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Killer D

Well, that wasn't the most exciting of SuperBowls. Certainly not a patch on the Giant victories over the Patriots in SB42 and SB46, or last year's thriller in Arizona when the Seahawks snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with the Worst Play Call in NFL History. The game was sloppy, with way too many turnovers, and a dearth of heroics on the offensive side of the ball.

The defenses, though... ah, those were a joy to watch. And the final result proved that even in this age of high-flying aerial circuses, one old truth still holds water:

Defense wins championships.

Peyton Manning has had a great career, and it was nice to see Eli's big bro walk off into the sunset with another ring (I do hope he has the sense to go out now, on top, rather than hanging on the way Unitas and Namath and Favre did)... but make no mistake, Peyton did not win the game. It was the Bronco D, first to last. They absolutely dismantled Cam Newton and the highest scoring offense in the NFL.

This game should be a lesson to the rest of the NFL... and especially to my own beloved New York Football Giants. When the Giants won those two SuperBowls over the Patriots, Eli Manning was MVP, and all that most people remember were his dramatic passes to David Tyree (in 42) and Mario Manningham (in 46)... but as great as Eli played, the D won those games too. The Giants pass rush terrorized Tom Brady from start to finish, just as the Denver D terrorized Cam this afternoon (especially apparent in SB42, when they held a New England offense that had been running up the score against opponents all year to a mere 14 points).

Defense has ALWAYS been a hallmark of the G-Men, since I was a kid. They had great Ds in their two earlier SB wins, under Parcells, as well... and going back to the 50s, the Giants were the first team to introduce their D at the start of games, the franchise where the chant "D-FENSE!" originated. Sam Huff, Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora... the Giants have always had a formidable D.

But of late they seem to have forgotten that. This season, the Giants defense ranked 32nd in the NFL. Dead last. Shameful. I still reel thinking of that 52-49 loss to New Orleans. How it could be possible for a Giants team to score 49 points and lose... the mind boggles.

Come draft day, I hope the Giants draft defense, defense, defense, defense. Picking up a few pass-rushers and run-stuffers in free agency would be a good idea as well. I think the Giants offense will be fine with Eli and Odell and our new coach (and I pray Victor Cruz comes back). But for the Giants to return to contention, they need a defense that scares people again. A defense like Denver's, that turned league MVP Cam Newton into a deer in the headlights.

Defense wins championships.

The Giants knew that once. Denver knows it now.

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( 38 comments )
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dedalvs
Feb. 8th, 2016 08:57 am (UTC)
Run D
Something I noticed just about every series was how deflated Carolina's run game was. They kept trying, but man... How depressing for them. The Panthers' D stopped C. J. Anderson on a couple third downs, but he still had some great runs (5, 6, 7 yards, in addition to his long one). The Panthers, on the other hand, had nothing. It really was a fascinating game to watch if you got yourself psyched up to watch defense.

I will say, though, that especially from the third quarter on, I looked at Manning's face and could've sworn he was thinking, "Wow, we're going to win this game, and I've played like garbage—and this is my last game ever. I guess I'm happy about this...?" Nice that his last pass was a completion for a score, even if it was a 2 pt conversion not a TD.

Compared to last year, though, I'll take this. I just can't stand seeing Bill Belichick hoisting a Super Bowl trophy.
Anthony DeMarco
Feb. 8th, 2016 09:21 am (UTC)
defense wins championships... but so do the Hogs!!!

we need a return to smashmouth nfc east football. sadly dallas is built that way right now, the rest of us need to catch up.
mikzey
Feb. 8th, 2016 11:05 am (UTC)
Cam Newton
What is your opinion on Newton storming out of the press conference after the match ?
grrm
Feb. 8th, 2016 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Cam Newton
It was childish.
Re: Cam Newton - bigbadbruin270 - Feb. 8th, 2016 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Cam Newton - GypsyDRB - Feb. 9th, 2016 01:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Cam Newton - kasumi007 - Feb. 9th, 2016 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Cam Newton - bigbadbruin270 - Feb. 9th, 2016 06:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Dan Vitiello
Feb. 8th, 2016 11:43 am (UTC)
Well said...
Our GMEN apparently have a lot of dough to spend this year. That, and good draft picks should make a big difference. In the meantime, go yankees. :)
boomkrashhh
Feb. 8th, 2016 11:45 am (UTC)
I thought that people would have given the Broncos more credit after the way they dismantled Brady.
I like Cam and think he's a great people leader but people drink the kool aid over offence too much.
Look at my Saints. Brees led the league in pass yards (and even missed a game) - but a deplorable defence meant they missed the playoffs...
Credit to the Broncos for immediately addressing that lesson learned after losing to the Seahawks two years ago.
gonzo21
Feb. 8th, 2016 12:07 pm (UTC)
Defense does indeed win championships.

Though it helps when a star quarterback bottles it. And for some odd reason they keep trying to run the same up the middle running play on almost every first down which keeps getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage.

But no, not terribly exciting. And the first one in years which I've sat up to the end to watch, which I'm sort of regretting now because here in the UK the game finished around 3:30am. But, it was a stunning display of defense. The BBC coverage had Osi Umenyiora as one of their commentators, and he was just absolutely loving it, a happy happy man watching the D run wild.
Peter Jung
Feb. 8th, 2016 12:12 pm (UTC)
Defense not only wins (Football) championships...
... in my experience, it also wins strategy games. I think you hinted at that with the cyvasse games in "Dance of Dragons" - and how the players lost them.
Keith Russell Dulak
Feb. 8th, 2016 02:06 pm (UTC)
Granted it wasnt the most exciting SB ever. But, Tom Brady* getting booed made it one of the best.
RPK_
Feb. 8th, 2016 02:08 pm (UTC)
Disappointed
I really thought Cam Newton would be Azor Ahai so I bet a gold dragon on the Panthers. But it turns out he was (f)Aegon :(.

Edited at 2016-02-08 02:15 pm (UTC)
joseirizarry
Feb. 8th, 2016 03:51 pm (UTC)
SP50
I cringed every time they sacked Newton, cant imagine the frustration.
gaspassman
Feb. 8th, 2016 03:59 pm (UTC)
Hey George, the Giants weren't in the Super Bowl. Hodor.
jlab2005
Feb. 8th, 2016 04:51 pm (UTC)
Well said! As a G-men fan, had to suffer through far too many games this season that could've been won if even a shred of respectable D had shown up. Really thought the Panther offense would carry them through despite Denver's D, but what really made this game exciting was seeing Cam get rattled, rushing throws, etcetera - his normally unshakeable offense becoming hit or miss from one play to the next. Made for a closer contest and an agreeable Super Bowl 50 (despite the ditched Roman numerals). It's nice to see Eli's big brother go out on top, as after all, it's most likely his "last rodeo" but most unlikely Cam's.
green_isnt_easy
Feb. 8th, 2016 05:22 pm (UTC)
I think Jets could take the same lesson and try to vary their defense more. I feel that our defense is sometimes too much of a good thing, and I would gladly trade Richardson for a really competent outside pass rusher.
grrm
Feb. 8th, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)
Jets defense is solid... but still nowhere near Denver's. You can always get better.
ATHuffman
Feb. 8th, 2016 05:51 pm (UTC)
Football and Yin and Yang
George-

The question is - can you have both? Teams rarely do. Mid-way through the season Denver recognized what it had, and modified it's offense accordingly. Last night Manning was a caretaker uninterested in taking chances because he didn't need too.

The Giants have the most intriguing WR talent to come along since... well maybe... since ever (ODB). They have a top 10 QB. They just hired a new coach and his pedigree is offense.

I agree that some of the questions come down to player talent. And I agree with your assertion that the Giant's need more talent on defense and their draft should be defensively focused.

There are other things at play, like time of position ( after all if your offense scores quickly - it puts your defense in a compromised scenario).

Do you think it reasonable given the teams assets for a sea-change in this area before next season?

Hope your well.
bart_leby
Feb. 8th, 2016 08:23 pm (UTC)
Mr Martin, do you know this Simpsons scene featuring the Denver Broncos? ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpOY4u8hL_E

Edited at 2016-02-08 10:05 pm (UTC)
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George R.R. Martin
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