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Giants following path of 2008 Cardinals

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cris Collinsworth famously called the 2008 Arizona Cardinals the worst playoff team in NFL history.

That was before the Cardinals won three consecutive playoff games to reach Super Bowl XLIII. That improbable run forced Collinsworth -- and a lot of other people -- to reassess.

The 2011 New York Giants are taking a similar path. No prominent analysts called them the worst playoff team ever, but with a 9-7 record, the Giants, like the 2008 Cardinals, had to step up their play in the postseason.

Both teams have pulled off unusual feats. They are the only teams in NFL history to reach a Super Bowl after defeating three playoff opponents with superior regular-season records, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The 2008 Cardinals outscored their regular-season opponents by a single point. The Giants were actually outscored, 400-394. Both gave up at least 400 points during the regular season. The Giants have allowed only 39 points in three postseason games. The Cardinals allowed 24, 13, 25 and 27 points in their postseason games.