Can the New York Giants Repeat As Super Bowl Champs?
There has been a repeat Super Bowl champion just eight times since the game was introduced to the world way back in 1967.
The Green Bay Packers won the first two. Five years later the Miami Dolphins won the first of two consecutive titles. Then the Pittsburgh Steelers did it right after them, and again three years later.
Needless to say, it's not often that someone runs the table one year, and does it all again the next.
Maybe, and maybe not.
After all, what the Giants are setting out to do hasn't happened in nearly a decade. But in that same breath, it's worth noting that it has been done four times in the last 25 years. Not insanely positive numbers, but like Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) says in Dumber and Dumber, there's still a chance.
A chance, sure, but arguably not one that's very realistic. Let's break down why the Giants won't be making a repeat victory lap at next year's Super Bowl:
The funny part of this argument is that the Giants actually were hit with injuries in 2011. Like, big time, and they still won it all. Their secondary was decimated early, and Ahmad Bradshaw missed time with his usual foot problems.
Still, by the time the playoffs rolled around, the Giants were basically 100% healthy. They weren't the same 9-7 team that barely won their division and snuck into the post-season. They were suddenly a well-oiled machine that was prepared for battle.
But come 2012, things might not be all rainbows and sunshine. Perhaps a couple big names on their squad go down and stay down. Maybe Eli Manning gets hurt in week 17. Think their chances to make another run are as good with David Carr under center? I didn't think so.
And the worst part is that New York is already entering 2012 behind the curve. Both of their top tight ends from 2011, Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, may not even play in 2012 due to serious knee injuries.
Loss of Key Starters
Osi Umenyioa is rumored to be wanting out, and he may get his wish. While the Giants routinely prepare for situations like these by beefing up an always stacked and ready d-line, the potential loss of a guy who can still be a game-changer could have a negative impact.
Aaron Ross, Brandon Jacobs, and Mario Manningham are already gone, to the Jaguars, and 49ers, respectively. Ross was a quality nickel corner who could end up being missed, while Jacobs's and Manningham's departures could mean two rookies (David Wilson and Rueben Randle) could see a lot of playing time.
Depending on how ready they are to help out in their first year, the change could potentially be very bad.
The Giants are a good, well-coached, balanced football team. But they're not the only one. There are more potent offenses, and there are more consistent defenses.
You can't knock what this crew can do in the playoffs. When they have their minds right, they can march into anyone's den and put them in the dirt. However, the NFL is full of elite teams that are waiting to strip them of their heavyweight belts.
Just look at the Packers. They went 14-0 and ended up having their 16-0 hopes dashed by the Kansas City Chiefs, of all teams. Green Bay was hunted all year, and finally they ran out of gas and lost to an inferior squad. That's what happens when you're the defending champions. Even the Chiefs think they can beat you, and the minute you take the foot off the pedal, they will.
Regular Season Woes
New York isn't a great regular season team. Just look to last year. They were a 9-7 Super Bowl champion because they struggled all the way through the 2011 season, and even at one time road a four-game losing streak.
In fact, they've won more than 10 games under current head coach Tom Couglin just twice, while finishing 10-6 or worse six times. Those aren't the numbers of a dominant team.
History Tells the Rest
Ultimately, it comes down to logic and history. History tells us most of what we need to know, because the most important thing to remember is that there are 32 NFL teams that all want to be the final team standing when the season ends. There's major parity in the league these days, and injuries and roster changes can majorly affect a team's chemistry and performance.
Overall, the Patriots are the last team to appear in and win back-to-back Super Bowls, but unfortunately for the Giants, an NFC team hasn't been to two straight Super Bowls since the Packers did it in 1997 and 1998. That was almost 15 years ago.
And forget about an NFC team actually winning both title games. No NFC team has done that since the Dallas Cowboys hoisted two Lombardi Trophies back in 1993 and 1994 - nearly 20 years ago.
Perhaps the Giants are better than I - or we - think. Maybe they'll buck the trend. But I wouldn't bet on it.
Think the Giants will repeat? Comment below!