PHOENIX - 23-17.
Just 17 points for the potent Patriots.
A certain MVP quarterback thinks that’s a Super-sized diss.
Tom Brady scoffed when told Wednesday that New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress guaranteed New York will beat Brady’s undefeated New England team in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“We’re only going to score 17 points?” Brady said before chuckling about it. “OK. Is Plax playing defense? I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for scoring more points.”
Considering the Patriots set an NFL record by scoring 589 points, Brady’s 50 touchdown passes were the most ever for one season, and Randy Moss broke Jerry Rice’s mark with 23 TD catches, Burress might have been a bit chintzy.
The last time the Patriots played the Giants, in the season finale, New England rallied from 12 points down in the third quarter to win 38-35. The Patriots have not scored fewer than 20 points in their 18 victories, and the last time they put up only 17 was Dec. 10, 2006 — a 21-0 loss at Miami in their last regular-season defeat.
Even if the Giants’ defense performs at its peak, it’s still doubtful New England will score only 17 points.
“I know they have confidence. They should have confidence,” Brady said. “They are the NFC champions.
“I learned a lesson early in my career: No matter what you say during the week — and God knows we say a lot this week — we’re going to be focused on going out and winning this game. We’re confident, but I don’t think we share our thoughts with everybody.”
Burress did. And when he showed up 33 minutes late for the Giants’ media session Wednesday morning, there was speculation the wide receiver was trying to avoid the spotlight.
Turns out Burress was spending time with his 1-year-old son and family at breakfast, claiming he was unaware so many people wanted to interrogate him about his prediction.
Nor was he aware, he said, that a hefty fine comes with missing a Super Bowl week media session.
“I don’t understand what the fuss is about,” Burress said, surrounded by at least as many TV cameras, microphones and notepads as Brady was two hours earlier. “Nobody wants to lose.
“All this is entertainment,” added Burress, who was held out of practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury that has plagued him all season. “It’s sports, and sports are entertainment. So 23-17 is the prediction I made, but the game still has to be played.”
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Told about Brady’s reaction to that score, Burress said he wasn’t disrespecting anyone.
“I’m not taking anything away from what those guys accomplished,” he said. “They set all the records you could possibly imagine. They have a great quarterback, the MVP, who threw for a record (50) touchdowns. Randy set a TD record for catches. They had two receivers with over 100 catches.
“The numbers don’t lie about what they have done.”
Nor do the numbers 23-17 lie about what Burress thinks.
“Hey, look how much fun everybody is having with it,” he said. “It makes national, international headlines. But the game still has to be played.”
‘We’re only going to score 17?’
Jan. 30: Tom Brady laughs at Plaxico Burress' prediction of a 23-17 Giants win in Super Bowl XLII.
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