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Mark Bavaro: My Giants Would “Absolutely” Destroy Eli Manning’s Giants

December 21st, 2012 at 8:30 AM
By Dan Benton

The 1986 New York Giants are arguably the greatest team in franchise history. In fact, they may be in the discussion as one of the best and most talented teams ever. So it should come as no surprise that former tight end Mark Bavaro thinks highly of them, and all other Giants teams throughout his tenure. But how does he think they'd fare against the current crop of Giants led by Eli Manning? Well, it wouldn't be much of a game in his mind.

"I wouldn’t have to play against Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson, Harry Carson, that defense was unbelievable. And I have no doubt whatsoever our offense with Maurice Carthon, Joe Morris, Ottis Anderson, Simms, Hostetler, whoever, our offensive line, Jumbo, Billy Oates, Billy Ard, how you gonna beat those guys? They wouldn’t know what hit ‘em," Bavaro told 640 Sports. "It would be a blowout."

Bavaro's Giants were a dominant, physical defensive team playing in an era where you could actually hit people and not get flagged for it, while Manning's Giants are more of a high-powered offense that's able to take advantage of the rule changes are generally in every game at the end.

What say you, Giants fans. The 1986/1990 New York Giants or the 2007/2011 New York Giants? Jason Pierre-Paul or Lawrence Taylor? Eli Manning or Phil Simms?

One thing is for sure, it'd be fun to watch … and it's fun to debate and consider.

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Tags: Carl Banks, Eli Manning, Football, Harry Carson, Jason Pierre-Paul, Joe Morris, Lawrence Taylor, Mark Bavaro, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Ottis Anderson, Phil Simms

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17 Responses to “Mark Bavaro: My Giants Would “Absolutely” Destroy Eli Manning’s Giants”

  1.  James Stoll says:

    These comparisons are always imperfect but certainly the 86 defense was the best I’ve seen in the 47 years I’ve been watching the Giants.
    Offensively, the 80′s teams were never great, especially at the WR position, but they were tough. The thing that stops me from categorically saying the 80′s teams would take the team of today is that following the 86 season, they had a big letdown in the strike shortened 87 campaign, and missed the playoffs in 88 before returning in 89. The point is that teams had big flaws as well
    But both because of rules and makeup, the 80′s teams were tougher.

  2.  Liberal Giant says:

    Today’s receivers are better than those the Giants had in 86. Nevertheless, I agree with Bavaro, the 86 team would dominate today’s NY Giants. The same applies to the 85 Bears. Then again, that is a given as the 85 Bears were better than the 86 Giants.

  3.  Liberal Giant says:

    Are the Giants in decline? The game against Baltimore, a team definitely in decline, should tell the story.

  4.  James Stoll says:

    Since team’s can change so much year to year, hard to say whether a loss to the Ravens says anything about the future outlook for the team. After all, from a record standpoint they’ve been the same team for 9 straight seasons despite the turnover in personnel. The only three players who have been on this team for that entire run are Eli, Snee and Osi. Tuck came in ’05. Blackburn in 06. Bradshaw in ’07. Everyone else is ’08 or more recent. If there is any decline not otherwise apparent from the record itself, it is probably that Coughlin’s schtick has gotten old and the players have tuned him out. Can’t say if that is the case, but this years spiral looks different only in the every other week play of the team. Make of that what you will.

  5.  Krow says:

    The more time that passes the more the legends grow. There’s no way to compare teams of 25 years ago to the steroid fueled monsters of today.

  6.  Emperor Norton says:

    Yeah, I’m always a little skeptical of guys who played 30 years ago talking about what a better squad they played on. The biggest guy ’86 Giants was the 288-pound nose tackle. The average weight on the offensive line was a hair over 275 pounds. If you lined them all up (in their prime seasons) for an exhibition match today, JPP would have eleven sacks and the 2012 team would run for 450 yards and 8 TDs. The ’86 team was a juggernaut in the ’86 NFL, but the worst player on our practice squad today is better than the best guy on the ’86 team.

  7.  Emperor Norton says:

    LT excluded, of course.

    •  James Stoll says:

      No way that’s true
      The size issue aside, LT was 1000 times better than any LB we’ve had since. Carl Banks was 900 times better. Harry Carson 800 times better. Gary Reasons just better.
      Bavaro was 10 times better than any TE we’ve had since
      Phil Simms the equal of Eli Manning
      Landetta a better punter than Weatherford
      Our kicker stunk then; he stinks now.
      Our o-line is horrendous; the line back then was a finesse line
      Our RBs were on a par with what we have now.

      •  Valid says:

        Phil Simms is NOT the equal of Eli Manning, and a couple of bad games doesn’t suddenly mean that Tynes “stinks.”

        •  James Stoll says:

          Tynes has always stunk and Phil was a great QB. The difference between him and Eli, is that Phil starters with much worse team’s and he was seriously injured in each of his first 5 seasons. It was not until 84 that he played a full season.
          Phil was great. Anyone who watched him play and doesn’t recognize that doesn’t know football, is an idiot, perhaps a sub-human, and shouldn’t be allowed to post on this site. (That ones for you FF!)

  8.  G-MenFan says:

    This is dopey. In which era would the two teams play?

    If both teams played against each other in the ’80s, what Bavaro says is true.

    If both teams were to meet today, I can’t see the ’86 Giants winning with over 200 yards in penalties, and with the corners they had trying to cover the 2012 receiving corps.

    In 1986 you could jump offsides, as long as you got back before the snap. With the ticky-tacky rule modifications the ’86 Giants would be penalized to death in a modern game.

  9.  Krow says:

    So Sunday … I’m willing to bet that Ray Lewis leads the team out of the tunnel. They’ll take the field sky high. Naturally we’ll get the ball first. And that Raven defense will be flying at us. If we aren’t ready for this then it could go very bad very early. But if we are then we can use it against them … and roll them.

    The way we start the game is going to be of critical importance. If they stuff our offense then it’ll trigger a feeding frenzy … and Eli will be in for a long afternoon behind that sieve of an OL.

    •  Valid says:

      Yeah the Ray Lewis return thing really worries me, as well. That’s why I cringed when I saw he was not going be playing against Denver last week.

    •  James Stoll says:

      Although our defense stinks right now, maybe we should defer if we win the toss; they likely will if they do. I agree with your assessment of the first series if we have the ball.
      Knowing Gilbride it will be a bomb on first down, shotgun draw on second, and back shoulder out on third. Punt. Ravens ball on their own 40.

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