Wait is over for Patriots, Giants

SUPER BOWL XLVI

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Coach Tom Coughlin (right) and the New York Giants will try to beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl for the second time.  ERIC GAY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
ERIC GAY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Coach Tom Coughlin (right) and the New York Giants will try to beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl for the second time.

FINAL TUNEUP

Other than a problem with a team bus, the New York Giants’ final walkthrough before the Super Bowl went smoothly Saturday.

The second of four buses carrying the team from the hotel to the University of Indianapolis had to be replaced after engine problems.

The Giants held a 48-minute walkthrough practice with every player on the team in uniform.

Rob Gronkowski walked without a limp as the New England Patriots gathered for photographs.

After Friday’s final team practice, the All-Pro tight end was listed as questionable for the game.

CRUEL CUT

Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood was cut by the Patriots less than 24 hours before the big game – bad news for him, of course, but a move that increases the likelihood Chad Ochocinco will be active today.

In another move Saturday, the Patriots signed defensive end Alex Silvestro from their practice squad.

Ochocinco, who has never played in a Super Bowl, had a career-low 15 catches this season and was inactive for the AFC Championship game.

RETURN RECORDS?

With a high-scoring Super Bowl expected, several return records could fall.

The record for total return yards in a Super Bowl was 244 by Desmond Howard, of Green Bay, in 1997 against New England. He was the Super Bowl MVP that year after gaining 154 yards on kickoff returns and 90 yards on punt returns. Howard scored on a 99-yard kickoff runback.

No one has returned a punt for a TD in the Super Bowl.

The record for kickoff return yards in a Super Bowl is 242 by San Diego’s Andre Coleman in 1995. He also set the record with eight returns, one of which he took 98 yards for a touchdown.

Miami’s Fulton Walker set the mark for kickoff return average with 47.5 yards per return in 1983. He had a 98-yarder in that game, too.

EARLY CELEBRATION

Oops. Talk about a Super Mistake.

Some 24 hours before the Super Bowl, this showed up on the web: “The Giants are Super Bowl CHAMPIONS,” complete with an image of the Lombardi Trophy and a link to order championship gear.

And quicker than you can say “Eli,” it was gone.

SUPER BOWL XLVI

NEW YORK GIANTS VS. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

At Indianapolis • 6:30 tonight • WAGT-TV 26 (NBC)


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