2008 Giants = 2002 Patriots

We took some major flak earlier this summer when we posted our predictions for the NFC East. We had the Giants finishing last, with a record of 8-8. Multiple readers of our site, and posters at various NFL-related forums, declared that we were obviously bitter Patriots fans–guilty as charged. However, the 2008 Giants are eerily shaping up like the 2002 Patriots, a team that under-performed mightily following their Superbowl run.

The Run
After Mo Lewis of the Jets spanked Drew Bledsoe during week 3 of the 2001 season, none other than Tom Brady stepped in to lead the Patriots on an improbable run to the Superbowl. To do this, they beat an impressive Pittsburgh team on the road in the AFC Championship Game, and one of the best offenses ever to grace the field in the St. Louis Rams, featuring Marshall Faulk and Kurt Warner. The Patriots shut the Greatest Show on Turf down with a brilliant defensive scheme and a superb performance by the defense.

Following the departure of Tiki Barber, the 2007 New York Giants rallied behind Eli Manning and a strong defense to make the playoffs. After beating a strong Green Bay Packers team on the road in the NFC Championship Game, they stifled the most prolific offense the National Football League has ever seen, the New England Patriots. The Giants suppressed the Patriots’ aerial attack with an innovative defensive game plan and a yeoman’s effort from the defensive line.

The Catch
The Patriots failed to defend their Superbowl title in 2002. They finished with a record of 9-7, on the outside looking in at the NFL Playoffs, due to a horrendous run-defense, a poor offense, and a difficult schedule. The AFC East proved to be an incredibly tough conference, as the Patriots, Jets, and Dolphins all finished with identical 9-7 records. The Bills brought up the rear with an 8-8 record.

The Giants are facing some similar problems as the 2008 season approaches. The NFC East could easily have four teams at 8-8 or better, as the Eagles, Cowboys, and to a lesser extent, the Redskins are all poised to make a playoff run as well. The Giants defense has taken a hit with the retirement of Michael Strahan and departures of Kawika Mitchell and Gibril Wilson, while on the offensive side of the ball Jermey Shockey is gone.

Due to the strong similarities in the make-up of these two teams, don’t be surprised when Giants fans are booing the 12th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

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One Response to “2008 Giants = 2002 Patriots”

  1. Anonymous says:

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