Before the regular season even began, football fans heard endless rants about the Philadelphia ‘Dream Team’ and how this team was destined for greatness. The Giants were regarded by many as an outcast team with a lame duck coach and shoddy defense. However, the Giants proved to be the best team in the NFC East, winning nine games, including some big wins against New England, the Jets, and Dallas twice. Even after winning their final two games, the Giants are not receiving the credit they deserve. Every ‘analyst’ and ‘expert’ is predicting that the Packers, Patriots, and Saints are by far the favorites to hoist the Lombari Trophy in Indy. However, here are six reasons why the Giants can win it all..

Deja Vu All Over Again??

1. You can’t spell ‘Elite’ without Eli

Eli said he was an elite quarterback before the season began. He backed up that talk (unlike the Jets did) during the regular season. Eli’s 4,933 passing yards were sixth most in NFL history. His 15 fourth quarter touchdowns were the most ever and his 110.0 fourth quarter QB rating was second to only Aaron Rodgers. More importantly, Eli led the Giants to six fourth quarter come backs and ended Tom Brady’s 31-game regular season home winning streak. Eli averaged 8.38 yards per attempt, which was higher than Drew Brees. 

2. Eli’s Toys

You can say whatever you want about Green Bay’s duo of Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson. Same goes for New Orleans’s Marques Colston and Lance Moore. Eli’s wide receiver combo of Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz had 2,700 yards and scored 16 touchdowns, tops for any wide receiver duo in the league. The Nicks-Cruz combination had 14 of the Giants 18 plays of 40+ yards. Cruz, known for his big play ability, averaged roughly 19 yards per catch. This Giant wide receiver core is much more explosive than the 2007 team. 

3. The Offensive Line

Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese took a ton of heat when they released Rich Seubert and Shaun O’Hara. Despite finishing dead last in the league in rushing, the Giant offensive line paved the way for 100 yard rushing performances in five of the last six games. A healthy Ahmad Bradshaw makes the job that much easier for the offensive line. 

4. Defensive Pressure

A strong defensive line has always been a staple of successful Giant teams. This year’s unit is no exception. The Giant defense registered 48 sacks, third most in the league. More impressively, the Giants defensive line is so good that the team rarely employs heavy blitz packages. In turn, the Giants ranked sixth in the league with their 20 interceptions. Critics will argue that the Giants gave up the fourth most yards through the air, but fail to admit that the Patriots and Packers were even worse against the pass. The Packers and Patriots also rank towards the bottom of the league in sacks. 

The Giant front four is finally healthy. Mr. Tuck has been playing with reckless abandon, Osi is healthy, and JPP is playing at an All-Pro level. Outside of the Ravens, the Giants have the best pass rush in the game.

5. Battle Tested

This Giant team has played some of the best teams in the league and played one of the toughest schedules. Noted above, the Giants had a huge road win against the Patriots. The Giants played the 49ers extremely tough and were within yards of beating the Packers. And this happened when the Giants were ravaged with injuries. To get to the Super Bowl, the Giants would probably have to beat either of these teams on their home fields. The Giants already know what to expect. 

6. Health

Osi, Bradshaw, and Mario Manningham are not on the injury report this week. Even tight end, Jake Ballard is not on the injury report. I’ve been saying this all season long–when healthy, the Giants are the most talented team in football. Bold, yes, but the talent and coaching is there. This team is getting healthy and hitting their stride at the right time.

 

Overall, the Giants have all of the ingredients to win the Super Bowl. They have the quarterback, coach, defensive line, and experience to do it. Putting it all together over the next five weeks will lead to the Giants ultimate goal. The journey for that goal starts this Sunday in the form of the Atlanta Falcons.