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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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rmwick
Feb. 8th, 2016 08:36 pm (UTC)
Giants' Offseason
NYG can only get better on D, regarding yards allowed. Lucky for them, New York has roughly $50 million in cap space, one Top 10 pick (Shaq Lawson, anyone?), and a weak division.

Last season, I think, they were +7 in turnover differential, so they don't need ball-hawkers. I believe an improved running game could benefit the defense by keeping Romo, Cousins, etc off the field. Therefore, drafting a RB/O-linemen wouldn't hurt.


Edited at 2016-02-08 08:58 pm (UTC)
Sean F Gallagher
Feb. 8th, 2016 09:18 pm (UTC)
Actually though about you...
during the game George. The defensive play was impressing me so much, at one point I said (out loud) : Man I bet George is loving this game.

Edited at 2016-02-08 09:19 pm (UTC)
brianbrecker
Feb. 9th, 2016 12:06 am (UTC)
I was really pulling for the Panthers to get their first win. Damn. Good D, Denver.
Welp, DRAFT TIME. :D
threehourriverm
Feb. 9th, 2016 12:27 am (UTC)
I thought it was extremely exciting
Watching defenses dominate can be exciting as well. We had one of the greatest QB of all time realizing that he was limiting, and literally trying to just run out the clock, and trusting in his defense, in a 16-10 game. I live in Colorado and was pulling hard for the Broncos, and there was few things more exciting than knowing the #1 offense of the season was one TD away from taking the lead, but that the Broncos had Von Miller & Co absolutely dominating. I enjoy watching defense at least as much as offense, and seeing them rise to the challenge all game long was extremely exciting. We saw an absolutely dominant, exciting performance, it was just on the side that doesn't have the ball.
Scott Brown
Feb. 9th, 2016 02:53 am (UTC)
Most amazing stat to me: Denver allowed only 4 TDs in the playoffs vs the 1,3 and 4 scoring offenses
Pretty exciting day to be a Broncos fan, really proud of what that defense did with no offensive support at all.
OberynMattell
Feb. 9th, 2016 03:05 am (UTC)
Giants should blow it up. Trade Eli, Cruz. Make the team bad enough so that in two years they'll get the number 1 pick and be able to draft Josh Rosen (the next superstar QB). They might not even have to do this, McAdoo, Reese, and Spagnolo might make the team bad enough by his self.
bigbadbruin270
Feb. 9th, 2016 03:27 am (UTC)
Balance.
To me a team has to have a nice balance of offense and defense. The Pats are the prime example of this. Our D was in the top 10 even when we were without Collins, Hightower, McCourty, and Jones for extended periods of time. Our offense was one of the best in the NFL (until the injuries at least). We only lost to Denver by two points with a unhealthy offensive line, and we could have won that game too. Denver's offense needs to improve in the offseason seeing as a lot of their star D-men are up for free agency in the coming offseason.

Even the immortal Red Auerbach (the greatest coach in all of sports and who preached a defense first system) put together teams that could rack up the points. You can't win if you can't score more than the other team.

Also, I'm pretty sure the "D-FENCE!" chant was started in basketball not football.
Jimmy Potter
Feb. 9th, 2016 08:41 am (UTC)
Good Season
I have to say that I am surprisingly happy that the Broncos won. I thought I would have been rooting for the Panthers mainly due to my aversion to Peyton winning another title... but honestly, he didn't win it. The way I see it that Broncos defense that beat my beloved Pats so handily deserved to win the big one. And I don't even really mind that Manning got another ring because he is one of the best to ever play. He's no Tom Brady, but he's pretty great. I did feel a bit bad for Eli, the one thing he had over his brother and he got dragged back into the shadows...
guessingo
Feb. 9th, 2016 05:58 pm (UTC)
going back to the 50s...
My father told me a story about passing up on a date with a nice girl back when he was in high school to stay home and watch the Giants in the NFL championship game. He grew up in Brooklyn. The Giants lost like 50-0.

I am 41 and I am not taking getting older well. I like reading your blog when you write about things that took place before I was born. You make me feel young.
Ramsay Snow
Feb. 9th, 2016 08:30 pm (UTC)
Did anyone think of Beyonce's Bad Lips Reading song "La Fway" when you heard that song?
Chris Watson
Feb. 9th, 2016 10:56 pm (UTC)
Osi Umenyiora
Osi Umenyiora has been working this season as a pundit for the BBC's coverage of American football in the UK and I have to say, he is one of the best sports pundits on TV. Very funny and insightful. He sure loves seeing QBs getting sacked!
Ed Downey
Feb. 10th, 2016 05:27 am (UTC)
Brady Booed
Hey George,

What'd ya think of Brady getting booed? Say what you will of the pats but did the guy really deserve the jeers at a celebration such as that? The boos should be saved for game time imo
grrm
Feb. 10th, 2016 07:32 am (UTC)
RE: Brady Booed
I am not a fan of booing -- whether at the SuperBowl or the Hugo Awards.
Re: Brady Booed - bigbadbruin270 - Feb. 10th, 2016 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
koultpython
Feb. 10th, 2016 04:02 pm (UTC)
If the Patriots and the Cowboys played in the next Super Bowl, who would you root for? Also, what if the Jets and Giants played?
grrm
Feb. 10th, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC)
You are describing my nightmare SB and my dream SB.
Turknator
Feb. 11th, 2016 01:59 am (UTC)
Real Super Sunday
The Superbowl was the AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ☺
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