Super Bowl XLVI will be all about payback … from the Patriots’ Week 9 loss to the Giants earlier this season.
What, did you really think Bill Belichick would be preaching to his team about how the Giants foiled the Patriots perfect season in 2007?
While every Patriots fan clearly points to that dreadful night nearly four years ago as ammunition for this year’s Big Game, just getting to the Super Bowl — regardless of opponent — is enough to light a fire under any team.
“It’s just exciting to be in the Super Bowl,” kicker Stephen Gostkowski said. “It doesn’t matter who we play. I’m just excited for the opportunity and excited to be back. Whether we beat the Giants or beat any other team, being able to call ourselves world champions will be sweet no matter what.”
Gostkowski is just one of a handful of players left from either team from Super Bowl XLII. Just ask Julian Edelman.
“Eight there, five here,” he said without skipping a beat — a sure sign that Belichick has already gotten to the team.
Pressed further, Edelman admitted he hasn’t sensed anything resembling “revenge” in the locker room yet.
“It really isn’t [relevant]. This is a new year. Like I said, we’re two totally different teams.”
Sure, there’s been a lot of turnover from that season, but a few truly key players on both teams remain.
Obviously, the most notable holdover would be Tom Brady. He’s already admitted that he can’t watch film of that game (join the crowd), and you can bet that even if he doesn’t admit it, a win in two weeks would mean a little something extra.
“I’m not sure what [the matchup] will do to Tom but I know that Tom will be ready to go two weeks from now,” Slater said. “There’ll be no one on that field that’s more prepared than him, there’ll be no one on that field that wants to win more than him. And I’m glad I’ll be on his side of the ball."