This morning I awoke, grabbed my phone and took a look at Twitter, because I have issues. Instantly I come across Jordan Raanan’s piece for Comcast titled, “Defending Champion Giants Getting No Respect.”
In fact, the title of the article should read, “Defending Champion Giants aren’t Worthy of Respect.” Sour grapes I know, but like it or not the 2011 Giants were the worst team to win the Super Bowl in recent history (except for maybe the 2007 Giants). An argument can be made that they were the worst team to win a Vince Lombardi trophy, EVER. But since I don’t have all the time in the world here, I’m going to stick to the last decade or so. Below is a statistical analysis of rankings and key indicators of overall performance. SRS is pro-football-reference’s Simple-Rating-System, we all know what DVOA is, and the others (point differential and wins) are self-explanatory.
Based on the numbers, the Giants were the 12th best football team in the regular season of the NFL last year. They snuck into the playoffs as the first NFC East division champion that didn’t win 10 games. They later became the first Super Bowl Champion to win less than 10 regular season games. Oh, and they didn’t outscore their opponents. The Giants lost to the 5-11 Washington Redskins twice. For Christ’s sake, Vince Young even engineered a victory against them.
Did the Giants get hot at the right time to streak to their 2nd Super Bowl victory in the last 5 years? Damn right they did. In fact, the 2011 Giants may have even been better than the 2007 Giants, a supremely mediocre team that, you guessed it, got hot at the right time. In the 2000’s no Super Bowl winning team before the 2007 Giants had an SRS rank lower than 7th – average excluding the Giants’ seasons was 3.3. The average SRS rating of the Super Bowl champs during this time was 8.6. The Giants won with a 1.6 and a 3.3 in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Average DVOA rank and rating was 4.5 and 23.2%. The Giants DVOA in 2011 and 2007 was 8.5% and 1.9%. During this same period Super Bowl winning teams scored on average 134 points more than their opponents. The Giants were outscored by 6 points last year.
So where’s the respect everybody? Maybe the viewing public, analysts, and players are smarter than given credit and can see they Giants were the St Louis Cardinals of the NFL last season. Lightning in a bottle.
Now I have to get back to crushing my sour grapes in my dark cellar of depression.