After letting the Super Bowl sink in for a couple of days (see: celebrate and enjoying the Giants win endlessly), I figured I would share a quick thought on everything as well. Eli Manning is elite, he is on his way to being a Hall of Famer and no one can deny his ability with his two Super Bowl MVPs.
The Giants continue to win when down and when many assume they can’t or shouldn’t win. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz have an argument for the best WR duo in the league. The Giants front four on defense, and especially when it is in the NASCAR package with Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka, is a devastating force and one of the best weapons any team has. We know all of these things; well, at least I have and preached it all year. Now that everyone is on board with all those facts, there is one more thing everyone should now: Tom Coughlin is a Hall of Fame coach.
No, this is not like Eli who needs a few more years to cement his status, even with the two Super Bowl wins and MVPs. This is a here-and-now fact, and Tom Coughlin is a Hall of Famer if he retired today. Forget the fact that Coughlin is the oldest coach to ever win a Super Bowl – that’s a neat fact and admirable, but it doesn’t do much for his Hall chances. What does help however, are his overall accomplishments.
Tom Coughlin ranks 19th on the all time wins list, tied with Jeff Fisher, at 142 wins. He is the only coach with less than 17 seasons coached to have that many (Marv Levy has 143 in 17, Coughlin’s are in 16 seasons). His playoff record is 12-7, which ties him with Bill Cowher at seventh all time and also has an edge with only seven losses compared to Cowher’s nine. He is the 13th NFL coach to notch multiple Super Bowl wins, and both of his wins came against one the most heralded coaches of all time, Bill Belichick. Coughlin is now 5-1 against Belichick, and in both Super Bowl matchups, the Giants weren’t supposed to win.
That is what might make this Super Bowl better than the 2007 season, although that’s a tough – yet fun – argument. This Giants team wasn’t supposed to make the playoffs and especially, the Super Bowl. Between the brutal schedule, the unending injuries and the gauntlet of playoff teams faced, the Giants should have never been here. Yet, when the team needed Coughlin, he was there – a steadfast leader who always handled the team in just the right way. It’s what the Giants have always needed, especially when hordes of fans and people called for his firing in 2007 and 2011, when ironically, they won the Super Bowl both times. I didn’t even mention that he and Eli set the record for consecutive road and neutral site wins this postseason, but that’s just another feather in Coughlin’s admirable career.
Tom Coughlin is a terrific and Hall of Fame deserving head coach. He’s shown different characteristics throughout the years from his overbearing style, to his red-faced yell-fests, to a new understanding and laid-back coach. If fact, who would have ever thought Coughlin would utter the words, “I love you guys,” in a team meeting? Yet, that’s just what happened this postseason. The Giants players didn’t always know what they needed to succeed, but Coughlin did. Without him, New York may never have hoisted a Lombardi trophy this year or the one in 2007 either. It’s very simple; Coughlin is a key factor in the Giants success and on his way to Canton.
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- In addition to covering the NFL, MLB, NBA, and College Football for RotoExperts, Jake Ciely (a.k.a "All In Kid") is also a poker fiend and a Maharishi in the world of sports wagering. Jake was a finalist for the FSWA's 2010 Newcomer of the Year award. You may email Jake @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JakeAllinCiely