Over the coming days I will attempt to explain how the New York Giants went from a 7-7 disaster to Super Bowl Champions. They defied statistics and doubters while taking down teams that odds-makers still say they can’t beat. Las Vegas released lines for hypothetical rematches of the Giants’ road to the Super Bowl and they would be underdogs to the Patriots, Packers and Saints. At least we all agree now that they are better than the 49ers. It’s hard to blame the doubters though. No team with an offense or defense ranked lower than 25th had ever made the Super Bowl, both the Patriots and the Giants changed that. No team that went 9-7 in the regular season had ever won the Super Bowl. No team that was outscored in the regular season had ever won the Super Bowl. No team with a four game losing streak had ever won the Super Bowl. Until now.
For the first installment I need to recognize the second most criticized man on the Giants: Tom Coughlin. The much maligned head coach was called old, stubborn and too strict for today’s game. He may not be the Ra Ra type of coach as the Harbaugh brothers, but with this veteran led team he doesn’t need to be. I was always frustrated by the lack of originality in the game plan each week, but Coughlin has never claimed to be a strategic genius like Bill Belichick. Every week the scheme was: we have good players and if we line up and execute to the best of our ability we can beat anybody. It turned out to be true.
Now Coughlin goes from old, strict and boring to experienced, passionate and consistent. I never put much faith in the positive spin on coach Coughlin and I must admit I was wrong. Coughlin handled the ebbs and flows of the season by trusting his players to right the ship themselves. They corrected mistakes as the season went on, getting tricked on an on-sides kick once, but not twice, the offensive and defensive lines played better down the stretch and Eli became elite. It was in large part because of Coughlin that Big Blue was able to bounce back from their horrible losses to run off six straight victories and win the Lombardi Trophy. Many are speculating as to whether or not Coughlin will retire and ride off into the sunset, but the oldest coach to ever win the Super Bowl has said he will stay as long as management will have him he will stay. I’m a believer now, so I guess it’s time to change the “Giants Suck, Fire Coughlin” campaign to “Keep Kool with Coughlin.”
How has Tom Coughlin’s legacy changed with this victory? Let us know what you think via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a comment.