Giants have much to look forward to after Super Bowl win


 

Super Bowl XLVI MVP and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning takes a celebratory ride with Mickey Mouse Feb. 6, 2012 at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The celebration at the theme park took place only one day after Manning led his team to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Photo by: Ricky Brigante / Flickr

BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Now that the Super Bowl is over and the New York Giants are NFL champions, an entire new image of the team will come across the sports wires and on our television screens.

Overpaid analysts will tell us what this title means to the people of New York and how they knew the Giants had it in them all along. And in turn, we will quickly forget that ESPN’s and FOX Sports’ best wrote the Giants off with about three weeks left, jumping back on the bandwagon of the Dallas Cowboys and even the Philadelphia Eagles. New York had to make believers out of a lot of people and finally showed the mainstream sports media that they’re worth the ink.

The Giants have earned their top spot. Now, the same people who discredited them after a tough loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the middle of the regular season will be eating their own words while putting on a smile and bowing down to the almighty G-Men. New York truly stunned the football world this year and this Vince Lombardi Trophy had a little more emotion behind it. The title loudly throws New York right back on the football map since the team’s last championship in 2007 against — oddly enough — the New England Patriots. It also only proves that this team has always had it, despite what the critics and hot shot analysts think.

Yes, any championship takes a franchise to a whole new level. But for the Giants and their staff and fans, I believe this year’s title run is even sweeter than others in the past.

Here’s a look at just a few things the Giants’ Super Bowl rings will bring:

• Back on top: The Giants started a mini dynasty with two Super Bowl wins during late 80s – early 90s. During that time, no matter what, the G-Men were always fiercely competing for a Vince Lombardi Trophy with players like Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson and Mark Bavaro. The championship taste wouldn’t stick around New York forever, though, as the Giants began a downward spiral in the mid 90s. New York caught a bit of the limelight in 2000, losing Super Bowl XXXV to the Baltimore Ravens, but it still seemed the G-Men weren’t destined to return to their winning ways. Enter Eli Manning. After the Giants basically drafted the Ole Miss product with the first pick (San Diego actually drafted Manning and then traded him to New York for Phillip Rivers), it seemed like New York was relevant once again. And once Eli found his stride and management found him some weapons and a brilliant coach in Tom Coughlin, the rest was history as Manning won two Super Bowls in just eight seasons. New York has been back-and-forth, up and down, but the team’s current swagger reminds me of the days of Parcels and LT. Back then the Giants were a force to be reckoned with. Now, all of a sudden, Big Blue is at it once again.

• Elite quarterback: Coming into the season, Manning received a lot of flack from the press for considering himself as an “elite quarterback.” Manning said he should be in the same conversation with quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and his own brother, Peyton Manning. I think now, there is no question that Eli is on the same level as those guys. In fact, I would almost rather have him than some of the top gun slingers in the league. Manning defeated the Patriots not once, but twice on the biggest stage possible. And he has been nothing but a Godsend for the Giants in both crunch time and the postseason. He was literally the best fourth-quarter passer in the league this season (110.0 QB rating with 15 touchdowns and just six picks) and his career playoff stats are quite remarkable. In 11 playoff games, Manning has a QB rating of 80, but both years his team won the Super Bowl, his rating was at least 90 with at least a 61 completion percentage. Eli now has one more ring than big brother and he could easily add more because you have to figure the guy has at least eight years left.

• Super Mario: Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham made perhaps the game-winning play when he caught a crucial ball down the sideline for a big gain in the fourth quarter Sunday. It’s that one catch and what he has done throughout this year’s playoffs that will earn the former Michigan Wolverine a big pay day when free agency rolls around this spring. Manningham certainly isn’t the biggest name at receiver on the free agent market (i.e. Reggie Wayne, Marques Colston and Wes Welker), but he will certainly earn his coin this offseason. I don’t think the Giants will have the funds to resign him and after two very good seasons where he was mainly the team’s No. 3 receiver, look for Manningham to go somewhere that can promise him the No. 1 or No. 2 roll.

• A league of his own: If you weren’t a Tom Coughlin believer before this win, than you had better be now. Coughlin’s second Super Bowl win was not only unexpected, but perhaps career-saving. For too long, Giants fans wanted Coughlin’s head. Just a couple years after New York won the Super Bowl in ’07, fans wanted him fired. Even this season, after a gut-wrenching loss to the Seattle Seahawks, fans didn’t think he was the guy. But there’s just something different about him. We all know how good of a motivator someone like Jim Harbaugh is after watching this season. However, Coughlin must be finding a way into his players’ hearts that is more effective than Harbaugh or even Patriots coach Bill Belichick. He always gets the Giants to turn on their after burners at exactly the right time an that has paid off in two Super Bowl championships. Coughlin has ALWAYS had success in the pros despite coaching for just two teams. In fact, that should only prove why the guy is such a winner. His 10-7 postseason record and 139-110 career record may not be the greatest indicators that he is an awesome coach on paper, but I’ll take a guy who coached his team to the playoffs nine times in 16 years any day — especially when he has two Super Bowl rings.

• Blast from the past:  I’m not going to go as far to compare this year’s Giants defense to the ones it had in the late 80s and early 90s. But there are definitely some similarities. The old  G-Men had a linebacking core that struck fear in the opposition. This year’s squad had the same intimidation factor, but it came from the men on the defensive line. LT is perhaps the best defensive player to ever take the field in the NFL. However, he was just one man. The Giants of old definitely won games on his back. But it’s the current Giants defense that demands respect one through 11. And this Super Bowl win should only put more fear into teams that play the Nw York Giants.

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