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*  It will be a shock if Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (left) doesn't wind up with a head coaching job now.  In the playoffs, the Giants held their four opponents -- which included Dallas, Green Bay and New England, the three best offenses in the NFL -- to an average of 16.25 points.

*  Tom Brady was as gracious in defeat as he has been in victory.

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*  Tiki Barber has some explaining and/or apologizing to do.

* Bill Belichick finally seemed to offer an opposing coach a sincere post-game greeting, except it was just one second too soon.

* Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey appears expendable.

*  Patriots linebacker Junior Seau waited 13 years to get a second crack at a Super Bowl ring after  losing with the San Diego Chargers following the 1994 season. Obviously, he's still waiting.

*  Speaking of the 39-year-old Seau, New England may have to revamp its aging linebacker group.

*  I wonder if Belichick would have passed up the chance for a 49-yard goal if Adam Vinatieri was still with New England.  Vinatieri was 0-for-2 beyond 40 yards in the regular season for Indianapolis but in the Colts' playoff loss, he made his only field goal chance, a 46-yarder.

*  How unusual was yesterday's outcome?  According to prop bets posted by the Station Casinos in Las Vegas earlier in the week, the odds of New England scoring exactly 14 points were 30-to-1 (in contrast, the odds for the Pats to score 35 on the nose were just 6-to-1).  The 31 combined points scored by the two teams was in a range (29 to 35 points) that was listed as a 15-to-1 shot.

*  In four playoff games this year, Eli Manning threw six touchdown passes and just one interception.  Big brother Peyton, in his four playoff wins that led to a Super Bowl victory last season, threw just three TDs and was intercepted seven times.  The younger Manning completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 854 yards and the elder Manning completed 63.4 percent for 1,034 yards.

Photo credit: Bill Kostroun/AP

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