Win In Gillette Would Be Great

Eli Manning (Debbie Wong/US Presswire)

The Giants and Pats haven't met since Super Bowl XLII in Arizona. A lot of time has passed, and the Giants will now have to beat the Pats at their place. A win would be nice way to start a tough stretch.

The Giants and Patriots haven't met since the 2007 season, when the then-undefeated Pats beat them in old Giants Stadium in the regular-season finale and then lost in the most shocking Super Bowl upset ever in Arizona.

Now, the Giants will venture up to Foxborough to try to pick up a major win against a 5-2 team that's totally ticked about their loss to Pittsburgh last week.

Therefore, the memories of Super Bowl XLII and David Tyree's and Plaxico Burress' catches are but fond memories. The heroics of that day have nothing to do with what's in store for the Giants Sunday.

And Eli Manning knows as much. He won't give their last meeting a second thought.

"I don't think so," Manning said. "I think this is a whole new environment, whole new situation.

"Obviously it's an important game, we have to have a great week of preparation. We know we're going against a great team, a Hall of Fame coach, a Hall of Fame quarterback down the road. We just have to go in there expecting to play sound football like we've been doing. Eliminate the mistakes, try to execute the game plan, try to get into the fourth quarter and win the game."

Tom Brady will be there. So, of course, will Manning. But so much about these teams have changed. The Patriots are no longer the smooth-running machine of 2007. But they are still formidable, especially at Gillette Stadium where they haven't lost in their last 20 regular-season tries.

"We didn't play up there," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "The game we lost was here and the game we won was in Arizona. That's all behind us. I don't think that run in '07 is going to help us get a victory up there. We have to put that behind us and focus on the now."

One thing the Giants need to focus on is their run defense, or lack thereof. Things have gotten so bad that Tuck was moved to remark, "What run defense" when asked about the state of it after Reggie Bush gashed them for two big plays.

"It was one thing here and there," Tuck said. "The bad part was that it wasn't just the same thing over and over again. It was just one thing here and there. Honestly that's how it normally is. Even some of the plays that we stopped, if they had done one thing differently, they could have been out of the gate.

"Past times when we've had a very solid defensive front against the run, it's normally just one person making a play when some of those plays could've gotten out of the gate. For us right now that's not happening."

With more upheaval in the secondary thanks to Justin Tryon's season-ending broken arm and the anticipated debut of first-rounder Prince Amukamara, the Giants could have major problems against Brady.

But most of all, this simply isn't 2007. The Giants head into very hostile territory now. And though a loss up there won't necessarily herald a spiral downward, a win would be a great way to start one of the Giants' toughest regular-season stretches in years.

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