The 2016 New York Giants are far from elite — but are they Super Bowl contenders?
After all, the Giants have won two Super Bowls in the past decade with less-than-stellar regular-season teams, which has some people comparing this year’s squad to the championship teams of recent vintage. Just don’t bring that noise around FS1’s Nick Wright and Mike Lombardi. On this week’s "Make Me Smarter" football podcast, Wright and Lombardi explained why those comparisons don’t hold the slightest bit of water.
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Lombardi then broke down what exactly prevents this Giants team from being a Super Bowl contender:
As Lombardi notes, the Giants defense is undoubtedly playing better in the second half of this season. In fact, New York is in the top five in scoring defense and top 10 in yards allowed per pass and rushing attempts.
What truly sets this Giants team apart from the previous Super Bowl winners, however, is the offense. As Wright points out, the 2011 team combined an elite pass rush with one of the league’s best passing attacks, as Manning posted a career high in passing yards to go with 29 TDs and 16 INTs.
And in 2007, the Giants bolstered their outstanding defense with an extraordinarily efficient running game of their own. New York finished the season fourth in rushing yards and yards per attempt, eighth in total rushes and seventh in rushing touchdowns. Although the passing game floundered during Manning’s first Super Bowl season, the Giants managed to hover right around league average in scoring offense and total yards from scrimmage. That was enough to let the defense carry them to a Super Bowl.
This season, though, New York is dead in the water on offense, ranking 21st in both scoring and total offense headed into Week 13 — and without a sudden and vast improvement on that side of the ball, the Giants are incapable of reaching the same lofty heights as they did in 2007 and 2011.