Giant Expectations for Big Blue in 2009-10

Dan BentonCorrespondent IMay 7, 2009

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 05:  Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg (C), Michael Strahan (L) and Eli Manning of the New York Giants ride in a float along Broadway, also known as 'The Canyon of Heroes' during Super Bowl XLII victory parade in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

A season removed from their dramatic Super Bowl victory over the then undefeated New England Patriots, the New York Giants are no longer reigning champions. Instead, they face an uphill battle to get back the crown they feel is rightfully theirs.

Tom Coughlin, Jerry Reese, & Co. have transformed the New York football Giants into a constant contender who believe they can win year in and year out. So going into the 2009-10 season, it’s no surprise that the team and fans alike share the same expectations: another Super Bowl championship.

Like the New York Yankees in baseball, Big Blue has reached the point where making it to the playoffs is no longer considered a successful season…it’s all or nothing. A title or bust.

But dynasties in the NFL are few and far between. The last one we witnessed were the aforementioned New England Patriots…ironically enough, the very team New York beat to begin their quest to become the next dominant force in football.

A second championship in three years certainly won’t be easy. After all, the NFL is the competitive league in all of sports. But the Giants have faced impossible before…in the form of 3rd-and-5 with 1:15 remaining. And as they did then, I fully expect them to overcome the odds and stand tall when that final bell rings.

2009-10 is poised to be another special year for the boys in blue. After a tremendous offseason in which they saw their defense catapult to the top of the league and another fantastic draft courtesy of the mastermind Jerry Reese, there’s absolutely no reason to believe the Giants cannot return to the top of the mountain.

Still, there are things that could prevent them from reaching the pinnacle of sport.

Can the team survive without Plaxico Burress? Will Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden be able to step in and fill the voids left at wide receiver or will their learning curve be pushed into the following season? And most importantly, can the team finally stay healthy for an entire season?

There are many question marks that face the 2009 Giants, but none that should prevent them from at least positioning themselves for another Super Bowl Championships. This team is too deep, too talented and coached too well to flounder…even in the NFL’s toughest division.

As it did last year, it’s going to come down to how well they perform in the playoffs. And if players step up and play the way they’re capable of playing, it’ll be very difficult, if not impossible, to stop them.

Many things can change from now until the start of the season, but from where I sit, I see another Super Bowl ring in Big Blue’s future.