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Patriots.com News Blitz - 1/23/2008

They just barely sneaked into the playoffs.

They had to win three straight games on the road to get to the Super Bowl.

Now, they're preparing to face the most dominant team in the NFL this season.

"We had exerted so much of what we had that month just getting into the playoffs," former center Pete Brock told The Boston Globe in a piece today, "and winning the road games and spending all that time traveling and away from home, that by the time we got to the Super Bowl, against one of the greatest defenses, if not the greatest defense, we didn't have much left."

"It turns out we faced perhaps the greatest defensive team of all time, and it looks as if the Giants might be against the greatest offensive team of all time," said former QB Steve Grogan.

"It just seems that in our case we expended so much energy over the three road games we won just to get there. We had that one week off and I think we came off our momentum high and just collapsed. I'm not saying the Giants are going to do that. It might be totally different for them, but that was certainly the case with us."

This year's Patriots have certainly broken their share of records this season. They just might break some off the field, too.

A Los Angeles Times story today examines the possibility of Super Bowl betting records being smashed next week due to the high-profile match-up of undefeated New England versus the underdog New York Giants.

"The early wagers are from the professionals," said Ken White, chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sports Consultants in the Times feature.

"The line is overinflated, due to the success of the New England Patriots this season. The general public will not wager until a couple of days before the game, which represents 80% of the money. . . . Look for the line to go back up to 13 or higher."

Meanwhile, some of this year's Giants who were on New York's last Super Bowl team, in 2000, remember the humiliating feeling of defeat and are determined not to let it happen again.

"I think we were a little extra high on ourselves," WR Amani Toomer recalled in a New York Times feature today. "We thought we were just going to walk in there and blow [the Baltimore Ravens] out, 41-0, as well.

"We didn't have a healthy respect for the team we were going to play. That was one of our biggest mistakes."

QUICK HITS

ESPN.com has run some numbers, and most show the Patriots winning Super Bowl XLII.

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