The New York Giants are Super Bowl XLVI Champions.
To play in the NFL requires countless hours of hard work, film study, and days away from family. Winning a Super Bowl is arguably the most prestigious achievement in all professional sports. The New York Giants 2011-2012 season is a magnificent story of resilience and overcoming adversity. The New York Giants won 6 straight elimination games. They beat Jets, Cowboys, Falcons, Packers, 49ers, and Patriots. The Giants won 4 of these games on the road and beat the top 3 teams in the league on the road.
The Giants started the season fast, winning 6 games while losing 2 in the first eight games. What was impressive about this quick start was that the Giants had a load of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. They lost their pro bowl cornerback Terrell Tomas, starting outside linebacker Clint Sintim and starting middle linebacker Jonathan Goff to season ending injuries. There were a large number of other players injured. It is understood that other teams have injuries as well- football is a physical game, but what separates the Giants from the rest of the league is that they scout and draft well. Their backups were prepared. The Giants GM Jerry Reese had gotten a lot of heat for not being aggressive in free agency and signing a ‘big name’. Why did they let WR Steve Smith walk? How did they not sign a tight-end or linebacker? TE Kevin Boss, why did they let him go? He believed that this team’s nucleus of players were good enough to win another Super Bowl- boy was he right. Jerry Reese does a great job signing great character guys and always gets great value out of his draft picks, taking the best players available. The whole Giants football operations department did a magnificent job.
The Giants entered the playoffs as a team that nobody really believed could win. The only people that believed were the New York Giants players and coaches. They won the wild card round against the Atlanta Falcons, 24-2. The Falcons did not even score one offensive point; it was a dominating performance. The Giants then faced the seemingly unstoppable Green Bay Packers. The Giants went into Lambeau field and completely dominated, for the fourth straight week. The key to that game was that the Giants defense bended but didn’t break. The Packers moved the football, though the Giants made them earn every yard. They didn’t let their big play receivers get big plays. The Giants also won the line of scrimmage-getting pressure and stopping the run. The leading rusher for the Packers was their quarterback. The Giants also created 4 turnovers. The key to solid defense, whether in youth football or in the NFL is- stopping the run, not giving up the big play, and creating turnovers. The New York Giants ended up winning in overtime against a physical 49ers team to win the NFC Championship. Want to talk about defense? Watch 49er games from 2011; man does that team D-up!
The New York Giants faced the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. The Giants came into this game with great confidence as did the Patriots. This was a well
coached game. What impressed me the most about the Patriots was that their defense played great. They were at the bottom of the league in nearly every major category of defense. Many people thought that the Giants wide receivers would sever the Patriot’s secondary and throw 30+ points on them. The key to the Pats defense was containing the Giants big play receivers. They did a great job not allowing Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks to shred them for big plays. They played with great passion and aggression. They tackled well and made Eli Manning earn his scoring drives. Their defense forced 3 fumbles and weren’t able to recover any of them- that made a huge difference.
The Giants offense was contained and the Patriots had a great game plan, but the Giants had moved the ball all game long. They had a few plays that could have been called as pass interference, but weren’t (if called, would of put the Giants in Patriot territory). There was a hold call that also brought back a 10 yard run on 3rd and 2. The holding penalty was very boarder line, questionable call. The 10 yards took the Giants out of New England territory. The Giants played well all around. The defense got pressure when they had too and the secondary of the Giants did not give up any big plays. This was a hard fought game that could of went either way. Both teams deserved to be there.
Eli Manning. Former Giants running back Tiki Barber once said that Eli wasn’t a leader and couldn’t win a big game. With that said, let’s look back at the last 5 years: Eli has been in the playoffs 4 times with 2 super bowl titles and winning game MVP in both Super Bowls he played in. Eli had an astonishing 7 come from behind wins this season. He holds the NFL record for single season 4th quarter touchdown passes with 18. He had over 5,000 yards passing (including the playoffs). He has never missed a game because of injury (in ’07-08 seasons Eli played with a dislocated shoulder).
I watched Eli Manning take a beating in the 49er game-he hung in there and threw the ball well knowing he was going to get popped. Eli’s character impresses me, he is a class act. He never gives himself the credit he deserves. He always credits everyone else-and is a great role model for youth football boys. He is a great example of how a professional athlete should carry himself.
Super Bowl XLII Super Bowl XLVI
4th quarter passing stats (Losing 14-10) 4th quarter passing stats (Losing 15-12)
Completions-Attempts: 9-14 Completions-Attempts:10-14
Pass Yards: 152 Passing Yards: 118
TD Passes: 1 TD Passes: 1
First Downs: 7 First Downs: 7
Result: W, 17-14 Result W, 21-17
Eli was losing by 4pts with less than 2 minutes left and came back to win in Super Bowl XLII.
In Super Bowl XLVI, he was down by 2 points with less than 3 minutes left, he drove his team 87 yards for the winning score.
Eli was down in the fourth quarter in both Super Bowls. On the biggest stage, the most watched game of any professional competition, Eli Manning had the guts to come back and win with under 3 minutes to go. He is the definition of clutch.
Let’s not forget about Coach Tom Coughlin. Youth football coaches could learn a great deal from Coach Coughlin. He did a great job, keeping the team focused through all sorts of adversity. Giant fans wanted Coach’s head on a platter. Yet again, like in 2007, he pulled his team together and got it done against all odds and scrutiny. He is one of the best coaches to ever coach and much like Eli, he does his craft the best when his back is against the wall. Coach Coughlin wrote a book called “A Team To Believe In” Our Journey to the Super Bowl Championship. This is a great book; it is worth taking the time to read it.
While the New York Giants road to Super Bowl champions wasn’t an easy one, it was resilience and great coaching that took them to the top.