One day, everyone will notice me…
NEW YORK GIANTS :
2011 RECORD – 9-7: Are you old enough to remember when the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI back in February? I know, it seems like such a long time ago. Also, it appears as if nobody cares or is trying to forget about it as quickly as possible. It really did happen though. New York’s incredible streak of postseason good fortune continued in not-so-surprising fashion. After taking a playoff siesta since 2008, the Giants reached postseason play despite being 7-7 following a coma-enducing 23-10 home loss to the Redskins in Week 15. Surely, there would be no way New York could catch lightning in a bottle once again, right? Not quite. The Giants used salsa dancing, a stout defensive line, and the late-game heroics of Eli Manning to push their way back into playoffs. Much like 2007, New York’s greatest strength became quite an asset during the postseason. Instead of New York’s ferocious pass rush (which was still outstanding, led by Jason Pierre-Paul’s 16.5 sacks) taking center stage, Manning and three speedy receivers stole the show. Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham turned into the perfect foil for their second-season opponents. All three made pivotal postseason plays en route to the Giants rolling in pixie dust again on Super Sunday and winning the team’s second Super Bowl in five seasons.
LAS VEGAS ODDS TO WIN SUPER BOWL XLVII: 15/1
DON’T TAKE THIS GUY IN YOUR FANTASY DRAFT: Ahmad Bradshaw. New York’s identity as a franchise that relies on the run is all but dead.The Giants finished last in rushing in 2011 despite winning the Super Bowl. Brandon Jacobs, one-half of the team’s two-headed rushing monster, left for San Francisco. Meanwhile, the Giants elected to draft the explosive runner David Wilson in the first round. New York’s ability to attack secondaries with Nicks and Cruz in the passing game, along with Wilson’s arrival, should cut into Bradshaw’s production. Bradshaw, who is nursing a right-hand injury, compiled a career-high 11 touchdowns last season in 12 games but it’s difficult to envision him getting a heavier workload. In other words, Eli is no longer eating from kids menu. Manning is engulfing most of the offensive menu, complete with appetizers, main course, and a fattening dessert. Running is on the low-calorie side of the menu if you catch my drift.
NOTABLE GAME: November 4 vs. Steelers – As per usual, the NFL front-loads New York’s schedule with winnable games; and then fire-bombs them from early November until season’s end by scheduling every playoff team since 1975. Why you ask? Ratings. By building up New York’s pre-November record, that gives the league an opportunity to run important games featuring the top media market in the world versus other potential playoff teams. Need more proof? Last year’s highest rated NBC game was the regular-season finale between the Giants and Cowboys for the NFC East title. New York’s win drew 27.6 million viewers, the most-ever for NBC’s Sunday Night Football package. Starting with the Steelers, New York will play six of their last eight games against 2011 playoff teams. The non-playoff opponents will be Washington and Philadelphia. Ouch.
GIANT YOU SHOULD FOLLOW ON TWITTER: Osi Umenyiora. When he isn’t calling LeSean McCoy “Lady Gaga” or being a football version of Oscar the Grouch, Umenyiora is educational and entertaining:
A lesson to the fellas:
(Note: Ratchet refers to being nasty or ghetto)
To Steve Weatherford regarding his apology over the JPP video:
Allegedly, Umenyiora is ranked third in the world at the soccer video game, FIFA. Great Osi. I beat WWF WrestleFest once in the late 80s:
WHY THEY CAN’T WIN THE SUPER BOWL: History & good fortune, a tricky combination. When the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, they cruised during the first half of the 2008 season to a 10-1 record…and then, Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg. New York was never the same after that. Including the playoffs, they finished 2-4 post-shooting. Perhaps, just as important, they had a terrible draw in their first playoff game against division rival Philadelphia, who split with New York during the regular season. A 23-11 loss later in the divisional round and New York’s title defense was kaput. The Giant ’08 season taught us a pair of valuable lessons. First, few positives can come from carrying a gun into a night club. Lastly, New York’s two Super Bowl victories since 2007 have been a product of talent and a sizable dose of good fortune. Yep, just call them the ultimate opportunists.
Being in the right place, at the right time two years in a row is very difficult to do. Only eight teams have repeated as Super Bowl champion.
SONG THAT EMBODIES THE 2012 GIANTS: EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE – RADIOHEAD
So, everyone is ready to put Hall of Fame jackets on Tom Coughlin and “Kent State free agent” Eli Manning for winning two Super Bowls. Here’s the problem with that.
Coughlin and Manning have won eight playoff games. All of those victories came in the ’07 and ’11 Super Bowl runs. Otherwise, they’ve either been one-and-done in the playoffs or missed them altogether.
Can the Giants throw us an actual competent regular season again?
It’s been awhile but the ingredients may be there for it to happen.
They have all of the components for motivation to repeat:
- Shunned by local media because of the Tim Tebow.
- The kryptonite to every great quarterback – an assortment of pass rushers.
- Tim Tebow
- A quarterback who knows how to win in the fourth quarter.
- Tim Tebow
- Nobody cares about them.
That last point could be the most compelling. For some reason, people seem to find the Giants to be a bore. Everyone else gets attention but the champs as Peter King recently pointed out.
Unfortunately for the masses though, they still might be the NFL’s best team.