Has Tom Brady started the Super Bowl trash talk? (JESSICA RINALDI / Reuters)

Sure, they are. It’s Super Bowl Week. A crowd of about 25,000 New England Patriots fans gave their football team a big sendoff Sunday at Gillette Stadium, prompting quarterback Tom Brady to tell them:

“We're going down there, and we're going down there for one reason. We're going to give it our best and hopefully we have a lot more people at our party next weekend.”

Is that trash talk? New York media perceived some disrespect aimed at the Giants. ESPN New York: “Brady planning victory party.” New York Post: “Tom’s Taunt.” New York Daily News: “Party of Jive: Hey Giants! Brady already talking about a victory bash.”

Brady was offered the opportunity to walk it back or amp it up when the Patriots arrived in Indianapolis later Sunday.

“Well, it was a pep rally,” Brady said, drawing laughter. “People were pretty excited. Certainly, players were excited. I know 25,000 fans who were there were excited as well. It was great to see the support. We get great support, home and away, and hopefully we have some Patriots jerseys in the stands next Sunday night.”

It’s a far cry from four years ago, when Plaxico Burress predicted a 23-17 Giants victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. No opponent had held the Patriots, who were 18-0 going into the game, under 20. “We’re only going to score 17 points? Ha. Ha. Ha,” Brady said then. “Okay. Is Plax playing defense? I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for scoring more points.”

The Patriots lost 17-14.

Your turn, Giants.

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