Super Bowl XLVI: 20 pregame facts

Super Bowl XLVI features the New England Patriots(15-3) versus the New York Giants(12-7) on Sunday in Indianapolis.

Charles Krupa/AP/File
In this file photo, New York Giants' Eli Manning, right, is congratulated by New England Patriots' Tom Brady after the Giants' 24-20 win in an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots face the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, Feb. 5., in Indianapolis.

Before settling into your favorite recliner or couch for Sunday’s big game, here’s a quick collection of information to help you enjoy America’s most watched sports event:

1 - Kickoff on NBC is at 6:30 p.m., ET.

2 - Tickets were still being sold on the NFL’s website this week for between $2,609 and $15,343.

3 - This game is the sixth rematch of previous Super Bowl opponents.  The other rematches paired the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers (twice), the Cowboys and Buffalo Bills (in the only back-to-back rematch), the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins, and San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals.

4 - Both the Giants and the Patriots are seeking to win their fourth Super Bowls. Pittsburgh owns the record with six SB titles.

5 - The 30-minute Super Bowl halftime is twice as long as that for other games due to the logistics of a musical extravaganza, which this year stars Madonna.

6 - The two Super Bowl coaches, New York’s Tom Coughlin and New England’s Bill Belichick, were assistants to Bill Parcells when the Giants won Super Bowls XXI and XXV.

7 - If New England wins, Belichick will join Pittsburgh’s Chuck Noll as the only coach to lead four Super Bowl winners. If New York wins, Coughlin, at 65, will become the game’s oldest winning coach. 

8 - The “MHK” on the Patriot jerseys is in honor of Myra H. Kraft, the wife of team owner Bob Kraft. Mrs. Kraft passed away in July.

9 - Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuku is returning to Indianapolis, his hometown, where he starred in high school. The Boston College grad is the grandson of the first elected prime minister of Uganda, Benedictor Kiwanuka, who was assassinated by Idi Amin’s henchmen in 1972.

10 - New England’s Tom Brady was this season’s third-rated NFL quarterback based on a statistical formula. He finished behind Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. New York’s Eli Manning was seventh-rated.

11 - When Manning takes the field Sunday, he will be the only Manning to play in Indianapolis this season. Older brother Peyton of the Indianapolis Colts sat out the entire season while recovering from neck surgery. Peyton and Eli Manning were back-to-back Super Bowl MVPs in 2006 and 2007.

12 - If New York wins, it will become the first team with a 9-7 regular season record to wind up as Super Bowl champions.

13 - Sunday’s game is the first Super Bowl hosted by Indianapolis. It marks the fourth time the Super Bowl has been played in a northern city in a domed stadium, in this case Lucas Oil Stadium. Pontiac, Mich.; Minneapolis; and Detroit are the other northern SB sites.

14 - When the Giants and Patriots met four years ago in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants spoiled New England’s bid to become the first 19-0 team in league history.

15 - An unusually high number of undrafted free agents populate both Super Bowl rosters. Eighteen play for the Patriots, 11 for the Giants, The Boston Globe reports.

16 - Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker easily led the league in pass receptions this season, with 122. The next most was 100, by Atlanta’s Roddy White.

17 - The Patriots’ pass defense ranked 31st out of 32 NFL teams during the regular season. The Giants were little better, at 29th.

18 - The two teams met in Week 9 of the regular season, when the Giants won, 24-20.

19 - The Giants had to defeat defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay and this year’s surprise contender, San Francisco, on the road in the playoffs to advance to Super Sunday.

20 - The Giants suffered four straight losses during the second half of the season before getting hot. 

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