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Patriots

February 2, 2012

20 facts about Super Bowl XLVI ... and Super Bowls in general

I. Call it a comeback?

Can Super Bowl XLVI be called redemption for Super Bowl XLII, when the Giants ruined the Patriots' perfect season?

Seven current Patriots played in Super Bowl XLII. Five of those are on offense, with just one on defense (Vince Wilfork) and kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

That does not count center Dan Koppen and defensive lineman Mike Wright, who are both on injured reserve. It does, however, count Kevin Faulk who is on the roster, but has carried just once since Dec. 11.

II. A mental edge?

The Giants, have had less turnover with 16 active players still on the roster from the 2007 season. That includes QB Eli Manning, running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive lineman Justin Tuck, who had two sacks in Super Bowl XLII.

III. MVP vs. MVP

When the Patriots' Tom Brady and the Giants' Manning face off, it will mark the first time in NFL history two Super Bowl MVP-winning QBs have met in the Super Bowl.

In fact, it's only happened one other time in NFL playoff history, when the Manning's Giants beat the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers in the Divisional round on Jan. 15.

IV. MVP? More like just QB

Of the 46 players to win Super Bowl MVP — 45 Super Bowls plus co-winners in Super Bowl XII — a whopping 24 MVPs have gone to quarterbacks, including, of course, two for Brady.

The skill positions continue to dominate, with running backs (7) and receivers (6, including Patriot Deion Branch) next most.

Just eight MVPs have come on the defensive side, along with one special teamer — Green Bay's Desmond Howard against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.

V. Destined to fall?

No tight end has ever won the Super Bowl MVP. If Rob Gronkowski is healthy, no one would be shocked to see Gronk take that trophy. Or could it be Aaron Hernandez?

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