From the research room …

Originally Published: January 29, 2008
ESPN.com

Tom Brady and Eli ManningGetty ImagesCan the Giants' Eli Manning, right, outduel league MVP Tom Brady? We'll find out on Sunday.
Editor's note: The charts below feature some interesting facts and notes related to Super Bowl XLII. We'll update this page each day leading up to the big game.

Super Bowl stat of the day: (2/1): The last 12 teams to lead the Super Bowl at halftime have gone on to win. The last to lose: the Buffalo Bills, who couldn't hold a 13-6 halftime lead to the Cowboys and lost, 30-13, in Super Bowl XXVIII. Worth noting, though, is that the Giants have trailed at halftime in all three of their Super Bowl appearances, yet have won two of those games.

Super Bowl stat of the day: (1/31): Only 12 of the 41 Super Bowls have been decided by seven or fewer points, and that includes five of the last 10 contests. However, Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX, all won by the Patriots, were each decided by three points.

Super Bowl stat of the day: (1/30): Even without including Super Bowl XLII, New England and New York are already the only teams to reach the Super Bowl in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. With an upset Sunday, the Giants would become the first team in NFL history to win Super Bowls in three consecutive decades.

Super Bowl stat of the day: (1/29): The Giants led the NFL with 53 sacks this season, while the Patriots finished second with 47. Super Bowl XLII will mark the first time in Super Bowl history that the top two teams in sacks during the regular season will meet on Super Sunday.

Super Bowl stat of the day: (1/28): The Giants' offense has not turned the ball over this postseason, and the Patriots are typically pretty good at keeping the ball in their possession (Tom Brady's performance in the AFC title game not withstanding). So it's worth noting that there have been only two Super Bowls in which neither team committed a turnover, and the Giants played in one of them. They are Super Bowl XXV (Bills-Giants) and Super Bowl XXXIV (Rams-Titans).

Rematch Games

This marks the 12th time that two teams that met during the regular season eventually squared off in the Super Bowl, the last time being Super Bowl XXXVI (St. Louis vs. New England). It is just the second time that the participants met in the regular-season finale. The other time was 30 years ago, when Dallas beat Denver in both the regular-season finale and in Super Bowl XII. The team that won the regular-season battle is 5-6 in those 11 previous Super Bowls.

Game Regular-Season Meeting Super Bowl
XII Dallas 14, Denver 6 Dallas 27, Denver 10
XV Philadelphia 10, Oakland 7 Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10
XVI San Francisco 21, Cincinnati 3 San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21
XVIII Washington 37, L.A. Raiders 35 L.A. Raiders 38, Washington 9
XX Chicago 20, New England 7 Chicago 46, New England 10
XXI N.Y. Giants 19, Denver 16 N.Y. Giants 39, Denver 20
XXV Buffalo 17, N.Y. Giants 13 N.Y. Giants 20, Buffalo 19
XVIII Buffalo 13, Dallas 10 Dallas 30, Buffalo 13
XXIX San Francisco 38, San Diego 15 San Francisco 49, San Diego 26
XXXIV Tennessee 24, St. Louis 21 St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16
XXXVI St. Louis 24, New England 17 New England 20, St. Louis 17
XLII New England 38, N.Y. Giants 35 N.Y. Giants vs. New England

Giants Rushing Offense in 2007 (Including Playoffs)

Much of the Giants' success in Super Bowl XLII could ride on the backs of the running back tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. In their wins this season (including the playoffs), the Giants have averaged more than 140 rushing yards and scored 17 touchdowns. The Giants have rushed for just two touchdowns in their six losses in 2007.

  13 wins 6 losses
Rushing Attempts Per Game 33.0 16.0
Rushing Yards Per Game 142.7 102.8
Rushing TDs 17 2

Worst Point Differential, Super Bowl Teams

Year Team Own Opp Diff Super Bowl Result
1979 Los Angeles Rams 323 309 +14 Lost
2003 Carolina Panthers 325 304 +21 Lost
2007 N.Y. Giants 373 351 +22 ?
1986 Denver Broncos 378 327 +51 Lost
1980 Oakland Raiders 364 306 +58 Won

Second Time Around

Including playoffs, the Giants will be the fifth team that the Patriots play twice this season. With the exception of the Bills, these teams played the Patriots a lot tougher the second time around. The Dolphins lost both meetings by 21 points, but Miami was more competitive in its second meeting. It's also interesting to note that a Patriots win would give them four ... four! ... this year against teams from New York.

  First Meeting Second Meeting
Jets Won by 24 Won by 10
Chargers Won by 24 Won by 9
Bills Won by 31 Won by 46
Dolphins Won by 21 Won by 21
Giants Won by 3 ?

Giants' 2007 Season (Including Playoffs)

The Giants have won 10 straight games away from the Meadowlands (including playoffs). Escaping the pressures of the New York area has been especially beneficial to the defense and QB Eli Manning.

  Home Away
W-L 3-5 10-1
Opp. PPG 26.1 17.5
Manning TD-Int 13-11 14.9
Manning Comp Pct. 52.0 61.2

World Series and Super Bowl Champions

The Boston Red Sox were the kings of New England this past fall, winning the World Series. If the Patriots win the Super Bowl, it would be just the sixth time in history that teams from the same metropolitan area have won the World Series in the fall and the Super Bowl the following winter. And Boston could stake its claim as the ultimate sports city, becoming the first area to accomplish the feat twice.

Season MLB Team NFL Team
2004 Boston Red Sox New England Patriots
1989 Oakland Athletics San Francisco 49ers
1986 New York Mets New York Giants
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Steelers
1970 Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Colts

Most Postseason Pass Attempts Without An INT Entering Super Bowl, Single Season

Eli Manning has carried the momentum from the Week 17 meeting with New England into the playoffs. He's thrown for almost 600 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in 85 pass attempts. No quarterback has ever entered the Super Bowl, throwing as many postseason attempts without an interception, as Manning has.

Year Name, Team No. Of Attempts
2007 *Eli Manning, Giants 85
1993 Jim Kelly, Bills 63
2004 Donovan McNabb, Eagles 59
1992 Troy Aikman, Cowboys 59
*599 pass yards, 4 TD in 2007 playoffs

Led NFL In Passing Yards, Reached Super Bowl In Same Season

A challenge for Tom Brady: No quarterback has won a Super Bowl in the season he led the NFL in passing yards. In fact, only three even reached the Super Bowl, but all of them lost: Rich Gannon (2002 Raiders), Kurt Warner (2001 Rams) and Dan Marino (1984 Dolphins).

Name Super Bowl Result
Tom Brady XLII ?
Rich Gannon XXXVII Lost
Kurt Warner XXXVI Lost
Dan Marino XIX Lost

Most Postseason Pass Attempts Without An INT Entering Super Bowl, Single Season

Eli Manning has carried the momentum from the Week 17 meeting with New England into the playoffs. He's thrown for almost 600 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in 85 pass attempts. No quarterback has ever entered the Super Bowl, throwing as many postseason attempts without an interception, as Manning has.

Year Name, Team No. Of Attempts
2007 *Eli Manning, Giants 85
1993 Jim Kelly, Bills 63
2004 Donovan McNabb, Eagles 59
1992 Troy Aikman, Cowboys 59
*599 pass yards, 4 TD in 2007 playoffs

Led NFL In Passing Yards, Reached Super Bowl In Same Season

A challenge for Tom Brady: No quarterback has won a Super Bowl in the season he led the NFL in passing yards. In fact, only three even reached the Super Bowl, but all of them lost: Rich Gannon (2002 Raiders), Kurt Warner (2001 Rams) and Dan Marino (1984 Dolphins).

Name Super Bowl Result
Tom Brady XLII ?
Rich Gannon XXXVII Lost
Kurt Warner XXXVI Lost
Dan Marino XIX Lost