Other than geographically, the Giants and Patriots shouldn't be a rivalry. The two teams play in different conferences and are only scheduled to play each other once every four years. But thanks to a pair of recent Super Bowls the two have certain developed a bitter, competitive relationship recently.
And the Giants are winning.
New York beat New England in the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowls, both times when they were heavy underdogs against the Patriots dynasty. Midway through the 2012 season it looked like we might be headed to another rematch when the Giants were 6-2, but they tumbled down the stretch. New York went 3-5 in the second half of the season, including blowout losses to the Bengals, Falcons, and Ravens. Are they an underdog heading into 2013, and if so, is that right there they want to be?
Nobody would confuse the Patriots as an underdog in the less-competitive AFC, but then again how can we really know what to expect out of them this season? New England is going into this season with almost a completely different set of receivers and tight ends until Rob Gronkowski returns from offseason surgery. Even with him, you won't see Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, or Aaron Hernandez. Can undrafted free agents Kenbrell Thompkins and tight end Zach Sudfeld really step up in their absences and become the next generation of star players for the Patriots or is it not that simple?
Neither team will be playing many of their starters on Thursday in the preseason finale, but you can bet that both will want to win. For the sake of the rivalry.
Thursday, Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET
Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
New England - WBZ 4 CBS, Boston
New York - WNBC4 NBC, New York
Verizon subscribers can watch games live with the NFL Mobile app (subscription required).
NFL Game Pass offers live online broadcasts to users outside the USA.
Giants: WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM or Giants.com
Patriots: 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston or Patriots.com