs wins by QB in NFL history. Brady has 1,001 passing yards in 4 Super Bowls, 4th-most SB career passing yards (KURT WARNER, 1,156; Montana, 1,142; Elway, 1,128). Brady has 7 career SB TD passes, 4th most all-time. Brady (5,009) needs 381 passing yards to surpass PEYTON MANNING (5,389) for 3rd-most postseason passing yards in NFL history. Brady (36) needs 4 TD passes to join Montana (45) & BRETT FAVRE (44) as only QBs to reach 40 postseason TD passes all-time. Brady (472) needs 10 completions to surpass Favre (481) for most career postseason completions all-time. Has 16-5 (.762) playoff record, best postseason record as starting QB in NFL history (min. 15 starts). Named MVP of SBs XXXVI & XXXVIII. Brady will tie Elway (5) for most SB appearances by QB in NFL history. In 4 career games vs. NYG (incl. SB XLII), Brady has completed 97 of 160 passes (60.6 pct.) for 1,076 yards with 5 TDs vs. 2 INTs & 85.8 passer rating. Brady had 5,235 passing yards in '11, 2nd-most passing yards in season in NFL history, trailing only DREW BREES (5,476) in '11...RB BEN JARVUS GREEN-ELLIS registered 1st career postseason rush TD last week. Green-Ellis reached 10+ rush TDs in consecutive seasons (13 in '10; 11 in '11)...WR WES WELKER has 46 receptions in 6 career playoff games. Welker had 11 receptions for 103 yards in only career SB appearance (SB XLII vs. NYG). Welker joined CRIS CARTER (122 in '94 & '95) as only players to have 120+ receptions twice in career (123 in '09; 122 in '11). Joined HOFerJERRY RICE & MARVIN HARRISON as only players to have 4 100-catch seasons. WR DEION BRANCH was named MVP of SB XXXIX. Has 21 career SB receptions, 3rd-most all-time, trailing on HOFer JERRY RICE (33) & ANDRE REED (27). Branch (791) has most career postseason receiving yards in Patriots history...TE ROB GRONKOWSKI has 15 receptions for 232 yards with 3 TD catches in '11 postseason. Had 8 catches for 101 receiving yards with 1 TD in only meeting vs. NYG (11/6/11). Gronkowski set single-season record for TEs in receiving yards (1,327) & TD receptions (17) in '11. Became 1st TE in NFL history to lead league in TD catches. TE AARON HERNANDEZ has totaled 191 scrimmage yards (121 receiving, 70 rushing) in past 2 playoff games. Had career-best in catches (79), receiving yards (910) & TDs (7) in '11...LB JEROD MAYO led club with 95 tackles in '11. LB BRANDON SPIKES posted 1st career postseason INT last week. LB ROB NINKOVICH had career-best 6.5 sacks this season...DT VINCE WILFORK has 2.5 sacks in past 2 playoff games...CB KYLE ARRINGTON tied for NFL-best with 7 INTs.

SUPER BOWL XLVI: NEW YORK GIANTS VS. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

It all comes down to this.

On Sunday, February 5, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots will meet in Super Bowl XLVI (6:00 PM ET, NBC) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. It marks a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, when the Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14 in one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history.

"It's a great chess match with two elite quarterbacks and two teams with great traditions and great histories," says NBC's AL MICHAELS. "It should be a terrific matchup."

Super Bowl XLVI is the first Super Bowl in which both starting quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl MVP award. New York quarterback ELI MANNING passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns - including the game-winning 13-yarder to PLAXICO BURRESS with 35 seconds remaining - in Super Bowl XLII and was named the game's MVP. New England quarterback TOM BRADY has been named Super Bowl MVP twice (XXXVI, XXXVIII) and is one of only four players in NFL history to win the award multiple times, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JOE MONTANA (XVI, XIX, XXIV), TERRY BRADSHAW (XIII, XIV) and BART STARR(I, II).

"I expect greatness from this game," says NBC analyst CRIS COLLINSWORTH.

The game is also the third quarterback rematch in Super Bowl history:

QB MATCHUP

SUPER BOWL

SUPER BOWL REMATCH

Terry Bradshaw, PIT vs. Roger Staubach, DAL

X: Steelers, 21-17

XIII: Steelers, 35-31

Troy Aikman, DAL vs. Jim Kelly, BUF

XXVII: Cowboys, 52-17

XXVIII: Cowboys, 30-13

Eli Manning, NYG vs. Tom Brady, NE

XLII: Giants, 17-14

XLVI: ???

During the 2011 regular season, Brady passed for 5,235 yards and Manning had 4,933 passing yards. The duo combined for 10,168 passing yards, which would be the most ever by opposing starting quarterbacks in a Super Bowl. Brady and Manning combined for 8,142 passing yards in 2007, which would rank fourth all-time.

SUPER BOWL

SEASON

QUARTERBACK

QUARTERBACK

COMBINED YARDS

XLVI

2011

Tom Brady, NE (5,235)

Eli Manning, NYG (4,933)

10,168

XLIV

2009

Peyton Manning, IND (4,500)

Drew Brees, NO (4,388)

8,888

XIX

1984

Dan Marino, MIA (5,084)

Joe Montana, SF (3,630)

8,714

XLII

2007

Tom Brady, NE (4,806)

Eli Manning, NYG (3,336)

8,142

XXXI

1996

Drew Bledsoe, NE (4,086)

Brett Favre, GB (3,899)

7,985

For the first time in NFL history, the Super Bowl will feature two teams coming off three-point victories. Both Championship Games were decided by three points and the combined differential of six points is the closest ever for the Championship Games. An average of 53.7 million viewers watched the AFC and NFC Championship Games, making it the most watched Championship Game Sunday since January 10, 1982.

"This is a big game for the Giants organization," says Manning, who is one of only two players (Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM KELLY, 1990) to take his team to the Super Bowl with back-to-back 300-yard passing games in the Divisional Playoff and Championship Game. "This is a big game for every single player who's going to be playing in this game. You hope that you can go out there and play the best football that you've ever played. That's always the goal."

New York has won seven NFL championships (1927, 1934, 1938, 1956, 1986, 1990, 2007), the third-most in NFL history. The Giants enter Super Bowl XLVI having won five games in a row, outscoring opponents 141-67. Head coach TOM COUGHLIN has guided the team to a second Super Bowl appearance in his tenure, joining BILL PARCELLS as the only coaches in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

"I'm delighted and excited," says Coughlin about advancing to Super Bowl XLVI. "These guys have gone out and done it against the best that we've played."

The Giants (9-7) - who defeated Atlanta (10-6), Green Bay (15-1) and San Francisco (13-3) - are only the second team to reach the Super Bowl via playoff victories over three opponents with a better regular-season record than its own (Arizona, 2008).

In the NFC Championship Game, Manning passed for 316 yards and two touchdowns in the Giants' 20-17 overtime victory at San Francisco. Wide receiverVICTOR CRUZ had 10 catches for 142 yards and his 10 receptions tied for the second-most in a playoff game by a Giant. Wide receiver MARIO MANNINGHAMcaught one of Manning's touchdown passes and is the first player in franchise history with a TD catch in three consecutive games in a single postseason.

"It feels great because it was a tough game," says Manning. "We had to fight for every yard that we got. I'm just excited about having another chance to go to the Super Bowl and play New England."

Defensively, defensive end JUSTIN TUCK - who had two sacks against New England in Super Bowl XLII - had 1.5 sacks as the Giants recorded three sacks against the 49ers.

"Our confidence level is high and we feel good about where we are as a team," says Tuck. "We feel confident that we can play with anybody."

On special teams, DEVIN THOMAS had two fumble recoveries on punts which lead to 10 points. In overtime, JACQUIAN WILLIAMS forced a fumble on a punt return that was recovered by Thomas. The turnover set up LAWRENCE TYNES' game-winning 31-yard field goal. Tynes is the only player in NFL history to score the winning points in two playoff overtime games. In the 2007 NFC Championship Game at Green Bay, Tynes converted a 47-yard field goal in OT to send the Giants to Super Bowl XLII.

"It's my second NFC Championship Game and my second game-winner," says Tynes. "It's amazing."

The Patriots have won 10 consecutive games, with the team's last loss a 24-20 defeat to the Giants in Week 9. New England has advanced to its seventh Super Bowl and fifth since the 2001 season.

Head coach BILL BELICHICK and QB Brady are headed to their fifth Super Bowl together, the most ever by a head coach and starting quarterback combination. The duo had previously been tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers TOM LANDRY-ROGER STAUBACH (Dallas), CHUCK NOLL-Bradshaw (Pittsburgh) andMARV LEVY-Kelly (Buffalo).

"It's certainly a great honor to be representing the AFC in this game," says Belichick. "We're looking forward to the opportunity versus the Giants, who are a great team. They've had a great year and we know this is going to be our toughest game. We have a lot of work cut out for us, but it's exciting to have the opportunity to meet the challenge."

Brady passed for 239 yards in the Patriots' 23-20 win over Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game. He became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to surpass the 5,000-yard mark in the playoffs (5,009), joining BRETT FAVRE (5,855), Montana (5,772) and PEYTON MANNING (5,389).

"We're a pretty mentally tough team," says Brady, who will start his fifth Super Bowl and tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY for the most Super Bowl starts at QB. "There's really some resiliency. We've shown it all season. We're always going to fight to the end. It's great to be part of a team like this."

Against the Ravens, New England's defense had three sacks and an interception while holding Baltimore to 20 points.

"Our defense saved us," says Brady. "I'm proud of this team and my teammates."

With the Patriots trailing 20-16, Brady rushed for a one-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. It marked the first go-ahead rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter of Brady's career in both the regular season and playoffs. Brady is also just the third QB to rush for a fourth-quarter game-winning TD in the postseason, joining KENNY STABLER (1976) and BILLY VOLEK (2007).

In his career, Brady is 16-5 (.762) in the postseason and his 16 playoff wins are tied with Montana for the most in NFL history. Belichick has compiled a 17-6 (.739) postseason record and his 17 playoff wins are tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE GIBBS for the third-most in NFL history. They trail only Pro Football Hall of Famers Landry (20) and DON SHULA (19).

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