Super Bowl XLVI: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

Sunday, Feb. 5, 6:30 p.m., Lucas Oil Stadium (NBC)

Why the Giants can win… They beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl four years ago, denying New England what would have been the first 19-0 season in NFL history. New York is on the same kind of roll now, having beaten the fifth-seeded Falcons, the top-seeded Packers and the second-seeded 49ers in the NFC playoffs after going a modest 9-7 during the regular season. They’ve won five straight games since they fell to 7-7 with their second loss of the season to the Redskins. QB Eli Manning seeks his second Super Bowl triumph. He had two 1,000-yard receivers during the regular season in Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, and he’s had much more help lately from his running game and defense. Just as he did four years ago, K Lawrence Tynes put the Giants in the Super Bowl with an OT field goal in the NFC title game. The Giants beat the Patriots during the regular season, 24-20, at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 6. Manning threw the game-winning TD pass to TE Jake Ballard with 15 seconds left in that game.

Why the Patriots can win… They get their chance to avenge the Super Bowl defeat that cost their 2007 team the chance to be remembered as perhaps the greatest ever. Coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady make their fifth Super Bowl appearance together, the most ever by a coach and quarterback tandem, seeking their fourth Super Bowl victory. Brady is tied with Joe Montana for the most career postseason victories by a QB, with 16. He must rebound from a two-interception, no-TD-pass performance against the Ravens in the AFC title game. The Patriots ranked 31st in the league in total defense during the regular season but played better on that side of the ball in playoff wins over the Broncos and Ravens.

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Early Lead: Who will win Super Bowl XLVI?