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OT: Is it fair to compare the '07 Giants to the '01 Patriots?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by KontradictioN, Apr 17, 2008.

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  1. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A lot of people on this forum and some in the media have been comparing the 2007 New York Giants to the 2001 New England Patriots. Giants fans and other fans of NFL teams consider it a fair comparison. Some Pats fans do as well. However, some do not. Media analysts will argue that the Giants upset of the Pats far outweighs the Pats' upset of the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXVI because the Patriots carried an 18-0 record into the Super Bowl and hung 38 points on the Giants defense four weeks earlier. Here, I will argue for both sides and provide my on analysis. In the end, I will give my opinion then open it up for discussion.

    '07 Giants/'01 Patriots - The Stories

    The 2001 Patriots opened up the season by losing two straight games to the Bengals and the hated Jets. Many Pats fans remember this game for being a turning point in the history of the franchise. During the game, then quarterback Drew Bledsoe (who was having yet another forgetful performance) was the recipient of a devestating hit on the part of then-Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. Bledsoe fell injured and in stepped Tom Brady who could not overcome the Jets in the first action of his NFL career. After Brady came in, however, the offense starting to pick up some steam and the defense, under the supervision of assistant coach Romeo Crennel and defensive guru head coach Bill Belichick, was starting to click in the system. The Patriots began to win after that eventually closing out the season at 11-5 under the sudden leadership of Brady, and entered the playoffs as the number two seed in the AFC. In the divisional playoffs, the Raiders traveled to Foxboro for the infamous "Snow Bowl". This match-up was considered the coup de grace for Foxboro Stadium, and there was no better way to say goodbye. With thousands of rabid fans shouting their loudest, The Patriots captured the victory out of the hands of the Raiders via the infamous tuck rule. The Patriots then traveled to Heinz Field to take on the number one seed Pittsburgh Steelers. Brady fell in the first half with an ankle injury, but Drew Bledsoe stepped right in and guided the Patriots to victory and a chance to play in the Super Bowl. During media week, the Patriots were subject to a decision of whether to start Bledsoe or Brady in the Super Bowl. Brady ultimately won the shot to guide his team against the heavily favored offensive powerhouse Rams and, in the final minutes, guided the team down the field and put Adam Vinatieri in a postion for a game-winning field goal. We all know how that turned out.

    The 2007 Giants, like the Patriots came out of the gates 0-2. But, behind an aggressive defense stormed back winning six straight games and improving to 6-2. The Giants only real suspect presense was at quarterback and it showed in the second half of the season. In Week 12, Eli Manning threw four interceptions (including one that was returned for a touchdown) against the underdog Minnesota Vikings. The Giants record after the bye week was 4-4 to close out the season. However, on Week 16, the heavily favored 15-0 New England Patriots came to the Meadowlands to complete their undefeated season record as well as attempt to set records for passing and receiving touchdowns for Tom Brady and Randy Moss. The whole week, the Giants were mum about whether or not they would be playing their starters. In the end, the Giants did play their starters and gave the undefeated Patriots the game of their lives. The final score was 38-35 and quarterback Eli Manning had finally come out of his shell throwing for four touchdowns and one interception. Using the confidence they gained from the Patriots, the Giants stormed into the playoffs knocking off Tampa Bay in the wild card game, then stunning the number one seed Dallas Cowboys in a thriller at Texas Stadium. After that, the Giants entered Green Bay to play the Packers for the NFC Championship. Green Bay was frigid, providing the NFC it's own "Snow Bowl". In an overtime thiller, the Giants ended the game by picking off Brett Favre on his last NFL throw and returning it for a touchdown. The Giants then entered Super Bowl XLII to once again take on the undefeated New England Patriots. This game was nowhere near as high scoring as the last game of the regular season. In a defensive struggle, quarterback Eli Manning led the Giants to a late game-winning drive capped by a touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the back of the end zone. The Giants had stunned the heavy favorite Patriots to take the Super Bowl trophy.

    Analysis

    For it: When you look at their stories, both of them are similar in many ways. Both teams stumbled out of the gate, then regained their feet in route to a playoff berth. Both teams managed upsets in one way or another in the playoffs. The Giants over the Cowboys and the Patriots over the Steelers. Both teams were heavy underdogs in the Super Bowl. Both teams stunned the favorites using smother defenses. And, finally, both teams won the Super Bowl by three points. Both teams featured defenses at the top of their game and mistake free quarterbacks that thrived on picking teams apart over the middle of the field. The similarities and statistics are almost mind-boggling when you look at it that way.

    Against it: Both teams paths to the Super Bowl were similar, but were not the same. The 2001 Patriots saw their starting quarterback get hurt and a second year, unproven, quarterback taken in the sixth round take the reigns. The Giants have had Eli Manning at the position for years, but he finally clicked in the playoffs and decided to take what was given to him instead of trying to force the big play. The Giants finished the season at 10-6 as a wild card team while the Patriots finished at 11-5 as the second seed in the playoffs which includes a first round bye and one home game. The Giants played all of their playoff games on the road while the Patriots played one at home and one on the road. The similarties stick out when you read the story, but when you look closer, the roads aren't exactly the same.

    My Opinion

    In my opinion, I think that both teams had the same mindset through both of their seasons. Both teams were underdogs, neither was picked to go the Super Bowl, both won the Super Bowl. I'm not going to use the statistics to make my decision. Instead, I'm going by what I remembered of the Patriots in 2001 and what I saw of the Giants in 2007. Both teams were underdogs that capped the huge upset. I think the similarities in how both teams won are too much to argue against. In my opinion, the comparison is a fair one.
  2. Patriot_dynasty

    Patriot_dynasty Rookie

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    The BIG DIFFERENCE is what was expected from the starting QB. Manning was a Top draft pick...Brady was basically unknown and drafted with the rest of the "possibles" and did the impossible his first year as a starter. I find the Pats win in SB 36 more significant for that reason.

    Another biased answer from a Patriots Homer....thank you very much for asking.
  3. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I figured I'd get a lot of homer answers too. Try to remove your homer glasses and look at it objectively, if you can. But yeah, I agree. That is also the difference in the two teams.
  4. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Heres the difference....

    Unless the Giants win the Super Bowl in 2 of the next 3 years and Eli becomes Brady-Like then NO I cannot the compare the two teams,if you want to compare for 1 year then O.K. but I don't think the Giants will win another anytime soon nor do I see Eli becoming a superstar but more like a 1 year SB QB champion wonder joining guys like Doug Williams,Trent Dilfer and (probably) Ben Roethlisberger ect:
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This is just for the single seasons though. To try and compare the Patriots between '01 and '04 and the Giants between '07 and '10 would get way too complicated. Let's just stay on the single year.

    And actually, in just the one year, Eli can be compared to Brady in '01. Rarely tried to go over the top, stayed around the middle of the field, and took what was given to him. Tom Brady now? Not so much.
  6. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    If Eli could even come 50% close to what his brother has brought to the league then he will have been a good one,although he will never come close to Peyton or Tom nor will he win another SB IMO,I just feel he is one of those one year wonders as a SB MVP but would not be surprised if he has a decent but not spectacular career when all is said and done. in 8 years or so.

    That being said,I really like the kid and his persona,I think he is a decent guy - Brother Peyton despite being one of the greatest ever is an aZz though
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  7. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Oh yeah. I agree wholeheartedly. I hate the little mongoloid but I still think he'll have a decent career in the NFL. Nothing spectacular, but nothing as terrible as his first couple of years.
  8. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I don't think it could be worse than his first few years,It took Elway far more time to win a SB and his stats in his early career were beyond spectacular so you never know.

    I do think he needs a good coach all his career to bring out top potential as behind every great QB in NFL history sat a HOF or great coach behind the QB and Tom Coughlin IMO is a great coach who rightfully deserved a Championship last year finally during his excellent coaching career unfortunately it was at the hands of NE but what can you do?.
  9. blackglass3

    blackglass3 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I re-read Patriot Reign the other night, and the chapter about SBXXXVI...I swear, if you changed the names from then to now, it was like the exact same thing. Stifling defense, unknown players coming through, a close battle until the end, the pass happy high octane team shut down when no one thought they would be...it was uncanny.

    BUT, I do not think this will kick off a Giants dynasty.
  10. scott99

    scott99 Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    I am a Pats fanatic, and this may seem homer-ific, but I think what the Pats did in '01 was way more amazing. Look at the talent the Giants have compared to what the Pats had. The Giants defense is WAY more talented than what the Pats had in 2001 (except possibly the secondary). Then offensively, regardless of Manning's problems in the past, he had way more experience and success prior to his win than Brady. Offensively, the Pats could not come close to the Giants O of 2007. Look at the Pats receivers from 2001, Troy Brown & absofreaking nobody else. The Giants had a better running game than the Pats of 2001, better offensive line, receivers, etc. Then look at the teams the Pats and Giants faced in the Suber Bowl, The Pats faced probably the second greatest offense of alltime (behind the Pats of '07), with a weaker defense.

    Both great upsets and acievements, but the Pats SB win was more of an upset. Comparable, but I think the Pats had a tougher job than the Giants. Oddly enough, both teams lost to the teams they beat in the SB, in the regular season.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  11. TommyBrady12

    TommyBrady12 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    talk to me in a few years about the giants. We had a rookie QB win a super bowl (yes, rookie. brady took 3 snaps the previous season) without a whole lot of talent. just a lot of heart. otherwise pretty similar, although the giants won some impressive games on the road in TB, Dallas, GB and NE. We had home field for the Divisional round against the raiders and clearly benifitted from the bad weather.
  12. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ Rookie

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    A few days before XLII, I watched the America's Game film about the 2001 team. There's a point where Lawyer Milloy is talking about the regular season game against the Rams, where the Patriots played really well and lost a close one. He said that after the game, they were jubillant in the locker room, saying, "we can beat these guys -- we can beat the best."

    I knew XLII was going to be close when I saw that. Same thing about week 16 last year. Everyone on this board was so dismissive of the notion that the Giants gained a lot of confidence in that game, and that America's Game segment really was telling. I think anyone who denies comparisons between 2001 and 2007 just doesn't want to see them. The argument that we won't know if the two are comparable until we see if the Giants win 2 more in the next few years kind of misses the point I think.
  13. GoWhalers

    GoWhalers Rookie

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    If you work hard, you can certainly imagine a lot of similarities between the two teams.

    The most significant difference, however, is that the '06 Giants were an 8-8 team -- two games behind the SB-losing Eagles -- that won a tie breaker to get an NFC wild card berth, while the '00 Patriots were 5-11 and the worst of the (then 5-team) AFC East.

    In that context, the Patriots are a better rags-to-riches story.
  14. DisgruntledTunaFan

    DisgruntledTunaFan Rookie

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    From a Cowboys fan who has no like nor dislike for the Giants(frankly-I'm apathetic toward them, even though their fans are kind), they're not going to be much of a threat in '08.

    Their run was nothing more than a fluke, IMHO. Maybe all this good luck et al was a big make up from '97 and '02(and to some extent, '00 when Jim Fassel reportedly lazily prepared his team for that Super Bowl against the Ravens) when they got hosed by the refs et al every which way you can? I don't know-but this was pretty much their one, and last shot, and to give them credit, they took advantage of it.

    With that being said-they'll probably be 8-8 next year with everyone wondering "What the heck happened?".
  15. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat Rookie

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    Huh? Explain this post please.
  16. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat Rookie

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    I believe Brady was hurt later in the game. Bledsoe did add a touchdown though.
  17. patsfan39

    patsfan39 Rookie

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    technically he was a second year regardless if he played 0 snaps or 100 snaps his first year. Also don't forget the tuck rule
  18. PatsFan24

    PatsFan24 Rookie

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    I don't think it is the same thing, the Pats had NEVER won a SB to that point, and they pulled it off for the first time. There are some similaraties, but it is not the same, the 2001 Pats were a true mirical team, winning it when nobody thought it was possible. Why is it that fans in NY are so quick to rip on BB? Do they not remember how he helped them win 2 SBs? Maybe those were tainted also. NY Giants 86* 90*
  19. GoWhalers

    GoWhalers Rookie

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    Sorry, maybe my writing wasn't very clear.

    The point I was trying to make was that the comparison between the '07 Giants and the '01 Patriots doesn't hold up if you look at the two teams the year before they won the Super Bowl.

    The '06 Giants were a best-of-the-middle team that made the playoffs as a wildcard, whereas the '00 Patriots were the fourth-worst team in the AFC.

    In that context, if you look at the stories of the two teams, it looks more like the Giants steadily improved in '07 whereas the Patriots came out of nowhere in '01 (which is true).
  20. godef

    godef Rookie

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    First of all, what makes this OT?? :confused:

    Second of all, no comparison. Eli Manning and the NY Giants in 2007 played some awful stretches of football late into the season. I for one predicted the regular season finale would be critical for the G-men because I expected them to be fighting for their playoff lives.

    On the other hand, Tom Brady took over the 2001 Patriots early in the season, and after having put his two worse games behind him by week 8, he and the Patriots steadily improved in their climb to the Super Bowl.

    Anyone who really payed attention would not have been surprised the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl in 2001. But in 2007, we all expected the Giants to lose each step of the way, except perhaps in the wild card vs Tampa Bay.

    What really disgusts me are the so called experts who are putting the Giants as #1 in the pre-2008 power ratings, and this is not automatic cuz they won the SB, else the Pats by all intents would be #2, but I've seen them ranked as low as #4. The Giants simply got very hot in the playoffs, perhaps thanks to their inspired play in that season finale. Despite their deserved SB championship, in no way do I think they were the best team in 2007.

    These are the same experts who refused to consider the Pats as #1 in 2002 until they had blown out their first couple of opponents, although it turns out they were right. But likewise, I see no reason to expect the Giants to be the best team when the 2008 season begins.
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