Alright I know I'm late but I've been busy (started a job with Continental Airlines the day after the NFC Championship game) and had I done this right after the Super Bowl it would've been nothing but "AAAAAAHHHHHHAAAAAAAHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE FUCKIN GIANTS WON THE FUCKIN SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!! LOLZ!!!!!!!!!!!" and that would've been retarded.
First off let me say that I'd never been more proud to be a Giants fan than I was the night of Feb. 3rd 2008. I've been alive for all three of the Giants' Super Bowl Championship runs however I was 2 and 6 years old, respectively, during the first two. I hadn't been able to completely appreciate the fact that my team had won the biggest sporting event in the United States (second in the world only to the World Cup) for the first time in seventeen years. I cried for almost 20 minutes after the game and still have a bit of a hard time believing that it actually happened.
Now... There were a lot of times during the season where people gave up on the team. I was never one of them. Did I think that a victory in the Super Bowl was possible? Yeah... but that was just the completely-oblivious-to-reality Homer in me. In fact I saw us making the playoffs but I didn't expect anything more than a victory in the WC round. To go into Tampa, Dallas, Green Bay (in that incredibly horriible -8973629873529384752983260 degree weather) and then travel to Arizona and pull off what I feel was the Greatest Upset in the History of SPORTS was unprecedented. That may be a little homerish, but if it isn't the greatest in sports it's definately the greatest in football history (IIRC Unitas missed 3/4 of the Jets-Colts SBIII Matchup. It's not an upset if the best player in the game isn't on the field).
QB - What can I say? He had some great "Ups" (Dallas Week 1 and New England Week 17) and he had some really terrible "downs" (Minnesota... ugh), but it was from week 17 on that Eli Manning made a statement to the league. "I'm not JUST Peyton's little brother." is what his play said to everyone from the media to the fans to his fellow players in the NFL. After last season ended (Let's not turn this into Tiki bashing) I told a few people that "Eli would be better off without him because he would lose his security blanket. That alone would force him to become a better player and a TRUE leader." That came true as Eli became a more assertive leader and can now be known as Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning. Final Grade - A
RB - In my Mid-Season Review I said that we had a 3 headed monster at RB in Jacobs, Ward, and Droughns. I was wrong. With his strong performance near the end of the season and in the playoffs, Ahmad Bradshaw showed that he had no intention to remain as the 4th string RB that just returned kickoffs. While Jacobs and Ward worry me with their durability, Droughns and Bradshaw give me closure in knowing that they can be just as effective. Our RBs ended the season with 469 Carries for 2148 Yards 4.6 YPC (tied for 3rd in NFL) and 15 TDs. THAT is impressive. BTW... Madison Hedgecock is a BEAST. Final Grade - A-/B+
WR/TE - I said it in my Mid-Season review... It's scary knowing that this group could've been so much better had they just caught the ball when it was thrown to them. Our receiving core (including RBs) led the NFL in dropped passes. Some of those were Manning's fault, however most of them weren't. Jacobs, Toomer, Matthews, Moss, Smith, Burress... all of them had drops in key situations that made even the most optimistic Giants fan cringe. That being said... this group did some great things as well (and I'm not just talking about David Tyree's "Greatest Play in Super Bowl History". Plaxico Burress showed a lot of grit and determination this year playing on a torn up ankle. Toomer now leads the team in catches (passing Tiki Barber) and Touchdowns (Passing Kyle Rote). Steve Smith may have cemented himself as a difference maker in this offense and David Tyree... What the hell? How did you make that catch!? Hopefully Moss will come around someday. Final Grade - B
OL - Our Offensive line was a great group this year. Underrated would be an understatement. Although McKenzie has brain farts every once in a while and lets his defender into the backfield without any problems he's been solid. O'Hara and Seubert have been nothing short of very good. Snee should've been a Pro Bowler. And Diehl stepped in and did a fantastic job at LT. Manning was sacked 28 times this year, however compared to the 49ers and Chiefs (tied at 55) that's nothing. Excellent job by the O-Line. Final Grade - A
DL - New York Giants... Fly High... You Know This... BAAAALLLLLIIIINNNN!!!!! Oh wait... that was last year. Once again the Defensive Line was the strength of our defense, but this year that actually saying something. The team of Strahan, Umenyiora, Tuck, Robbins, Cofield, Alford, and even Tollefson made our unit the most feared in the NFL. I'm really hoping that Strahan comes back for another season and Osi stops all the whining about his contract. The defense wouldn't be the same without them. Final Grade - A+
LB - Up to the mid point in the season I was not impressed with this group. I thought that they hadn't played anywhere near the level that they were capable of playing. They proved me to be correct in that assumption. They LB play picked up in the 2nd half of the season by making stellar plays again and again. Mitchell had an outstanding season and far outperformed my expectations. I wish him well in his future with the Bills. Pierce's season could be summed up in one play. Look no further than the effort that he gave on the screen pass in the NFC Championship game. Final Grade - B+
DB - Although they started out underperforming, this group stepped up to another level the final weeks of the regular season and on into the playoffs. Aaron Ross was a great addition and will only continue to grow. Webster lost his starting job at the beginning of the season but towards the end he showed signs of becoming a very good corner. Our Safeties have some issues that I expect to be handled during the draft and after the June 1st cuts. Final Grade - B-
ST - This group was terrible (with the exception of Feagles) during the 1st half of the season but as the 2nd half came and went they became more and more solid. Hixon is a freakin beast as a KR and if Mc25s breaks a tackle (or holds onto the ball... Green Bay) watch out. He may be old but he's definately crafty. Tynes made me want to pull what little hair I have out in the NFC Championship until he nailed that 47-yarder that sent us to the Bowl and I hope that Feagles never retires. Final Grade - B+
Coughlin - I applaud you for coming to terms with the fact that the "General Tom" act couldn't fly with today's players. You changed your ways and look where it has you. Without a doubt... you deserve my apologies for bashing you last season... and your new contract. Final Grade A+
Spagnuolo - Thank you for staying. Thank you for once again making our defense feared. Thank you for using Corey Webster the correct way. Final Grade - A++++++++++++++++
Gilbride - While you showed promise the final 5 weeks of the season... IT TOOK YOU UNTIL THE FINAL FIVE WEEKS OF THE SEASON TO REALIZE THAT YOUR GAMEPLANS WEREN'T WORKING!!!!!!!!! Seriously... 52 passes in week 15 when the wind gusts were around 2398572639857629385610276582086528mph? WTF is that? Anyway... at least you changed. Great job with the offense at the end of the season and in the playoffs. Final Grade - B/B-
Man I can't wait for the draft on Saturday. I can't wait for training camp! I can't wait for opening day when after all of the ridiculous concerts and nonstop talk about how we aren't even the best team in our division, we get announced to a roaring crowd at Giants Stadium as THE DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPION... NEW YORK GIANTS! We should do this "Winning the Super Bowl" thing more often.
Oh BTW... Just in case any of us forgot...