Saturday, February 13, 2016

What Giants win DOESN'T mean for Birds

I'm guessing you aren't up today for any long-winded, chin-stroking analysis of what the Giants' Super Bowl victory last night means for the Eagles.

What Giants win DOESN'T mean for Birds

The Giants defeated the Patriots, 21-17, in the Super Bowl on Sunday. (David J. Phillip/AP)
The Giants defeated the Patriots, 21-17, in the Super Bowl on Sunday. (David J. Phillip/AP)

I'm guessing you aren't up today for any long-winded, chin-stroking analysis of what the Giants' Super Bowl victory last night means for the Eagles.

That's good, because I'm not up for writing one.

All through the buildup for what to me became an inevitable Giants victory, I kept thinking about last year's big Super Bowl "lesson," and the bogus concept that every Super Bowl winner produces some sort of blueprint that ensures a Lombardi Trophy next season, if only another organization can copy it.

Last year the Packers won, despite an impressive log of injuries. Backups stepped in at key spots and Green Bay kept going. So the big revelation was that depth is super-important; Eagles management talked about this as part of its offseason planning. This is the "trend" that brought you Ronnie Brown, Steve Smith, Donald Lee, Jarrad Page and others who contributed next to nothing to an 8-8 season.

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I dunno what the Eagles will take out of the Giants winning the Super Bowl, despite having lost to Vince Young in November. If the lesson is that drafting guys who are really physically dominant, like Jason Pierre-Paul and Hakeem Nicks, is maybe more important than drafting guys who are captains and good citizens, that might be an OK thing. If the lesson is that "hey, that could have been us, the Giants were 7-7 at one point," well, that would not be a good thing.

I think the Giants won the Super Bowl for two reasons: What should have been a dominant defense all year long woke up, got healthy, or whatever, in December. And Eli Manning was the best quarterback in the postseason.

That last part was the most important; it was what separated the Giants from, say, the 49ers. Eli was sacked 11 times in the playoffs - more than any other quarterback. He still completed 65 percent of his passes, threw for nine touchdowns and was intercepted exactly once. His QB rating was 103.3. He averaged 304.8 passing yards per game.

Good luck copying that "blueprint," NFL GMs. And Eagles fans, do you really see Michael Vick throwing for nine touchdowns and one interception?

In asking the question, don't think I'm mindlessly bashing Vick. I'm not -- Tom Brady didn't do what Manning did, quite, which is why the Patriots aren't the team providing the "lesson" for everyone today. Brady made exactly two Super Bowl mistakes -- the first-play safety and then the interception, when his team was rolling. Otherwise he was spectacular. It wasn't enough.

Manning, for all his foibles, is the reason the Giants have two Super Bowl rings the past five years, an era in which they have never really been a dominant regular-season team. He is lethal, a stone killer, on the biggest stage. The Eagles just don't have that guy. Most other teams don't, either. Including the Patriots.

Also, teams that want to copy the Giants' blueprint should practice having their fumbles bounce straight into the arms of teammates. That helps, too.

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