Talk of a New York Giants Super Bowl Repeat is on, as the 52-27 thumping they gave old foe Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints this week was apparently enough to get the ol' bandwagon up and running again, even as a key matchup with Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons looms.
Gary Myers of the Daily News and Steve Serby of the NY Post didnt just hop on the bandwagon, they grabbed the reins and started driving it together, focusing on key themes like the leadership of Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin, a fair assessment of the NFC landscape by Myers, and, of course, the rarely defined but always apparent when present "swagger."
We'll start with Myers, who makes a simple but strong point: name a team in the NFC that the Giants can't beat in a big game.
"They first have to make it to January, of course, but as long as they are still playing when the calendar flips, there is not a serious contender in the NFC the Giants should fear because they have proven they can beat them all, except Seattle, whom they haven't played."
Although Myers glosses over that whole gotta make it to January thing (that's a pretty big one, after all), his point remains. The San Francisco 49ers? Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers? Been there, done that. The Atlanta Falcons? Ditto, and if we're in the playoffs it likely means we'll have done it again this coming Sunday.
Myers says the Giants got their swagger back on Sunday against New Orleans. If they can prove against Atlanta and Baltimore that Myers is right, we'll jump on that bandwagon right behind Gary and Steve.
Serby, for his part, says he's "shoving his chips to the middle of the table" on the Giants, and lists five reasons the the team can (the quarterback, the coach, leadership, the cavalry and Big Blue, whatever that last one means), and two they can't (health and the schedule).
It's hard to tell what he's getting at until he says, "once the Giants are in [the playoffs], the NFL has learned they are ALL IN."
Yeah! Rah rah rah! Go team!
Aaaaaaand much thanks to Ralph Vacchiano for actually writing about football this morning, reminding us all that the Giants aren't going anywhere unless the struggling defense rediscovers the form it had in 2007 and late last year.
The Giants are still searching for that seminal game, the kind of catalytic performance they had in last year's playoff game with the Falcons, that propels them forward, and Vacchiano writes that the players think it is coming soon:
"I think we've had some good performances," Coughlin said. "I like what I hear if you're telling me that the defensive players don't thin that they've accomplished they set out to, and that they think their best games are still in front of them. I would encourage that."
We thought the defense had that game again San Francisco earlier in the year, but there have been plenty of ups and downs since then. The pass rush has started to come on lately, but they haven't quite put a full performance together.
This week in Atlanta would be a great place to start.
Also…Aaron Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Football, Green Bay Packers, New York, New York Giants, NFC, NFL, Ralph Vacchiano, Roddy White, San Francisco 49ers, Tom Coughlin