New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, congratulates Aaron Hernandez after their AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots defeated the Ravens 23-20 to win the AFC Championship. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New York Giants' Hakeem Nicks celebrates after overtime of the NFC Championship NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, in San Francisco. The Giants won 20-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVI. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Remember the 2007 season? How can we forget that year? George W. Bush was President, Hillary Clinton was the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and Barry Bonds became the MLB’s all-time home run leader.
Seems like a lifetime ago.
The New England Patriots finished the 2007 season 16-0 and won two more playoff games on their way to the Super Bowl in February of 2008.
The New York Giants scuttled into the playoffs as a wild card, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, upsetting the Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers all on the road.
Then the unthinkable… The undefeated and heavily favored New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants on a last minute touchdown pass to WR Plaxico Burress.
America was stunned and the Giants became an inspirational David & Goliath type story.
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This Sunday’s games and their results take us back nearly 5 years to a rematch that Patriots fans and some Giants fans couldn’t have dreamed would ever happen again.
Patriots Slide by Ravens on Botched Field Goal
Just when it looked like the Baltimore Ravens were going push themselves back into the Super Bowl or at least OT, K Billy Cundiff’s kick went wide left with: 11 seconds on the clock to give the New England Patriots franchise their 7th appearance in the big game and QB Tom Brady his 5th Super Bowl appearance.
Sure Brady wasn’t his usual bouncy haired self as he threw for two interceptions and no TD passes. But his 1 yd touchdown run at the beginning of the fourth proved to be all he needed to secure the win and put him on top of yet another memorable playoff battle.
Backup TE Aaron Hernández had 7 receptions for 66 yards.
The Ravens were so close, but yet so far.
Giants Battle the 49ers, Win in OT
In one of the most evenly matched games I’ve ever seen, the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants battled for 60 minutes to a 17-17 tie in the rain.
In OT however, backup return man Kyle Williams, who earlier muffed a punt to set up a Giants score, was stripped of the ball and the Giants recovered in field goal range.
With just over 7 minutes to go in OT, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes kicked a 31 yarder to put the Giants into the Super Bowl and in a rematch with the New England Patriots.
What’s Different from 2008?
Well the Giants came in hot just like 2008 and are looking to upset the Patriots but this time the Patriots are not caught up in all the cockiness and glow of a possible 19-0 season. The Patriots lost three times this season and once was to the New York Giants. Hard to believe but I think that’s an advantage to the Pats.
So congratulations to the fickle New York fan and press who get two more weeks to whine and moan then jump on the bandwagon. Congratulations to the spoiled New England fan whose team has stayed a contender for the majority of the 2000s.
It’s a good old’ fashioned rematch and it should be interesting.
As for those of us wishing for the Harbaugh bowl that never came, don’t be so hard on Kyle Williams or Billy Cundiff. Imagine being in their position, we should only hope for the best for them next season.
Victor Garcia is a Fox News Channel contributor.