New York Giants
Here’s what you need to know. The Giants won the Super Bowl after starting 7-7, finishing 9-7, and then running the table. They beat the San Francisco 49ers, they beat the New England Patriots, and they hammered the Atlanta Falcons. During the regular season, the Giants looked like no more than an Osh Kosh B’Gosh version of an NFL team. In the playoffs, they smacked folks around like a drunk former Army coronel at dinner with his tortured wife.
Why? – The Mets are mentioned so much on Seinfeld, and with such love, it’s like they’re a real character. They’re always a sad-sack franchise, but they somehow eek out moments of glory. That’s been the Mets’ entire history. It’s been the Giants’ entire history too. This was was really too easy.
Offseasonish – One can imagine a lot of champagne, a lot of erotic yacht rides, and a lot of Letterman appearances. Who knows that actually happened, but Manning Family dinner got a lot more awkward now that the sh*t-faced little brother who couldn’t even use scissors while Peyton was spelling has deux Super Bowls and his older bro just has the one.
Real offseasonish – Mario Manningham is gone. He made a big catch in the Super Bowl (*above*) after Bill Belichick botched his team’s second half. The rest of the team remains the same.
Victor Cruz – The problem with shooting out of your shell and having a better year perhaps any other receiver in football? You have to prove it’s not a fluke. And, if it is, your team is in a whole lot of trouble.
Eli Manning – Well, the guy who looks like every Peanuts character really can play. Even after he won the first ring, we didn’t think he’d keep it going. Turns out, he plays a lot more professional than he looks.
Tom Coughlin – Okay, when are people going to give this guy credit? He might be the best coach in football.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Victor Cruz is under the gun to repeat, but Bradshaw has to deliver knowing that Brandon Jacobs isn’t there to push the Giants over the line on 4th and 1. Bradshaw’s not a game breaker, but he’s a running back. His position is as essential to his team’s result as anyone else on the field. So, like, play good, okay?
Hakeem Nicks – He was great last year, but how much longer can he do it? Oh, don’t get us wrong, he’s not old. He’s only 25. But, every year is a new adventure. He’s cardboard one year, and porcelain the next. Last year? All toilet, baby. Just brilliant. This year? Let’s wait and see.
Fantasy Sleeps – Is Couglin available? The Giants are all so rated now that nobody is underrated. Nicks and Cruz have insane value, but they’ll go early and too early. Bradshaw will be left ’til late, but picked, and that’s all he’s worth.
How about Eli? No doubt, Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Newton, Stafford, Vick, and a multitude of others will be taken early, and some before the league’s best backs. But, Eli? Sh*t, he might even be taken after Peyton.
Doesn’t he deserve more? Can’t be give more? And, is he better or worse than Romo?
The Giants won’t win the East. The Eagles will. So, it comes down to the Giants and Cowboys for that vital second-place finish, which is essential and sometimes not even enough (as you know, four division winners get in, and two Wild Card teams get the final two slots but have to compete with 12 other teams in the NFC). And, there’s the Redskins, who could be great if Robert Griffin III develops.
So, what happens? Well, at 0-1, the Giants might be in trouble, but they can finish 9-7 again, and that might be enough.