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GAINTS or PATRIOTS

February 5, 2012 by staff 

GAINTS or PATRIOTS, Two indisputable things can be said of Super Bowl XLVI:

A pair of elite quarterbacks will be in it. And neither team will be out of it.

Time and again, the New York Giants and New England Patriots proved this season that big deficits can be overcome, and dire situations can be conquered.

The Patriots came back to win after trailing 21-0 against Buffalo, 17-0 against Miami, 10-0 against Philadelphia and 16-7 against Denver.

Just as Eli Manning established himself as spectacular, especially in the fourth quarter, the Giants somehow pulled out of a tailspin of four consecutive losses.

“We have an unbelievable sense of resiliency and belief in one another to go ahead and get the job done,” said Giants tackle Kareem McKenzie, whose team was 7-7 before winning its last two do-or-die regular-season games.

In a way, the up-from-the-ashes resolve of these teams is reflective of the league at large, which emerged from its first labor crisis in more than two decades to post a stunning season _ one that included a 10-year labor agreement and record-breaking extensions to the TV contracts.

All arrows are pointing up for the league, and now two of its biggest markets are meeting on the grandest stage.

What’s more, the game is a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, when the Giants shockingly denied the Patriots’ plan to put the finishing touches on an unprecedented 19-0 season.

That game was a stepping-out party for Manning, whereas this one could be a big step in the direction of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Beating the Patriots again would give him a second championship ring, one more than his big brother, Peyton.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) looks around Lucas Oil Stadium as he poses for a photo on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Patriots visited with family and friends on the field the day before they are scheduled to face the New York Giants in NFL football Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5.

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