It is not often that the defending Super Bowl champion flies under the radar. The New York Giants have done exactly that this offseason. Instead, the team that stole the headlines this offseason was the team they share a stadium with, the New York Jets. After the Giants 21-17 victory over the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl, they have faded into the background.
The defending champions opened up the NFL season last Wednesday against their rival, the Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo picked apart the depleted Giants secondary to the tune of 307 yards and three touchdowns. Now the question is, how concerned should they be in the Meadowlands?
The Giants have won two Super Bowls in the last five years, each of which was won after an opening week loss. In 2007, that loss was to none other than the Cowboys.
The G-Men have a way of playing poorly when everybody expects greatness. When there are no expectations, they seem to strive. Nobody had the Giants winning the Super Bowl prior to the start of last season. All the talk was about the new “Dream Team” in Philadelphia, and the Cowboys. Many believed that New York would struggle to keep a .500 record.
Instead, they captured the NFC East crown with a 31-14 romp of the Cowboys in week 17. They rode the momentum into the playoffs and took down Atlanta, followed by the 15-1 Green Bay Packers and the 13-3 San Francisco 49ers. The last two wins coming impressively on the road.
In the underdog roll yet again, the Giants took down Tom Brady and the Patriots for the second time in five seasons. Who’s to say that they won’t do this again?
The Giants loss in week one should not come as a huge surprise. The Cowboys have a strong offense, and obviously were motivated to step up on a national stage and show that they are ready for a strong season. Divisional games are always played with a different intensity, especially between teams that have been matching up against one another for as long as the Cowboys and Giants.
The NFC East could easily be the strongest division in football this season. The Eagles are looking to bounce back from a dreadful 8-8 season. The Washington Redskins are much improved with the addition of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. There are always high expectations for the inconsistent Cowboys and nobody seems to have the same opinion about the Giants.
The level of concern should not be very high at all in New York. The Cowboys took advantage of a broken down secondary in New York, who was missing former first-round pick, cornerback Prince Amukamara. The Cowboys have always shown that for one game, they can look like the best team in the league.
Giants fans shouldn’t be pushing the panic button just yet. Odds are, this division is going to battle and beat each other up all year long. It is just one game, and the G-Men will have 15 more chances to pick up wins.