Why New York Giants Should Be Considered Super Bowl Contenders
The New York Giants are two-time Super Bowl Champions. And with the way they are playing right now, their third Super Bowl championship seems likely. As is evident from the many crucial changes they’ve brought about in the side, the team has understood the importance of well-knit strategies and consistency to be able to make a stronger, balanced side.
These changes are some of the major reasons as to why New York Giants should be considered Super Bowl contenders.
Changes in Management
One of the biggest changes seen in the New York Giants was the stepping down of coach Tom Coughlin. He had been with the side for the past twelve years and led the team to two improbable Super Bowl championships against the New England Patriots. However, the Giants were found struggling under his coaching in recent years. They were unable to record a winning season in three straight years. It was expected that owner John Mara would fire Coughlin when the veteran coach stepped down himself earlier this year. He was succeeded by Ben McAdoo, who was the team’s offensive coordinator in 2014-15. Keeping his performance in view, owner Mara and GM Jerry Reese decided to promote him to the position of head coach rather than hiring someone from outside the organization.
Steve Spagnuolo continues to serve as the defensive coordinator, even though the last season the defense gave away the third-most yards in the history of NFL. This is not far behind the defense Steve coached in New Orleans (2012) which recorded NFL’s worst ever.
Giants Sign Top Players for Defense
Fortunately for Coach McAdoo and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Mara was willing to spend to get the best players on his team. The defensive end, Olivier Vermon was among the biggest beneficiaries. His $85 million deal includes a base salary of 41.75 million, a $20 million signing bonus, a whopping $52.5 in guarantees, along with a $7 million roster bonus and $250,000 annual workout bonus.
Besides Vernon, the Giants signed on defensive tackle Damon Harrison ($46.25 million), Cornerback Janoris Jenkins ($62.5 million) and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul ($10 million).
Drafting Alabama Safety Landon Collins
The Giants traded their 2nd, 4th and 7th round pick to move seven spots up from number 40 to 33. Landon Collins leads all safeties with 87 tackles, three sacks, five interceptions and ten passes defended. Since Green Bay’s LeRoy Butler in 1996, he is the first player in the league with at least three sacks and five interceptions through the season’s first ten games. He is also the first Giant since 1968 to have five interceptions in a span of four games. Collins stands as the first player of the New York Giants to win a “Defensive Player of the Week Award” in consecutive games and the first defensive player to win this honor consecutively since Chicago’s cornerback Charles Tillman in 2012. He’s also the first safety to achieve the feat since Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu in 2010.
Talking about Collins, New York Giants linebacker Jonathon Casillas told Newsday, “I don’t know who’s playing better than him in the NFL right now. He’s at the right place at the right time. He’s making tackles, pass breakups, sacks – he’s doing everything.”
Collins intercepted a pass for the fourth straight game leading the Giants to a 2-1 win over the Bears. He also intercepted two passes against the Rams on October 23rd, got another against the Eagles on November 6th and then intercepted a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals on the 14th of November. The New York Giants emerged as the winners in all four of these games. With striking numbers and game-winning performances, Landon Collins has made a strong case to win the Defensive Player of the Year honor for 2016. The exceptionally talented player is just 22 years of age.
In a Gist
Whether or not the Giants bag the Super Bowl trophy this season remains to be seen. With games against the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, the team has still got a long way to go. But having analyzed and evaluated their weaknesses and taken steps to address them, the New York Giants are coming forth with a balanced side and a plan that is aimed to make them consistent winners rather than ‘accidental’ ones. They’re being seen as a constant threat and with their roster and record; they are indeed a strong contender for the Super Bowl LI.