I was planning on waiting until just a few days before the SB to post this, but I have a funny feeling that we are all just going to be burnt out at that point. I will try to look a little deeper if I have time (although my track record is pretty lousy these playoffs so you may not want me to ) but this is what I have for now. * I posted this in response over at footballoutsiders to the litany of Giants fans that seem to believe that the Giants were always a top team. * People are tripping over themselves looking to break out all the historical comparisons for this SB matchup. As I have said before, the team that I think they most resemble is the 2003 Panthers, which is promising for NY because that team maintained their play through the SB. The games that I have heard many compare this matchup to are the Buffalo/NY game in 1990 and NE's first SB. Both paired efficient, tough defensive teams against unstoppable offensive juggernauts that also had some playmakers on defense. Myself, I can totally see the comparison, with the exception of one major detail. Bill Belichick is on the wrong sideline. BB was prominantly involved in taking down both of those offensive giants. Coughlin is a fine coach and I'm sure that his staff is full of competent guys as well. But I have little doubt that if you took BB off of either prior underdog the favorite's chances of winning would have improved greatly. Then, go one step further and add Bill to the favorite..... * By now we all know that NY's approach to the first NE game was a major catalyst in their playoff run. Obviously they derived significant benefit from that game. However, I have a different take on that, now that the teams are facing off once again. I personally believe that the earlier matchup was actually NY's best played game in their last month; better than the GB game, better than the TB game and most certainly better than the Dallas game. Anecdotally, I have noticed that when one team plays at their highest level against an oppenent, it is a major advantage to that opponent if they face each other again. Some examples of this are Pitt/NE on Halloween of 2004, Indy/Pitt the following year, NE/SD this year. I'm sure you could easily find examples disproving this, but it seems to have played out how I expected it when I notice it. I just think that NE has an edge in the fact that they saw NY's best up close while NY saw NE at about a C+ level. * Piggybacking on the previous though and similar to last year's Indy playoff game, NE has the advantage of not being surprised by NY's improved play. Just like I thought last year that some teams were surprised by Indy's improved D and failed to make adjustments, I think that NY's playoff opponents - TB and Dallas, anyway - may have been caught offguard by NY's elevated play. NE will have the benefit of both better persepective and 4 games of film. I'm still not sure what I think about this game, but I'll let you know when I figure it out. As always, I welcome your thoughts.