A Totally Biased Feature: 10 Things You Should Know About The 2011 New York Giants, and Superbowl XLVI

Leading up to this weekend’s championship games, Justin and I discussed, on multiple occasions, what would happen if the Giants and the Patriots met again in Indianapolis for a Superbowl rematch. All I can I can say, is man am I sure glad we didn’t jinx anything.

Over the next two weeks, Totally Biased will be churning out articles, lists, and everything in between when it comes to our Superbowl matchup. We hope that some of our loyal readers will turn to us in this time as we deliver concrete, factual knowledge, backed by a dash of pure bias. Something we know all too well.

For those of you who watched both the Patriots and Ravens tilt, and the Niners and Giants contest, let me congratulate you, and bring to your attention that you will most likely, never again in your life, see two Championship games like that, played on the same day, ever again. Billy Cundiff forever sealed his fate with a botched chip shot field goal that was never even close. Kyle Williams on the other hand, made Ted Ginn missing this game, look like the most devastating knee injury all year, as he took over, and failed to accomplish much of anything in the return game.

We could just as easily be staring at an all-Harbaugh Superbowl, and a family reunion set to the biggest stage. We could be staring at the longest handshake ever after a Superbowl, and a game that could potentially end in a game that defensive minded fans would relish in. Yet, we won’t be. Instead, we will see Darth Bill send his Stormtroopers to battle against the stone faced Tom Coughlin, who is making a case that he belongs in the Hall of Fame when his career is over. We are seeing the shortest handshake known to man just over the horizon. We are seeing a game that will challenge any in history for most media build up of all time. Enjoy it.

Do both of these teams deserve to be here? Barely. Tom Brady was highly outplayed by Joe Flacco, and if Lee Evans remembered how to play wideout, he might’ve gripped that ball a little tighter. Speaking of gripping the ball, Kyle Williams and Evans should get together for a few games of catch in the off-season. My point is, we’re here, and really, that’s all that matters. But don’t forget, they’re are 32 teams to start the season, and only two make it this far. In the next two weeks, I beg Pats and Giants fans of all different kinds to truly appreciate being here. And just thank God we weren’t born in Cleveland.

Below, I will highlight 10 things that you should know about the New York Giants, and the upcoming Superbowl. Huge stat fans might know all of these already, but for the casual fans, I thought I’d put this in a bit of perspective, so you know what to expect. It should be stated, although there are some casual fans that I absolutely hate, there are some that I actually value the opinion of, like this intelligent young lady who left this gem on Facebook last night…

Casual Pats fans are my cancer. 

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Don’t be fooled by his size, Jacobs hates confrontations… enough to try and run around them sometimes.

10. The Giants rank 32nd in the NFL in rushing with 89.2 YPG. Yes. That is last.

Ahmad Bradshaw: 171 attempts, 659 yards
Brandon Jacobs: 152 attempts, 571 yards

What was once the cornerstone of every successful Giants franchise, the dominant running attack, has fallen to the wayside. Brandon Jacobs dances far too often, and doesn’t use his size to his advantage nearly as much as a man of his stature should. Ahmad Bradshaw has been above average with runningback screens, while Jacobs catches a pass maybe once every few weeks. Vince Wilfork is playing the best football a defensive tackle could hope to play, and the Giants won’t be winning this one on the ground, however, look for balance to still be intact, since Kevin Gilbride rarely, if ever, totally abandons the run.

9. The Giants, once decimated with injuries, are as healthy as they can get.

During the preseason, the Giants essentially lost every key defensive asset. Terrell Thomas, the team leader in interceptions in 2010? Torn ACL. Jonathan Goff, the starting middle linebacker, and playcaller for the defense? Torn ACL. Brian Witherspoon, cornerback replacing the aforementioned Thomas? Yep. You guessed it. Torn ACL. How about Marvin Austin, a rookie defensive tackle from North Carolina, a defensive tackle with big presence, and first round talent? Torn Pectoral.

The list goes on and on people. Justin Tuck has missed time with a neck injury, Osi Umenyiora missed a few games with a bad knee, and ankle problems, and Prince Amukamara, of course, a cornerback, broke his foot and missed the first ten contests. It’s almost scary to wonder where we might be as a team without these injuries, but I’m sure Packers fans thought the same thing last year, that was, before they got fitted for their new rings.

8. Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Osi Umenyiora have a combined 36 sacks, in 46 games.

Jason Pierre-Paul: 16 games, 16.5 sacks … Postseason: 3 games, .5 sack
Osi Umenyiora: 9 games, 9 sacks … Postseason: 3 games, 3.5 sacks
Justin Tuck: 12 games, 5 sacks … Postseason: 3 games, 1.5 sacks

What should be, and probably is regarded as the best pass rushing trio in the NFL, these three men harass quarterbacks on a consistent basis. JPP, a freak of nature with a wingspan of 7′ 5” [Google it], and 4.64 speed, he is yet another gem plucked from the rough by Giants GM Jerry Reese. He finished 4th in the NFL, with a whopping 16.5 sacks. Umenyiora missed almost half the season, playing in nine games, yet was able to average a sack per game, finishing with nine total. Justin Tuck appeared in 12 games with Big Blue, but as someone who watched every minute of Giants action, it was about 10 total, with a handful of time spent on the sidelines. He still managed to add five to the overall total.

Perry Fewell loves to line up all three of these big boys in obvious passing situations, so if the Patriots should be unfortunate to find themselves in a 3rd and long, he will have hands, and extremely long arms, in his face almost immediately.

7. Eli Manning: 1 game played in Indy this season. Peyton Manning: 0.

You really only need to know this one because it’s funny. Do you think Eli is going to have to use one of his tickets on Peyton? Yeah, probably not.

6. The Giants have beaten better teams than the New England Patriots.

Really, it’s a pretty simple formula. I took every game that the Giants won, and added up the wins and losses of every team they beat, and did the same thing for the Patriots. Results below. Just because the Patriots won more games, doesn’t mean they get an automatic edge. Sometimes we need to look a little deeper.

New York Giants, 12 total wins: .579 (95-69)
New England Patriots, 15 total wins: .488 (87-91) 

*Percentage shown is the combined winning percentage of teams that lost to either the Pats or Giants

5. The Giants have the best trio of Wide Receivers in the National Football League.

Oh the amount of remotes that would sail across rooms in New England if this were to happen…

Victor Cruz: 82 receptions, 1536 yards, 9 TD’s
Hakeem Nicks: 76 receptions, 1192 yards, 7 TD’s
Mario Manningham: 39 receptions, 523 yards, 4 TD’s

Regular Season Total: 197 catches, 3251 yards, 20 TD’s

When Mel Kiper was asked after the 2009 NFL Draft which wide receiver would have the most productive career in the NFL, not just rookie season, and he said Hakeem Nicks. This probably came as a shock to not only me, but everyone else, considering Nicks was drafted in the same class as Percy Harvin, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, and Kenny Britt. Well, even Kiper has to be right every once in a while! 

The real story of these three is Victor Cruz. He didn’t see action until Week 2, when Domenik Hixon tore his ACL making a circus like catch against the St. Louis Rams [sensing a torn ACL trend here? Yeah me too.] but he has outperformed not only every wideout on his own team, but almost every wideout in the entire league. I took the time to check out some other high flying offenses, and even for the sake of fairness, used tight ends where necessary. Also, although the Giants receivers didn’t have as many TD’s as any group listed below, the Giants also had more rushing TD’s than any of them [tied with New England]. Sometimes it’s not about who gets in the endzone, it’s about who got you there.

* = Denotes a tight end

New Orleans Saints
*Jimmy Graham: 99 receptions, 1310 yards, 11 TD’s
Marques Colston: 80 receptions, 1143 yards, 8 TD’s
Lance Moore: 52 reception, 627 yards, 8 TD’s

Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson: 68 receptions, 1263 yards, 15 TD’s

Greg Jennings: 67 receptions, 949 yards, 9 TD’s
*Jermichael Finley: 55 receptions, 767 yards, 8 TD’s

New England Patriots
Wes Welker: 122 receptions, 1569 yards, 9 TD’s

*Rob Gronkowski: 90 receptions, 1327 yards, 17 TD’s
*Aaron Hernandez: 70 receptions, 910 yards, 7 TD’s 

4. The New York Giants, according to Vegas, are underdogs… Again. [3.5 points]

Although you might not find it as important as you should, the players love this kind of stuff. Will it change the game at all? Probably not, but we never really know. The Giants, in 2007, were not favored in a single playoff game. This postseason, they were favored in only one of their games, a home contest with Atlanta in the Wild Card Round. Sometimes I wonder where they actually get this stuff. I mean, we beat them in 2007, right? We beat them this season, IN Gillette Stadium, correct? Well alrighty then.

Just one of those things a coach puts on a bulletin board.

3. Regular and post season combined, Eli Manning has thrown for 5,856 yards [Tom Brady: 5,837]

Eli, of course, has played in an extra post-season game, but still, the facts are there. The point I’m trying to make, is that Manning has evolved onto an entirely different platform not only since 2007, but since last season also. Tom Brady’s career arc since then has stayed mostly neutral, and if anything, one would say a bit of a dip. Manning on the other hand, has only gotten better since leading the league in picks when these teams first met for Superbowl XLII. Does that immediately mean the Giants have an advantage? Of course not.

2. The Patriots need to sack/hurry/pressure Eli Manning to win the Superbowl.

Against San Francisco, Manning dropped back 58 times, was hurried for 11, sacked for 6, and hit on 19. 

The Giants, of course, won this game, albeit BARELY. The best way to slow this offense down, is to hit Eli, and do it often. Many times against the Niners, Eli held on to the ball for far too long, and should’ve thrown it away. The Niners had almost perfect coverage downfield for most of the game, and even on the 17 yard TD to Mario Manningham, the defender was right where he should’ve been. If Eli Manning has time, he will pick apart this secondary, it’s just that simple. The Packers were in a similar situation, when it comes to defending the pass, and couldn’t generate any heat on Manning. The Andre Carter loss from a couple weeks ago could rear it’s ugly head, as the Patriots had 40 sacks, and Carter accounted for 25% of them.

As San Fran learned, hitting Manning doesn’t guarantee victory, or even guarantee an advantage, as Manning completed 32 passes on 58 attempts, over 300 yards, two scores, and most importantly, no turnovers.

1. If Tom Brady wins, he is the greatest QB of all time. If Eli Manning wins, he will go to the Hall of Fame.

In the biggest game of his life, Eli will need to be at his best

I decided to have a little fun with number one. Brady is often in the conversation for best QB ever, but we always seem to go back to Joe Montana, or the gunslingers of the past, like Johnny Unitas. If Brady can edge out the Giants, it would almost be certain that he would go down as the best ever. Will he throw the most TD’s? No. Will he set yardage records? Definitely possible. Does he win big games? Hell. Yes. When Brady retires, they would talk about him going to five Superbowls [assuming he doesn’t go to any more… a bad assumption], and winning four of them. They’ll say that Eli stole one in 2007, but Brady supporters will come right back with his vengeance of 2011. Brady is a top three quarterback, that much is clear. A win in SBXLVI? Number one.

Now as for Manning, it goes much deeper. With a win on Sunday, he would be the king of New York QB’s, with 2 rings, a playoff record of 8-3, and regardless of the outcome, the winner of 5 straight road playoff games, which stands as an NFL record. Manning currently sits atop the leaderboard for active players in consecutive starts, and already ranks 42nd all time with 185 TD passes. If he could add another 25 next season [seems highly likely], he would vault himself past Phil Simms, and would put himself 25th. Essentially, on the career path Eli is on, he will end up right around 10th all time when he retires, and he would have at least two rings on his hand. Above all else, Manning will be able to say that he won the biggest games he was put into. And of course, he would be the Michael Jordan to Tom Brady’s Karl Malone. On a smaller scale of course.

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And THAT my friends, just about sums it up. Be sure to check out Totally Biased the rest of the week, for Superbowl updates, Top 10’s, and a few tidbits!

Comments
One Response to “A Totally Biased Feature: 10 Things You Should Know About The 2011 New York Giants, and Superbowl XLVI”
  1. San says:

    You continue to impress me with your writing style and “grace”, Trav. Can’t wait to shave that MPV number though ;)

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