Big Blue Beginning to Smell Blood

18 Jan

It’s ironic, isn’t it?

They are only three seasons removed from that magical Super Bowl run. They beat  Jeff Garcia and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They beat Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowgirls. They beat the mighty Brett Favre and his Green Bay Packers. Then they beat previously undefeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Then there was the Plaxico Burress gun “incident”. What followed that day made even the most die-hard fans of this team upset. The first round exit as defending champs. Two years of dismal second half regular seasons leading to zero postseason appearances.

DeSean Jackson.

Who is this team? “They” are the New York Football Giants, and they are at it once again for another magical run at a championship. But to get there they still remain two wins away.

It can be argued that had the Giants not botched that punt return with Jackson last season, the Packers would have never made the playoffs last season. The Packers would have never won the Super Bowl.

But, as we all know, that is exactly what happened. And for almost three years now Big Blue has been looking for that signature win to put them back into the class of champions. They got it on Sunday at the hands of Aaron Rodgers and the defending champion Packers, and now the Giants are beginning to smell blood.

When you smell blood, you go for the kill. Two more wins will do that for New York. Two more victories and the core of the Super Bowl XLII champions will finally get their chance at redemption, and a well-deserved second title

It’s not going to be easy by any means. To get those two elusive left-siders the Giants will have to potentially get through two daunting defenses – Baltimore (288) and San Fransisco (308) ranked fourth and fifth in the NFL respectively in regards to total yards allowed per game during 2011-12 – or the overlooked (for much of the season) Patriots.

What is one of the key things that can help put New York over the top no matter who the opponent is? Well, that’s simple. Having a guy named Tom Coughlin by your side. That is proving to be the Giants organizations best move yet.

Giants owner John Mara has always stood by his head coach – and let the record show that I always supported TC too – even when the relentless New York media was calling for his head at multiple points since the Super Bowl victory.

Coughlin is a great coach. He is disciplined, he understands and has relationships with his players, and is the most successful coach in New York since a man named Joe Torre. Torre was another widely unpopular manager for the Yankees at certain points early in his career, even after a World Series title in his first season at the helm.

I have already noted that things haven’t always been easy for Coughlin and his Giants, but then again, when is it ever really easy? Isn’t that what ownership looks for in their head coach? Someone who can “weather the storm” and keep the team intact in hopes of better things when the storm passes?

Right now it’s fun to be a Giants fan.

Eli Manning – again, let the record show that I’ve always supported him as well – is proving to his critics that he is ELIte. His improved pocket presence makes him so dangerous because he can hit the big play receiver on the run. That is something Manning wasn’t able to do in the past. His leadership: invaluable. He is often soft-spoken, and it reminds me of another very successful New Yorker by the name of Derek Jeter.

Hakeem Nicks is peaking at the most opportune time. Teams have been so worried about @TeamVic (Victor Cruz) – who I do predict will get to do his first salsa dance on Sunday in San Fran – that Nicks has been left one-on-one more times than not. So far he has made the Atlanta Falcons and Packers pay. He is New York’s leading receiver in the playoffs with 13 receptions for 288 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The defense has also stepped up and enormous amount in past weeks. the D-line is getting great pushes on just about every play, which means a lot of getting to the quarterback no matter who he is. The secondary has also held its ground nicely. They aren’t the best or most popular players (Yes, Aaron Ross, I’m talking to you), but they also haven’t been five steps behind any opposing receiver at in point yet in the playoffs.

A win Sunday at San Francisco and one  more on February 5 in Indianapolis will catapult Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and Co. into legendary status. With two more victories the New York Football Giants will have completed another improbable run. In doing so, they will show once again that patience and great leadership have gotten them to the top once , and it can do it again.

The irony of another Super Bowl title will never be sweeter. Go for the kill and Big Blue can enjoy one of the world’s greatest sports spectacles: a ticker-ticket victory parade in New York City.

CJC

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