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Patriots trying to avoid ghosts of last Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium

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Third-and-5 from the New York Giants 44-yard line. Eli Manning drops back to pass, scrambles, eludes three New England Patriot defenders and rifles a 32-yard pass to David Tyree, who catches the ball against the side of his helmet in one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history.

Five plays later, Manning finds wide receiver Plaxico Burress on a slugo route in man-to-man coverage for a 13-yard touchdown catch to give the Giants a 17-14 lead with 35 seconds left. New York proceeded to stuff New England on its next drive to win Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Gone was the Patriots chance at matching the 1972 Miami Dolphins perfect season. Finished was what could have been called the greatest season in NFL history.

That was seven years ago, not forgotten, but certainly in the dark depths of the minds of many New England fans and players as the Patriots return to University of Phoenix Stadium. This week, the Patriots want to keep it that way.

“That’s how you have to look at it,” Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork said. “You can’t look at it and say, ‘The last time we were here, what hap-pened.’”

Wilfork had five tackles in Super Bowl XLII and is one of the few players re-maining for New England still on the roster from that game.

This is New England’s sixth Super Bowl under Coach Bill Belichick. The Pa-triots know their way around the big game.

“I’d say not dramatically,” Belichick said when asked how much he would toy with the schedule of Super Bowl week. “I’d say maybe in the 95 percent range to being similar to what’s been done in the past. There are a few things that get modified for one reason or another. We’re very fortunate to have these experiences before.”

Belichick knows the formula to winning Super Bowls. He won three in four years from 2001 to 2004.

His quarterback for all of those Super Bowl appearances has been Tom Brady, who is more mature and has learned a lesson from that loss in Glen-dale to the Giants. The Patriots gunslinger was sacked five times in Super Bowl XLII. He completed 29 of 48 passes and threw one touchdown.

“We’ve had some tough challenges where we’ve been down and found ways to come back and win,” Brady said. “So whatever it is, if you’re ahead or if you’re behind, you’ve got to play until there is no time left on the clock.”

Brady watched the clock run out on him the last time he was here for a Super Bowl. But the Seattle Seahawks aren’t the Giants. And this isn’t 2008.

“We fall back on those (past Super Bowls) a little bit but at the same time each year is different, “ Belichick said. “Each team is different, each situation is different and at the end we’ve got to do what’s best for the team this week regardless of what was or wasn’t in some other year.”