New York Giants Superbowl Similarities

Joseph BarattaContributor IIIMarch 14, 2012

New York Giants Superbowl Similarities

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    The New York Giants have won their fourth Superbowl in franchise history. Just four years after winning probably their greatest Superbowl of all time, once again the New York Giants shocked the world and upset the New England Patriots and sports writers that counted them out.

    And the similarities between Superbowl XLII (42) and XLVI (46) are very unique. In fact it is safe to say there are quite a few similarities within all of the New York Giants' Superbowl Championship teams.

    After observing the season the New York Giants had this year, it was very interesting to discover the similarities of the championships. Some people can call it a coincidence, some people call it fate and some people call it resiliency.

    The similarities between Superbowls 42 and 46  (and even 21 & 25) are very interesting to observe.

    Feel free to take a look at the relationship that is shared between the Superbowl seasons that have been claimed by the New York Giants.  

An Issue Put to D-End

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    The irony of this comparison is the defensive ends that were involved. In 2007, the defensive end facing a dilemma with the New York Giants was all-time New York Giant great (and future Hall of Famer) Michael Strahan. This previous year the New York Giants faced a huge dilemma, with Pro-Bowler and Giant great Osi Umenyiora. And those two were a dominating force on the defensive line — talk about irony!

    In 2007, the Giants faced a big dilemma with Michael Strahan. Strahan was considering retiring from football after the 2006 season. But ultimately he decided to go one final round with the New York Giants in 2007. He missed all of training camp which consequently cost him $200,000 in fines. But he returned, and won his first and only Superbowl!

    The 2011 New York Giants again confronted another issue, Osi Umenyiora apparently wanted more money (which he deserved) or wanted to be traded. This is ironic considering he said in 2010 that he wanted to remain a New York Giant or he would retire. But the point is, Osi was drawing as much attention as Michael Strahan was in 2007. In the end, the issue was settled, and Osi got a second Superbowl ring. Now Jason Pierre-Paul believes Osi deserves the raise he wanted.

    It is safe to say that in 2007, without Michael Strahan, the Giants probably wouldn't have won their greatest Superbowl of all time. And in 2011, Osi Umenyiora contributed and helped his team win another Superbowl. Without Osi who knows what would've happened.

    Hopefully Osi is a New York Giant for life.

    The coincidence in this issue is completely ironic. Hopefully, the Giants don't have to have an issue with their star defensive ends in the future to win another Superbowl. Just comparing 2007 and 2011 defensive end issues says a lot in this comparison list.

Missed Training Camp

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    The only comparison in this case was Michael Strahan missing all of training camp in 2007. However in 2011, the entire New York Giant team missed most of training camp.

    As mentioned in the previous slide, NFL fans everywhere that know Michael Strahan know he missed training camp in 2007, because he didn't want to go.

    In 2011, training camp was cut down due to the NFL lockout. It seems the more training camp the Giants missed, the better they were in the playoffs.

    YES, THIS IS A GIANT COINCIDENCE, (NO PUN INTENDED). But the comparison is once again ironic and fun to point out. This probably didn't contribute to the Giants winning the Superbowl, but then again it is ironic how missing more training camp allows a team to reach the Superbowl.

    Apologies for using the word, "ironic", but there is no other word to describe it!

Drafting a Cornerback in the First Round

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    This is an unusual coincidence between Superbowl XLII and XLVI.

    In 2007, the Giants drafted corner back Aaron Ross out of The University of Texas. Ross stepped up big in his rookie year with Big Blue.

    In 2011, the Giants lost starting cornerback Terrell Thomas to a torn ACL during preseason. As a result of that, Aaron Ross would become the No. 2 starting cornerback for the Giants. And it seems that when Ross was one of the starting cornerbacks in 2007 and 2011, the Giants won the Superbowl (but that is just another "Giant" coincidence).

    The similarity in this is in 2011 the Giants decided to draft Prince Amukamara from Nebraska. While Amukamara started off slow for the Giants but continues to progress, the irony of drafting him in the first round selection has resulted in the Giants winning another Superbowl. That similarity can't go unnoticed.

    Again, it is an unusual coincidence that in 2007 and 2011 when the New York Giants drafted a cornerback in their first round draft selection, they went on to win the Superbowl.

An Unknown Tight End

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    Before the 2011 season started, the Giants faced a difficult challenge in replacing their new star tight end, Kevin Boss. But they managed to do well when they brought in Jake Ballard. Like Boss, Ballard's rise to the Giants tight end position was a challenge.

    In 2007, Kevin Boss became the Giants' star tight end when the they lost Jeremy Shockey to a broken leg for the remainder of the season. Immediately, Boss became a fan favorite for New York Giant fans. Kevin Boss manage to be one of Eli Manning's favorite targets during the postseason, and Boss made a big play in the Superbowl that started one of the two critical drives that gave the Giants their third Superbowl.

    Unfortunately, all good things came to an end at the beginning of the 2011 season. Boss decided to leave New York to go play for the Oakland Raiders. The Giants' solution to Boss' departure appeared to be Travis Beckum. Beckum started off the year with injuries, so the leading tight end role fell to Ballard.

    Ballard had an "okay start", but once the Giants met the New England Patriots in week 8 of the regular season, Ballard made an impression. Ballard (like Boss) became one of Eli Manning's favorite targets. Unlike Boss however, Ballard kept dealing with injuries as the weeks progressed, which forced Beckum and Bear Pascoe to fill the voids. The Giants eventually got Ballard back, but unfortunately lost him and Beckum in the Superbowl.

    Unlike 2007, when the Giants had one tight end to fill in the void left by Jeremy Shockey, in 2011 the Giants had three tight ends that filled in the void left behind by Kevin Boss.

    But now the Giants are facing a serious issue. With Ballard as a free agent and still recovering from a torn ACL, will he be ready for the season? Highly doubtful, and will Travis Beckum be ready for the season? Again it is doubtful.

    The only tight ends who will be ready next season are Bear Pascoe (who is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent but it is likely he will be back) and Christian Hopkins. So who will be the Giants' next "star" tight end? It's anybody's guess now.

More Road Wins Than Home Wins

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    The New York Giants have been given a new nickname titled, "The Road Warriors". It seems like the Giants do better on the road than they do at home, which is not a good sign, but it's not a bad one either.

    In 2007, The New York Giants' home record was 3-5. Whereas their road record was 7-1. During the postseason, the Giants were a wild-card team and had all of their games on the road. They went to Tampa Bay and won, they went to Dallas and won, they went to Green Bay and won. Then finally they went to Arizona and won against the Patriots, who were the home team. The only three home wins for the Giants in 2007 were against the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers.

    With the entire 2007 season (including the post season) the Giants had a record of 14-6. Of the six losses only one was one the road. And of the 14 wins 11 were on the road.

    The Giants were given their "Road Warrior" nickname again in 2011, when they apparently won more road games than home games. Their home record for the 2011 was 4-4. On the road, the Giants were 5-3. Entering the postseason, the Giants won their only home game against the Atlanta Falcons. After beating Atlanta they traveled to Green Bay and won. Then they traveled to San Francisco again and won a second time. Finally they traveled to Indianapolis and were the away team again in the Superbowl, where they once again beat the New England Patriots to win their fourth Superbowl.

    The Giants finished the entire 2011 season with a record of 13-7.

    With more road wins than home wins in both championship seasons, it would seem appropriate that the "Road Warriors" title be given to the 2007 and 2011 New York Giants.

No. 93 Makes a Big Play in the Superbowl

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    To keep this one short, in 2007 the New York Giants managed to get to Tom Brady on the final drive of the game in the Superbowl when Jay Alford ( No. 93) sacked Brady on second down. The Giants then stopped the Patriots from completing two passes which resulted in the Patriots losing Superbowl XLII.

    Coincidentally in 2011, another player wearing No. 93 made a critical play against the Patriots in Superbowl XLVI. This time 93 was being worn by middle Linebacker Chase Blackburn, who returned to the Giants in the middle of the season after teaching math to school students.

    Blackburn intercepted a pass thrown by Tom Brady intended for Ron Gronkowski. The interception not only sparked the Giants into turning the game around in their favor, but it stopped the Patriots' drive in the Superbowl.

    No. 93 looks like it's a blessing in disguise for the New York football Giants in the Superbowl. First Jay Alford's sack on Tom Brady in the Patriots' final drive in 2007, then Chase Blackburn's interception in 2011.

    It would appear that numbers are a key factor in the game of football.

Mario Manningham: The New David Tyree of the Superbowl

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    Mario Manningham and David Tyree now have a common moment in which they can share, and fans can replay over and over again.

    Nobody will ever forget the famous "helmet catch" made by David Tyree in the 2007 Superbowl. And in this year's Superbowl, football fans will take a good look (especially Bill Belichick) at the amazing catch made by Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham.

    The one similarity these two catches share, is that they were both game-defining catches. They came up big for the New York Giants within the fourth quarter of the Superbowl that eventually led to the game-winning touchdown in both Superbowls XLII and XLVI. 

The Final Drive

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    The New England Patriots' final drive in both Superbowls were devastating to the organization. While both Superbowls had different plays and different results, they both managed to give the same outcome.

    The similarities between the Patriots' final drive in both Superbowls include Tom Brady almost getting "picked off", Brady getting sacked, Brady's last throw of the season being an incomplete pass intended for No. 81 and the result of both Superbowl XLII and XLVI. 

    Patriots' final drive:

    Superbowl XLII:

    1st & 10:  Tom Brady throws an incomplete pass which was almost intercepted by James Butler

    2nd & 10: Tom Brady sacked by Jay Alford. Loss of ten yards. 

    3rd & 20: Tom Brady throws a Hail Mary  incomplete pass intended for No. 81 Randy Moss

    4th & 20: Tom Brady throws a Hail Mary incomplete pass intended for No. 81 Randy Moss; Pass broken up by defenders Corey Webster & Gibril Wilson

    Outcome: Game Over: NEW YORK GIANTS WIN SUPERBOWL XLII 17-14 (BY Three POINTS TO WIN THEIR 3RD SUPERBOWL)

    Superbowl XLVI:

    1st & 10: Tom Brady throws an incomplete pass which is almost intercepted by Prince Amukamara

    2nd & 10: Tom Brady throws an incomplete pass intended for Wes Welker

    3rd & 10: Tom Brady gets sacked by Justin Tuck. Loss of six yards.

    4th & 16: Tom Brady completes a pass to No. 84 Deion Branch for a first down.

    1st & 10: Tom Brady completes a pass to No. 81 Aaron Hernandez for 33 yards. New England first down.

    1st & 10: Tom Brady throws an incomplete pass. Penalty on the New York Giants; 12 men on the field.

    2nd & 5: Tom Brady throws an incomplete pass intended for Deion Branch

    3rd & 5: Tom Brady throws a Hail Mary incomplete pass to the end zone, intended for No. 81 Aaron Hernandez; Pass broken up by defenders Aaron Ross & Kenny Phillips

    Outcome: GAME OVER: NEW YORK GIANTS WIN THE SUPERBOWL 21-17 (BY FOUR POINTS TO WIN THEIR FOURTH SUPERBOWL)

NFC East Division Wins/Losses

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    * If you're not interested in reading this slide just read the last few sentences!

    In the 2007-2008 season, the Giants' divisional record was 3-3. The Giants lost both regular season games to the Dallas Cowboys, split both regular season games between the Washington Redskins (by beating the Redskins in Washington D.C. and losing to the 'Skins in New York) and won both division games against the Philadelphia Eagles. They finished their regular season as one of the two wild-card teams.

    Again in the 2011-2012 season, the Giants walked away with the NFC East Division title by finishing 3-3 in the division. This time however, they lost both regular season games to the Washington Redskins. They split both games against the Philadelphia Eagles, beating the Eagles in Philadelphia and losing to them in New York. Finally they beat the Dallas Cowboys in both regular season games to win the NFC East title, advance to the playoffs and finish their season with a 3-3 divisional record.

    Comparisons:

    The New York Giants lost to the Redskins in week 15 of the regular season, in both 2007 and 2011. 

    In 2007, the Giants had to beat the Cowboys in the divisional round of the playoffs to advance. In 2011, the Giants had to defeat the Cowboys to get into the playoffs.

    However in 2007 the Giants played the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship match. While in 2011, the Giants had to defeat the Packers to advance to the NFC championship. Ironically, the New York Giants lost to the Green Bay Packers in both the 2007-2008 and the 2011-2012 regular season.

    Again this one is really a big stretch, but it is important to point out that by beating the Cowboys in the games that matter most, the Giants won two Superbowls. 

Coach on the Hot Seat

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    Entering the 2007-2008 season, Giant fans put Tom Coughlin in the "Hot Seat". Apparently, the fans were very dissatisfied with Coughlin's performance as a head coach. Some people speculated if the Giants failed to either win or even make the playoffs, Coughlin would be fired. But through all the criticism, all the harsh talk and all the tough challenges, Tom Coughlin brought "Big Blue" their third Superbowl in the franchise's history. As a reward for his success in 2007, Coughlin received an extension on his contract as head coach, and he would coach for the next four seasons. 

    Yet as it would seem, four seasons later, Coughlin found himself once again in the "Hot Seat".

    Entering the 2011 season, Tom Coughlin had once again received the negative attitude from New York Giants fans. The negative attitude was a result of the Giants failing to make the playoffs within two of the three previous seasons. Plus with the midseason collapses that happened in both 2009 and 2010, fans were once again dissatisfied with Coughlin's performance. But like 2007, Coughlin led the Giants to win another Superbowl for New York's number one team.

    Also, former Giants running back Tiki Barber would criticize his former head coach and team in both championship seasons.  

    It would seem that when Coughlin is on the hot seat, he leads his team to win the championship(s). WHY?! Who knows? Let's just hope he doesn't have to be on the hot seat every year to win a Superbowl.

Superbowl Re-Match

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    The New York Giants apparently have a habit of defeating the New England Patriots in the Superbowl.

    Twice they faced Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and beat them in the Superbowl.

    Days before the Superbowl, football fans everywhere made the match-up comparison from Superbowl XLII. 

    But just like Superbowl XLII the Giants defeated the New England Patriots in Superbowl XLVI. 

    The Giants were wearing their white and red away jerseys, while the Patriots wore their home navy blue uniforms.

    The Patriots also had the lead of the game heading into the fourth quarter. But the Giants prevailed and won both times.

    Just take a look at both Superbowls and you'll see the similarities along with the differences.

Ending the Streaks

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    NFL football fans everywhere know of the miraculous accomplishment the Giants achieved in Superbowl XLII. They handed the Patriots their first, final and only loss of the season when they defeated them in Superbowl XLII by the score 17-14.

    In 2011, the Giants would break more than just one streak. In week three, the New York Giants topped the Philadelphia Eagles. By beating the Eagles, the Giants ended the Eagles' continuation of victories over the Giants. Going up against the Eagles for the first time in 2011, the Giants had lost the previous seven games. The Giants had finally beaten the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time since their first confrontation in the 2008 season. 

    The Washington Redskins had also broken two streaks against the Giants in the 2011 season. For the first time since the 1999-2000 season, the Redskins had swept the Giants in both games of the regular season, and for the first time since the 2007-2008 season the Redskins ended the Giants' continuous victories over them.

    When it comes to record-breaking moments, the Giants and Patriots are no strangers. And once again in 2011, New York would deliver New England a "heart-breaker". Gillette Stadium, the Patriots' home field, had a record of 31 straight consecutive home wins with Tom Brady as their quarterback. The Giants snapped this record in week nine of the 2011-2012 regular season, when they defeated the Patriots up in New England by a score of 24-20. It wasn't the first heart-breaker New York delivered to Boston, and it probably won't be the last.

    Other Notable streaks that ended:

    The Giants snapped their four-game losing streak when they defeated the Cowboys in week 14 of the regular season.

    "Big Blue" also manage to hold a score of 0-0 within the first half of the week 9 matchup against the Patriots. The first time this has happened since 2006. (Not a really a streak but it could count)

    The Giants also took away the chance for the Packers to repeat as Superbowl champions (which isn't really a streak, but it does take away the chance for a repeat win in the Superbowl).

    It would seem the Giants were able to end three or four streaks within the 2011-2012 season, adding to their collection of "streak-enders".

    Hmm, is it possible the Giants are capable of ending the Undertaker's win streak?! (No response please)

Lucky Number 4

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    No, this does not involve the former NFL great quarterback Brett Favre. This is actually referring to quite a few things involving all four of the New York Giants' championship seasons.

    *Warning this slide will involve some form of Math (read it at your own risk).

    The Giants won their very first Superbowl at Superbowl XXI in the 1986-1987 season. Four years later they won their second Superbowl in the 1990-1991 season at Superbowl XXV.

    21 years later, the Giants made their fourth Superbowl appearance hoping to win their third Superbowl. And they did, by defeating the New England Patriots 17-14 in Superbowl XLII. They defeated the New England Patriots by three points to win their third Superbowl.

    Four years after winning possibly the greatest Superbowl off all time, the Giants defeated the New England Patriots once again in Superbowl XLVI. They defeated the patriots by four points to win their fourth Superbowl.

    Fun fact: Looking at the Giants' first and third Superbowls, there are quite a few similarities, but one manages to stand out. The Giants won Superbowl XXI to win their first ever Superbowl. 21 years later the organization won their third Superbowl in Superbowl XLII. It's important to note that 21x2=42. And four years after winning Superbowl XXI, the Giants won Superbowl XXV. Which also relates to the fact that when the Giants won Superbowl 42, four years later they would win Superbowl XLVI.

    Quick recap:

    Giants won Superbowl 21, four years later they would win Superbowl 42.

    21 times 2 is 42, which is the Superbowl that the Giants upset the New England Patriots.

    And just like Superbowl 21, four years later the Giants would win Superbowl 46 just four years after winning Superbowl 42. 

    So it would appear that four was "Big Blue's" lucky number in the 2011-2012 season. That was the number of games they lost in a row, and the number of games they needed to win to become world champs. It was also the number that declared them champions for the fourth time.

    *Giants lucky number in the 2008-2008 season was three. 

NFC Championship Ending

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    What are the odds of the Giants winning the NFC Championship on a field goal thanks to a turnover for the third time in New York Giants history ? The better question at the time was "What are the odds of the Giants actually making it to the NFC championship?"

    The road to Superbowl XLII for the New York Giants came by a field goal attempt by Lawrence Tynes in overtime. Tynes connected a 47-yard field goal kick that sent the Giants to the Superbowl.

    Fortunately for Tynes, he would get the same opportunity again in 2011, this time he would face the San Francisco 49ers and would only need to kick one time to win the game in overtime.

    It would seem the 49ers and the Packers share a common loss and a few similarities in the NFC Championship within the last four years.

    The first obvious similarity is the 49ers and Green Bay Packers would suffer a "heart-breaking" ending to a fantastic season. In 2007, it would seem that the Packers were the favorite to face the New England Patriots in Superbowl XLII, but as fate would have it The New York Giants upset Green Bay, Brett Favre and eventually the New England Patriots.

    Whereas in 2011, the 49ers would end up sharing the same fate as the 2007 and 2011 Green Bay Packers. The 49ers had made 2011 a year to remember. After finishing 2010 with a 6-10 record, the 49ers had returned to the NFC championship in 2011 for the first time in a long time. Yet their miraculous "turn-around" season came to an end as they lost to the Giants in overtime in the NFC Championship; just like the 2007 Green Bay Packers. It was a perfect way to avenge the loss the Giants had suffered in the 2002 NFL Playoffs against the 49ers. 

    As it would appear, both divisional and NFC Championship games in 2007 and 2011 were "revenge" games for the Giants as their opponents in the games had defeated them in a heart-breaking fashion. 

    But the one major similarity in both the 2007 and 2011 NFC Championship game is how the game ended. To say the least, the game ended with the home teams turning the ball over to the Giants in overtime to set up a game-winning field goal that would send the Giants to the Superbowl.

    The only difference was in 2007, the Giants intercepted Brett Favre and set up a 47-yard field goal to win the game 23-20 and send the Giants to the Superbowl. Yet in 2011, 49ers receiver Kyle Williams fumbled the football and turned it over to the New York Giants for the second time that night. The turnover cost the 49ers the possession and the game as it set up good field position for Lawrence Tynes to connect a 30-yard field goal to send the Giants to the Superbowl again.

    And would you believe it?  The way the 2011 NFC championship ended was similar to how the 1990 NFC championship ended. It was the San Francisco 49ers vs. the New York Giants. Late in the game, the Giants forced the 49ers to turn the ball over which set up the game winning field goal to send the Giants to another Superbowl.

You Can Spell "Elite" Without E-L-I

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    Eli Manning has proven that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today. He's been proving that since Superbowl XLII. 

    Yes, Manning had a rough year in the 2010-2011 season when he threw for 25 interceptions. But what people seemed to have forgotten was that the Giants still won 10 games with his interception rate increasing. Even though the Giants failed to make the playoffs again in 2010, it is unrealistic to throw 25 interceptions and win 10 games.

    Following probably his worst year as a quarterback, Manning was being criticized before the 2011 season even began. Eli wasn't even considered one of the top 100 players of 2011 on the NFL Network, while Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo were. Yes McNabb (who was benched during the second half of the season), and Romo (who was injured before the second half of the 2010 season) were both considered two of the 100 greatest players of the 2010 season, while Eli Manning was one of the few football players not included on the list. 

    Entering 2011, Eli Manning had stated on the Michael Kay radio show, he considered himself an "elite" quarterback like Tom Brady and his older brother Peyton Manning. Of course the media made a huge deal about this, as they criticized Eli and doubted he was even considering himself to be in the same class as Brady and Peyton. It looked like Eli was facing another image of his criticism surrounding him in the 2007 season.

    Sports writers, fans and critics everywhere in 2007 doubted Manning was the right answer for New York's Giants. As the criticism and hatred of Manning grew, so did his ability to win games for the Giants. The criticism still surrounded Eli even in the Superbowl, but the hatred had diminished away. After winning the Superbowl against the unbeaten New England Patriots in Superbowl XLII, the criticism surrounding Manning began to fade.

    However at the end of the 2010 season, the criticism grew once again around "Peyton's Younger Brother" Eli. And with his comments stating he considered himself an elite quarterback, the criticism kept piling on Eli. But just like every other year, Eli ignored his critics and began to play like an elite quarterback in 2011.

    His "eliteness" began to show with miraculous fourth quarter come-from-behind wins, the resiliency of the team and the number of interceptions dropping from the previous year. At the end of the 2011 season, Eli had done it again and won the Superbowl against his brother's arch rival, in his brother's home town. He became a two-time Superbowl MVP. This showed he was and has been in the same class as Brady and his older brother, Peyton.

    Is he an elite quarterback now? The answer would appear to be "ABSOLUTELY".

    Deion Sanders appeared to be the only man outside the New York Giants organization that did not doubt the abilities of Eli Manning.

    And just like Deion said, "I BELIEVE IN ELI!" 

Recap/End

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    To conclude, whatever the similarities are between previous seasons, nothing changes the fact that this was an incredible season for the New York football Giants.

    No matter how ironic the similarities are between the 2007 and 2011 New York Giants, they were still the resilient teams and they were the Championship teams!

    And Like Andre Brown said, "They Got a Ring!"

    Now the champions have another goal, to get another ring!

    Thank you for reading this presentation!