Tuck: Super Bowl Rematches

Earlier this year the Giants and a Patriots played an exciting game, very similar to their Super Bowl in 2008.  It was scoreless at the half and then the scoring picked up in the fourth quarter with Eli Manning and Tom Brady exchanging clutch drives, but NY had the ball last and won 24-20 in Foxboro.

This game will be different.  All games are.  The teams are different, healthier and playing better.  This is not the first time teams have played in the regular season only to meet up again in the Super Bowl.  This is the 46th Super Bowl and this is the 13th time teams will meet again.

In 12 previous Super Bowls that have were rematches from the regular season, the teams winning the first matchup are 5-7.  Plus, the teams who beat the opponent on the road in the regular season are 2-4 in the Super Bowl.  A possibly good omen for the Giants is they’re 3-0 against teams they had already played in their Super Bowl years.  New England is 1-2 in the rematch.  The complete list of Super rematches:

XII: Cowboys, 27-10, Broncos, @Cowboys 14-6
XV: Raiders, 27-10, Eagles, @Eagles 10-7
XVI: 49ers, 26-21, Bengals, 49ers 21-3
XVIII: Raiders, 38-9, Redskins, @Redskins 37-35
XX: Bears, 46-10, PATRIOTS, @Bears 20-7
XXI: GIANTS, 39-20, Broncos, @Giants 19-16
XXV: GIANTS, 20-19, Bills, Bills 17-13
XXVIII: Cowboys, 30-13, Bills, Bills 13-10
XXIX: 49ers, 49-26, Chargers, 49ers 38-15
XXXIV: Rams, 23-16, Titans, @Titans 24-21
XXXVI: PATRIOTS, 20-17, Rams, Rams 24-17
XLII: GIANTS, 17-14, PATRIOTS, Patriots 38-35

What does this tell us?  From what I can gather, not much!

New England and New York played a close game during the regular season.  Historically, close games turned into Super Bowl blowouts 5 (or 6 if you consider the Bears-Pats first meeting close) different times.  Three times the loser won, two (or three) times the winner won.

The Patriots are favored in this year’s rematch.  The Super Bowl favorite has won 7 times and lost 5 times in the rematch.

There is no strong trend, but both trends (rematches and favorites in rematches) favor the Pats.

One other note worth mentioning: If the Giants win the Super Bowl, they will do so as the “worst” team in NFL history.  No 9-7 team has ever won the Super Bowl.  They are only the third to make it, joining the 1979 LA Rams and the 2008 Arizona Cardinals.  Both those teams lost thrilling games, both to the Steelers, that saw them have leads in the 4th quarter before falling.

Giants fans feel like it is meant to be.  Patriots fans are actually more surprised to be here, and they are the team that went 13-3 and has won 10 straight.

You can see why I am struggling to make a pick in this game.