Super Bowl XLVI is the first Super Bowl in which both starting quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl MVP award. Giants quarterback ELI MANNING passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns – including the game-winning 13-yarder to PLAXICO BURRESS with 35 seconds remaining – in Super Bowl XLII and was named the game’s MVP.
Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY has been named Super Bowl MVP twice (XXXVI, XXXVIII) and is one of only four players in NFL history to win the award multiple times, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JOE MONTANA (XVI, XIX, XXIV), TERRY BRADSHAW (XIII, XIV) and BART STARR (I, II).
During the 2011 regular season, Brady passed for 5,235 yards and Manning had 4,933 passing yards. The duo combined for 10,168 passing yards, which would be the most ever by opposing starting quarterbacks in a Super Bowl. Brady and Manning combined for 8,142 passing yards in 2007, which would rank fourth all-time.
New York has won seven NFL championships (1927, 1934, 1938, 1956, 1986, 1990, 2007), the third-most in NFL history. The Giants enter Super Bowl XLVI having won five games in a row, outscoring opponents 141-67. Head coach TOM COUGHLIN has guided the team to a second Super Bowl appearance in his tenure, joining BILL PARCELLS as the only coaches in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
The Giants (9-7) – who defeated Atlanta (10-6), Green Bay (15-1) and San Francisco (13-3) – are only the second team to reach the Super Bowl via playoff victories over three opponents with a better regular-season record than its own (Arizona, 2008).
The Patriots have won 10 consecutive games, with the team’s last loss a 24-20 defeat to the Giants in Week 9. New England has advanced to its seventh Super Bowl and fifth since the 2001 season.
Head coach BILL BELICHICK and QB Brady are headed to their fifth Super Bowl together, the most ever by a head coach and starting quarterback combination. The duo had previously been tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers TOM LANDRY–ROGER STAUBACH (Dallas), CHUCK NOLL-Bradshaw (Pittsburgh) and MARV LEVY-Kelly (Buffalo).
Brady passed for 239 yards in the Patriots’ 23-20 win over Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game. He became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to surpass the 5,000-yard mark in the playoffs (5,009), joining BRETT FAVRE (5,855), Montana (5,772) and PEYTON MANNING (5,389).
“We’re a pretty mentally tough team,” says Brady, who will start his fifth Super Bowl and tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY for the most Super Bowl starts at QB. “There’s really some resiliency. We’ve shown it all season. We’re always going to fight to the end. It’s great to be part of a team like this.”
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.