It’s long past due but the Patriots know the Giants can play toe to toe with them and on any given Sunday, but the hype heading into Super Bowl XLVI is much different than the hype that headed into Super Bowl XLII. Way too many fans/analysts didn’t give the Giants a chance against the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII but they outplayed the Patriots and shocked the world with the win. Heading into the 2012 Super Bowl rematch, many fans/analysts aren't giving the Patriots the greatest chances to win, despite being the favorite.
The Giants were 13.5 underdogs in Super Bowl XLII, in this Super Bowl they are only 3 point underdogs. Granted, the Patriots should be favored in this game because of their regular season record (13-3) but many people are saying the Patriots didn’t have much competition this year during the regular season because they didn’t beat many teams with a winning record. The truth is the Patriots beat teams they should have beaten and blew a lot of other teams out of the water. Let's take a quick look back at their regular season schedule.
Week 1 - Patriots beat Dolphins 38-24, that’s a 14 point difference in Sun Life Stadium
Week 2 – Patriots beat the Chargers 35-21, that’s another 14 point difference. Philip Rivers had an off season this year, but somehow still made it to the 2012 Pro Bowl. I still consider the Chargers the best team in the AFC West despite not making it in the playoffs.
Week 3 – The Patriots lost to the Bills who were averaging the most points in the league to start off the season. The Bills were on fire to start things off this season and then went on a serious cold streak late in the fall which prevented them from making it into the playoffs. It was a well-deserved win in Ralph Wilson Stadium that day, the Bills won by 3 points.
Week 4 – The Patriots went into the black hole and beat the Oakland Raiders up 31-19, a 12 point difference.
Week 5 – Despite the locker room problems the Jets have had all season long the New York Jets went to the AFC Championship in 2009 and 2010 under Rex Ryan, we all know what type of team they are capable of being with much of the same roster from 2009 and 2010. The Patriots beat the Jets at home by 9.
Week 6 – The Patriots gave the Cowboys a chance to win the game at the end, but they failed to do so. The Cowboys have been plagued by ruining good opportunities this season. Either way, the Patriots held the Cowboys to 16 points while Dallas averaged 23 points a game this year. Patriots won 20-16.
Week 7 – Bye
Week 8 – The Patriots usually beat up on the Steelers when they play but the Steelers said enough was enough and beat the Patriots on Halloween weekend. The Patriots lost at Heinz Field, 25-17.
Week 9 – The Giants outplayed the Patriots 24-20 in Foxborough. Wow, what a game that was. Can the Giants beat the Patriots in the same season twice?
Week 10 – The Patriots destroyed the Jets 37-16. That’s a 21 point deficit.
Week 11 – The Patriots destroy the Chiefs 34-3. That’s a 31 point deficit.
Week 12 – The Patriots destroy the Eagles 38-20. That’s an 18 point deficit against the Dream Team who many believed were Super Bowl bound this preseason.
Week 13 – The Patriots beat the Colts 31-24. The Patriots didn’t win by much, but they were in control the whole game.
Week 14 – The Patriots beat the Redskins 34-27. The Redskins played up to the Patriots level but couldn’t come out on top. The Redskins were very capable of winning this game but the Redskins kept making mistakes.
Week 15 – The Patriots crush the Broncos 41-23. That’s another 18 point difference.
Week 16 – The Patriots sweep the Dolphins who were on a hot streak late in the season. The Patriots won by 3 in a nail biter.
Teams play hot at different times, that can’t be overlooked. The Giants are playing better football than the Patriots right now and maybe they have better momentum heading into this game but the Patriots are the most consistent football team in 2011 and people forget how well they have played throughout the season. The Giants are playing perfect playoff football right now while the Patriots were playing perfect in the entire 2007 season. I think the Patriots have to remind the world what type of football they are capable of playing comes Super Bowl XLVI, but we shall have to wait and see.