Sports

Super Bowl Preview: Eli Manning, New York Giants Still Get No Respect

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Dating back to 2007, the New York Giants have won six straight playoff games away from home. That’s the longest playoff road winning streak in NFL history. By virtue of winning a minimum of two playoff games to get to this point, it can be said that any team that reaches the Super Bowl has momentum.

The Giants however seem to be universally viewed as being a completely different team than they were most of the regular season. The reality is that most of the reason for their recent success has to do with the health of their players, particularly Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Adding a defense playing with attitude and flare to the steadiness and dependability of Eli and offense, New York has found a recipe for success, playing their best football of the year in all facets of the game.

For the Giants, the path to Super Bowl XLVI was paved much in the same way as it was five seasons ago on their path to Super Bowl XLII. Towards the end of the year in 2007, the Giants played the best team in football (the New England Patriots) at home in a close game, losing but playing well enough to come out of the game with renewed confidence and a feeling that if they were to meet New England again, they could beat them. This year the same thing happened with the best team the Green Bay Packers. And like in 2007, when they had their rematch in the playoffs away from home, the Giants beat them.

Correct me if I’m wrong but it wasn’t it Eli Manning and the Giants who had winning drive winning Super Bowl XLII 17-14 and not Tom Brady and the Patriots? There are still a number of key players on both sides of the ball on each of these two teams that experienced the thrill of victory and agony of defeat that day, and four years later, that memory seems just like yesterday to those involved. And correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t it the Giants who went into Gillette Stadium in Week 9 this season and beat the Patriots 24-20? Once again, just like in the Super Bowl, Manning drove the field, sticking the ball in the end zone with no time left for Brady to work his magic.

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Each of the past two times New York has played New England, the last time as late as November 6th of this season, New York came into the game as the underdog, both times coming out on top. Adding to the impressive nature of those two victories was the fact that neither time did the Giants have the advantage of playing at home. So why are the Giants a 3-point underdog going into Super Bowl 46?

If while walking to school on the first day you get beat up by a bunch of bullies, and then it happens again on the second day too, wouldn’t you take a different route the third day? I don’t get it? How many times to the Giants have to send the Patriots home losers before the odds makers and public get this one right. Sheesh!