FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick isn’t getting wrapped up in the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl struggles against the New York Giants as the teams prepare to face off this week.
Belichick was asked why the Patriots historically have struggled against the Giants in a conference call with the New York media Wednesday. The Giants are the only franchise the Patriots haven’t beaten since 2008.
“Those games were a long time ago,” Belichick said. “I don’t think it really has any bearing or influence on what happens this week. I think this week is about the matchups with these two teams, and so that’s what we’re really focused on.”
It appears that’s the message Belichick delivered to his team early this week, since quarterback Tom Brady echoed the sentiments.
“I would have much rather won them than lost them, but they won’t have any bearing on this week or what the matchups are,” Brady said. “It’s a totally different team and game situation and so forth.”
The 2015 Patriots have been compared to the 2011 team because of their lack of elite talent at cornerback. This season’s defense overall is much better than the 2011 squad that lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, however.
The Patriots also have been compared to the 2007 team that went 16-0 and lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, since the 2015 squad is undefeated going into Week 10 and, based on its schedule, appears to have a chance to again go 16-0. Brady and kicker Stephen Gostkowski are the only Patriots remaining from the 2007 team.
Brady, Gostkowski, wide receiver Julian Edelman, tight end Rob Gronkowski, offensive linemen Marcus Cannon and Sebastian Vollmer, defensive end Rob Ninkovich, linebackers Dane Fletcher and Jerod Mayo, and safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty are on the Patriots’ 53-man roster from the 2011 team. Practice-squad safety Ross Ventrone also was on the 2011 scout team. So, there is some carryover from Super Bowl XLVI on the Patriots, but as Brady and Belichick said, that shouldn’t have any effect on this week’s matchup.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Feb 5, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (left) greets New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin before Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports