Giants quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning holds the...

Giants quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning holds the Lombardi Trophy along with head coach Tom Coughlin after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

For a few minutes on Saturday, the Giants had already won the Super Bowl.

The team’s website has a front page prepared for Sunday evening and will publish it if the Giants do beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. But on Saturday, for “a brief period,” that page went live and then was taken down.

“The Giants are Super Bowl Champions!” was the headline with links to purchase official championship gear. Pictures of Justin Tuck, Eli Manning, Mathias Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul were on the page as well as the Lombardi Trophy.

“It is common practice for both teams to create web pages in advance of the conference championship games and Super Bowl,” the NFL said in a statement on Saturday. “In this case, the hidden URL for the page was inadvertently available for a brief period of time while it was being positioned on the NFL server for possible post tomorrow night.”

The Giants have been talking brashly about beating the Patriots all week. Antrel Rolle flatly said that the Giants will win, although he did not guarantee it. Others have expressed equal confidence. And Chris Canty told New Yorkers to get ready for a victory parade on Tuesday.

It must be true. He read it on the Internet.

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