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Chances for revenge in Super Bowl rematches

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Posted Nov. 05, 2011 @ 3:06 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots have had to wait more than three years to get some sort of revenge on the Giants. The rosters are different, but the Patriots-Giants game in Week Nine is the first meeting between the two franchises since Super Bowl XLII was played in Arizona on Feb. 3, 2008.

In fact, this is the third Super Bowl rematch in three weeks. In Week Seven, the Steelers-Cardinals and Saints-Colts met up for the first time on the gridiron since their respective Super Bowl matchups.

For the Patriots and Giants, the head coaches and quarterbacks are the same as they were in the thrilling 17-14 Giants win. The Giants' heroes from that game are gone, though, as Plaxico Burress is a Jet and David Tyree is not on an NFL roster.

A Super Bowl rematch in a regular-season game is never as big as the actual title game, and both the Patriots and Giants are likely to play down the story line considering how much has changed for both squads over the past three seasons. But whether or not they admit it, the Patriots can't hide from the fact that the last time they shared a field with the Giants, they left with an awful taste in their mouths from a huge Super Bowl upset that ended their quest for an undefeated season.

Unless the Packers and Steelers meet in the Super Bowl, they will have to wait until 2013 for a rematch of Super Bowl XLV. There will be a second rematch this season for former Super Bowl opponents New England and Philadelphia, following an earlier second Super Bowl rematch between Pittsburgh and Seattle.

Here are the results of the past five games in which Super Bowl opponents had their first rematch.

1. Rematch of Super Bowl XLIV, Saints vs. Colts / Oct. 23, 2011 — The Saints didn't need a Tracy Porter pick-six to win their first meeting with Indianapolis since capturing the Super Bowl following the 2009 season. Without Peyton Manning, this Colts team is a completely different club than the one New Orleans faced in Sun Life Stadium. The Saints scored on their first nine possessions, clobbering the Colts 62-7 on "Sunday Night Football."

2. Rematch of Super Bowl XLIII, Steelers vs. Cardinals / Oct. 23, 2011 — Just hours before the Saints and Colts had their first rematch, the Steelers beat the Cardinals 32-20, keeping Ken Whisenhunt's club from getting revenge. The Cardinals were without the QB who got them to that Super Bowl, as Kurt Warner has retired. Also, this Cardinals team does not have the defense that made the 2008 team so successful. The Steelers, on the other hand, have remained mostly intact throughout a decade of dominance that includes two Super Bowl wins.

3. Rematch of Super Bowl XLI, Colts vs. Bears / Sept. 7, 2008 — The Bears got revenge a year and a half after falling to the Colts 29-17 in the Super Bowl. In Matt Forté's first game in the NFL, he rushed for 123 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, as Chicago won this Week One contest easily, 29-13. Kyle Orton was the Bears' starting quarterback in this game; Rex Grossman had started in the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLI MVP Peyton Manning missed the preseason while recovering from knee surgery, making this his first game action, and he struggled, throwing for 257 yards and one TD.

4. Rematch of Super Boxl XL, Steelers vs. Seahawks / Oct. 7, 2007 — Two seasons after falling to the Steelers in a Super Bowl that still has Seahawks fans complaining about the refs, Seattle got shut out by Pittsburgh 21-0. Shaun Alexander rushed for only 25 yards, as he was far from the running back he had been in 2005, when he rushed for 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns. Steelers RB Willie Parker, who rushed for a TD in the Super Bowl win, had 102 yards rushing in the rematch. When the teams had their second rematch this season, the Steelers won 24-0.

5. Rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX, Patriots vs. Eagles / Nov. 25, 2007 — The Eagles had to wait three seasons to try to get revenge on the Patriots, but when they did, they had to face the powerhouse Patriots without starting QB Donovan McNabb. Philly put up a good fight, as backup A.J. Feeley threw for 345 yards and three TDs, but three interceptions were too much to overcome in a 31-28 loss. The Patriots needed a fourth-quarter TD run by Laurence Maroney to improve to 11-0. QB Tom Brady threw for 380 yards and one TD. These two teams will play for a second time since that Super Bowl in Week 12 this season. The Eagles still have Andy Reid at the helm, but Michael Vick will be playing quarterback.

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