It sure feels like 2007 all over again. And for the New York Giants, the second time was just as sweet.
The parallels between Big Blue’s magical run four short seasons ago and their 21-17 triumph in Super Bowl XLVI are truly astounding. Where do we begin?
Well for starters, the 2007 Giants took on a 15-0 New England Patriots team that appeared destined for perfection. Big Blue played their hearts out before falling 38-35 as the Patriots clinched the first undefeated regular season record since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
Flash forward to the 2011 season, where the New York Giants took on the 10-0 Green Bay Packers, a team that finished the regular season at a mark of 15-1. The Giants would fall to the Packers on a late field goal by Mason Crosby.
The score…38-35. If this is starting to sound eerie, just wait, it gets better.
Despite the Giants losing regular season contests to the Patriots in ’07 and the Packers in ’11, Big Blue’s solid performances gave them a reason to believe that they could compete and eventually knock off the heavy favorites.
The 2007 New York Giants, much like this year’s version, breezed through the Wildcard round and entered the Divisional round of the playoffs as significant underdogs. In 2007, the Giants stunned the 13-3 Dallas Cowboys behind a staunch defense and efficient offense clinching a berth in the NFC Championship game with a 21-17 road victory.
In similar fashion, Big Blue dealt the 2011 Packers a crushing blow, dominating in all facets of the game to the tune of a 37-20 win.
In both the 2007 and 2011 NFC title games, the Giants opposed 13-win squads in the ’07 Packers and ’11 Niners with each contest waging into overtime. Lawrence Tynes kicked the Giants into the Super Bowl not once but twice, as his 47-yarder split the pipes in 2007 and his 31-yard kick sent the 2011 Giants to Super Bowl XLVI in Indy.
Just as in 2007, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots were standing between the New York Giants and a date with destiny. In Super Bowl XLII, David Tyree’s miraculous fourth quarter helmet-catch lifted Big Blue to the most shocking upset in recent history, as the impossible became reality and the Giants ruined the Patriots pursuit of perfection and captured the Lombardi Trophy by a final of 17-14.
Prior to Super Bowl XLII, Tom Brady mocked Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress’ prediction of a 23-17 Giants victory. Brady chuckled “We’re only going to score 17 points?” That response will forever be a part of Super Bowl lore.
Once again, flash forward to Super Bowl XLVI as two familiar foes waged battle. This Super Bowl sequel featured yet another heroic catch by a Giants wide receiver late in the fourth quarter. This game’s signature moment was courtesy of Mario Manningham as he tight roped the sideline and hauled in a 40-yard reception on New York’s game-winning fourth quarter scoring drive. The Giants snapped the Patriots 10-game unbeaten streak, handing them another devastating Super Bowl defeat.
On Sunday in Indy, The Patriots managed 17 points. The very same point total Brady scoffed at four years ago as he ridiculed what he felt was a foolish prediction.
It seems as though the Giants got the last laugh.