Eli Manning, QB (10), 6-4, 218, 8th season, Mississippi

Goes for second Super Bowl title, which would surpass older brother Peyton ... Had best regular season of career, set NFL record with 15 fourth-quarter TD passes ... Has 103.1 passer rating in playoffs, with eight TDs and one interception ... Was sacked six times at San Francisco, yet hung in to complete 32 of 58 for 316 yards and two touchdowns ... Has longest active starting streak among NFL QBs at 119.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB (44), 5-10, 214, 5th season, Marshall

Battling back and foot injuries, but shows up nearly every week ... Did not play in win over Patriots in November ... Has more power than size might indicate, also has nice burst ... Rushed for team-high 659 yards and nine TDs, also caught 34 passes and scored twice ... Averaging 4.3 yards per carry and has 14 receptions in playoffs.

Brandon Jacobs, RB (27), 6-4, 264, 7th season, Southern Illinois

Has gone from starter to backup to starter and backup again ... Rushed for 72 yards and scored touchdown vs. Patriots in November win ... Rushed for 571 yards and seven TDs during season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry in playoffs ... Stands fourth on team's career rushing list with 4,849 yards.

Hakeem Nicks, WR (88), 6-1, 208, 3rd season, North Carolina

A deep threat who also can break shorter passes into long gains ... Also missed first game with Patriots ... Having dynamic postseason with 18 receptions for 18.6 average and four TDs ... Uses big hands and long arms to fight off defenders for passes ... finished second on team with 76 receptions for 1,192 yards and seven TDs ... Had been bothered by shoulder pain.

Victor Cruz, WR (80), 6-0, 204, 2nd season, Massachusetts

Went from obscurity to Pro Bowl in one season ... Replaced Steve Smith (left for Philadelphia as free agent) as slot receiver, developed into Giants' most dangerous wideout with 82 catches for 1,536 yards and nine TDs, averaging 18.7 yards a reception ... Broke 99-yard catch-and-run for score against Jets ... Celebrates touchdowns with salsa dance.

Mario Manningham, WR (82), 6-0, 185, 4th season, Michigan

Made only one catch at San Francisco, but was for 17-yard touchdown ... Has TD catch in all three postseason games this year ... Injuries shortened his regular season, limiting him to 39 catches and four TDs ... Like Nicks and Cruz, a threat to break long gains.

Jake Ballard, TE (85), 6-6, 275, 2nd season, Ohio State

Developed rapidly in second pro season after having virtually no role as rookie in 2010 ... Replaced Kevin Boss (left for Oakland as free agent) and had 38 catches for 15.9-yard average and four TDs. Boss had only 28 catches for Raiders ... Knee injury slowed him late in season, but he has played in all three postseason games.

David Diehl, LT (66), 6-5, 304, 9th season, Illinois

As versatile as they come, Diehl has played all over offensive line ... A fifth-round pick in 2003 who has started nearly every game since ... Pretty good pass protector, but struggled against San Francisco last week ... Has become radio personality as host on SiriusXM.

Kevin Boothe, LG (77), 6-5, 320, 6th season, Cornell

Previously a backup at several positions, has settled in at left guard ... Sixth-round choice of Oakland in 2006, was waived before 2007 season and signed by Giants ... Moved over to center for a few snaps at San Francisco.

David Baas, C (64), 6-4, 312, 7th season, Michigan

Signed as free agent to replace popular veteran Shaun O'Hara, who was cut ... Second-round selection by 49ers, opening pick of that round in 2005 ... Started every game but one for past three seasons ... Had head injury against Niners last week, left and then returned.

Chris Snee, RG (76), 6-3, 305, 8th season, Boston College

Son-in-law of coach Tom Coughlin ... Most consistent of Giants' blockers, although Snee tends to draw penalties ... Second-rounder in 2004, 34th overall, and has been starter virtually every week since ... Very strong.

Kareem McKenzie, RT (67), 6-6, 330, 11th season, Penn State

A solid player for more than a decade, first with Jets and then with Giants beginning in 2005 when he signed as free agent ... Steady, rarely commits penalties or makes errors ... Must watch for onrushing linebackers against Patriots.



Justin Tuck, LDE (91), 6-5, 268, 7th season, Notre Dame

Leader of defense, has fought through series of injuries and is playing his best ball now ... Can play anywhere on line in passing situations ... Missed four games this season, compromising his numbers, but has been very active in playoffs with nine tackles, 1 1-2 sacks, two quarterback hits and a tackle for loss ... Has 18 forced fumbles and six recoveries in career.

Linval Joseph, LDT (97), 6-4, 323, 2nd season, East Carolina

Second-round pick in 2010 who has been starter for most of career ... More of a force against the run, comes out on most passing downs ... Inconsistent, but has improved as season went along.

Chris Canty, RDT (99), 6-7, 317, 7th season, Virginia

Brings veteran presence inside, also can rush passer ... Signed as free agent from Dallas in 2009, was fourth-round selection by Dallas in 2005 ... Blocks passes with long arms and reach, can also block kicks ... Has four sacks among his 47 tackles this season.

Osi Umenyiora, RDE (72), 6-3, 255, 9th season, Troy

Injuries limited him to nine games, defense has taken root since he returned for Jets game, and team hasn't lost since ... Was Giants' lone Pro Bowl rep in 2008, when they beat Patriots in Super Bowl, and is more-rounded player now ... Gets to QB (69 career sacks) and has forced 30 fumbles in career, recovering 13 ... Despite limited time on field, had nine sacks this season, has 3 1/2 in playoffs.

Jason Pierre-Paul, RDE (90), 6-5, 278, 2nd season, South Florida

Rising star on line, All-Pro who makes dynamic plays ... First-round pick, 15th overall in 2010, who is still raw, yet had 86 tackles, 16 1/2 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2011 ... Exceptionally quick burst off the line, will be the main defender Patriots must control ... Uses reach to block passes and kicks, clinched win over Dallas with blocked field goal.

Mathias Kiwanuka, OLB (94), 6-5, 267, 6th season, Boston College

Played college ball in New England and is native of Indianapolis ... Can also play on the line, often will be up there in pass-rush situations ... First-round pick (32nd) overall in 2006 who has displayed versatility throughout career ... Giants will try to mix his responsibilities to confuse Patriots; Kiwanuka could wind up on All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski at times.

Chase Blackburn, MLB (93), 6-4, 242, 7th season, Akron

Spent most of regular season out of league, was re-signed on Nov. 30 and has started each postseason game ... Excels on special teams ... Plugged big hole in middle of defense when he rejoined team ... Led Giants with seven tackles against San Francisco, is second on team with 19 postseason tackles.

Michael Boley, OLB (59), 6-3, 230, 7th season, Southern Mississippi

Signed as free agent in 2010 from Atlanta, where his career seemed on decline ... Very active player, had 91 tackles this season ... Always trying to shake the ball loose, has eight forced fumbles and seven recoveries in career ... Noted for mocking Aaron Rodgers' celebrations during win at Green Bay.

Corey Webster, LCB, (23), 6-0, 200, 7th season, LSU

Best cover cornerback on Giants ... Makes big plays in big spots, including interception of Brett Favre to set up winning field goal in January 2008 NFC title game ... Has started for most of career, with 16 career interceptions, including team-high six this season ... Occasionally will blitz ... Could be matched up at times with one of New England's dangerous TEs.

Kenny Phillips, SS (21), 6-2, 217, 4th season, Miami, Fla.

First-round pick in 2008 who has battled back from major knee surgery and started 15 games this season ... Has improved his tackling late in season and playoffs ... Had four interceptions in 2011 ... Also will see lots of Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Antrel Rolle, FS, (26), 6-0, 206, 6th season, Miami, Fla.

Played on losing Cardinals in 2009 Super Bowl, a memory he says will stay with me forever. But I don't talk about losing. ... Signed as free agent in 2010, led Giants with 96 tackles this season, and has drastically improved his coverage in last six weeks ... Very active in playoffs with 21 tackles ... Has a good feel for where the ball will go.

Aaron Ross, RCB (31), 6-0, 190, 5th season, Texas

Struggled in coverage for much of career, especially early this season, even has spent time at safety ... Figures to be targeted by Patriots in passing game ... First-round selection in 2007 (20th overall) who also has run back punts ... Had four INTs this season.



Lawrence Tynes, PK (9), 6-1, 194, 8th season, Troy

Has proven his skills in clutch with winning FGs in two NFC championship games ... Made 19 of 24 field goals this season, longest from 50 yards, and had 79 touchbacks on kickoffs. His kickoffs have improved throughout season ... Acquired for seventh-round draft pick in 2007 from Chiefs ... Range indoors should reach just over 50 yards.

Steve Weatherford, P (5), 6-2, 211, 7th season, Illinois

Spent previous two seasons with Jets, then switched allegiances to Giants as a free agent ... Also holds on place kicks, did good job handling low snap on Tynes' winning FG last week ... Had career-high 12 punts at San Francisco for 557 yards, both team records ... Averaged solid 45.7 yards per punt this season.

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