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View Poll Results: Who Was the Best Team Last Year?
Packers 41 49.40%
Patriots 4 4.82%
Ravens 3 3.61%
Steelers 0 0%
49ers 7 8.43%
Texans 6 7.23%
Saints 3 3.61%
Giants 17 20.48%
Lions 1 1.20%
Bengals 1 1.20%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-29-2012, 01:21 AM    (permalink
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But why? No one has made an argument for the regular season being anything more than a qualifying process for the post-season tournament. If that's the case who cares how they qualified? Let's look at how they did in the tournament that matters and from the start of the playoffs, the 2012 Giants were the best team in football.

Let me answer your question with a question. Were the Seahawks better in their 7-9 season than the Saints just because they beat them ONE game in the playoffs?
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:40 AM    (permalink
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Let me answer your question with a question. Were the Seahawks better in their 7-9 season than the Saints just because they beat them ONE game in the playoffs?
I believe that is checkmate.
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:52 AM    (permalink
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But why? No one has made an argument for the regular season being anything more than a qualifying process for the post-season tournament. If that's the case who cares how they qualified? Let's look at how they did in the tournament that matters and from the start of the playoffs, the 2012 Giants were the best team in football.
Well, to me, the regular season is also a way of seeing which teams can make a case for being better than other teams. It's a much bigger sample size than a single elimination tournament and sets the stage for seeing how consistent teams can be facing various opponents. Things can depend so much playing in certain divisions and strength of schedule, that to assume that the regular is only important for making a logical order for the qualifying candidates for the post season isn't a wise way to look at it. Obviously that's it's purpose, but due to so many other variables that come into play with divisions and schedule, I see the regular season more than just a simple matter of determining the layout for the playoffs. Which is why I wouldn't automatically assume that a team that loses against another team in the playoffs were beaten by a better team hands down.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:00 AM    (permalink
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I believe that is checkmate.
Thank you good sir. I agree.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:05 AM    (permalink
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I'm just not a fan of the last team standing formula. Not every team in the tournament played each other at every possible venue. I don't think the Giants are necessarily better than the Ravens, or even the Patriots better than the Ravens who happened to win on two lucky mini miracles. Are the Saints a worse team than the Giants? Or are they lower on the "best team of last season" scale via last man standing? Because by that account they'd be the 5th to 8th best team from last season all because they lost in the divisional round.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:11 AM    (permalink
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Itís sports. Itís been proven again and again that the better team doesnít win 100% of the time. If that happened, we wouldnít watch it. There would be nothing to drive intrigue for us.

For that reason, head-to-head results canít be regarded as the definitive source for settling these matters. It relies on a single outcome and ignores the long series of events that have occurred beforehand. When the Browns beat the Saints and Patriots in back-to-back weeks, no one is arguing them as a better team. Or at least shouldnít be. Team performance isnít a quantifiable data point that can be plotted with ease and then studied until the perfect pattern is discovered. Itís the ultimate variable. It depends on a multitude of factors, ranging from that particular matchup to the teamís mental readiness and health to the field conditions and on and on. Itís quite difficult, if not outright impossible, to isolate each of those variables and come to an empirical conclusion. The Giants are a notable example themselves. For much of the season, New York was a talented team with mediocre results. At the end of the season, New York was being crowned champions of the entire league.

So itís somewhat of an abstract, unanswerable question. The Giants were the better team against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Same goes against the Niners and Packers and Falcons. But what if New York had to go to New Orleans and meet the Saints in the Dome after being slaughtered there just weeks earlier? Since the postseason isnít a round-robin tournament, we canít know.

And thatís part of the point. The NFL structure rewards successful regular season teams with a chance to participate in a winner-take-all, single-elimination tournament. But each team in the NFL understands that deal. You must win in the postseason to reach the pinnacle of the sport. No exceptions. No room for error. Operating under those conditions, the Giants were the last team standing. No argument.

That said, for me, itís not so black-and-white. There are some instances throughout sports where I donít feel the champions were the undisputed best team. The first Super Bowl featuring the Giants and Patriots is one of them. New York bested New England in a winner-take-all situation and earned their rings, but that doesnít make them the best team on a holistic basis. Those Patriots won eighteen games, including an earlier one against the Giants, for a reason. That team was as dominant as weíve ever seen. The Giants punctuated a dominant stretch with a Super Bowl win. It wasn't a mistake when it was called one of the greatest upsets of all-time.

As for last season in particular, I think itís splitting hairs. There wasnít a single historic, special team in the field to choose from. Arguments can be (and, I see, have been) made for a few teams. The Packers had a remarkable offense, but their defense was far too flawed for me to put them in the same kind of class as the record-breaking Patriots. Itís harder to ignore postseason failures when a consistent, glaring weakness is present.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:10 AM    (permalink
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Let me answer your question with a question. Were the Seahawks better in their 7-9 season than the Saints just because they beat them ONE game in the playoffs?
Where the Dutch better than the Danes at Euro 2012? The Netherlands was much more impressive through qualifying, had much more talent and would probably beat Denmark at least 7 times if they played 10 games. But when the games became more important the Dutch **** the bed, and Dane's didn't.

Anyway neither the Saints nor the Seahawks were close to being the best teams' in the NFL two season ago. The Seahawks lone upset is not the same as a team winning the superbowl while outplaying 2 of the best teams from the NFL regular season, holding on against a third that was matching them and absolutely handling a 4th playoff team.

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Well, to me, the regular season is also a way of seeing which teams can make a case for being better than other teams. It's a much bigger sample size than a single elimination tournament and sets the stage for seeing how consistent teams can be facing various opponents. Things can depend so much playing in certain divisions and strength of schedule, that to assume that the regular is only important for making a logical order for the qualifying candidates for the post season isn't a wise way to look at it. Obviously that's it's purpose, but due to so many other variables that come into play with divisions and schedule, I see the regular season more than just a simple matter of determining the layout for the playoffs. Which is why I wouldn't automatically assume that a team that loses against another team in the playoffs were beaten by a better team hands down.
I'm not arguing that. That's why I've said multiple times that the Giants didn't clearly out play the 9ers in their game but rather pulled out an even matched game. What I am arguing is that looking at the whole playoffs, where the giants clearly out played the Packers, Patriots and Falcons, and made it past the 9ers, they were the best team over that whole stretch of playoff action, which is ultimately the whole point of the NFL season.

Look, I don't mind crowning the best regular season team, that's what the Bundesliga does and I watch that league very closely, but that's not how the NFL decides it's champion, so why overvalue a part of the season that plenty of teams treat as solely the path to a playoff spot?

When a mediocre 7-9 team gets lucky 4 straight games and wins a truly fluke superbowl, then I'd agree that the Superbowl champ wasn't the best team in the NFL, but last year? The giants where the best team in the playoffs, they didn't just win, but also outperformed every other team once the knockout rounds started. For that they deserve the title of best team.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:18 AM    (permalink
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It's a good topic of conversation and a good thread. Lots of a good ideas being tossed around. Good job guys!
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:10 AM    (permalink
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I guess it depends on your interpretation of this, but the Packers are certainly not the right answer. Unless I missed something, the question was not "who was the best team in the regular season last year". That's not the way sports works. They didn't even win a playoff game, and looked like **** in the process.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:18 AM    (permalink
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I guess it depends on your interpretation of this, but the Packers are certainly not the right answer. Unless I missed something, the question was not "who was the best team in the regular season last year". That's not the way sports works. They didn't even win a playoff game, and looked like **** in the process.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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I guess it depends on your interpretation of this, but the Packers are certainly not the right answer. Unless I missed something, the question was not "who was the best team in the regular season last year". That's not the way sports works. They didn't even win a playoff game, and looked like **** in the process.
The question also isn't "who was the best team in the playoffs last year". It's the season as a whole, and the regular season has to be take into account.

Who do you think was the best team last year?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:32 AM    (permalink
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The question also isn't "who was the best team in the playoffs last year". It's the season as a whole, and the regular season has to be take into account.

Who do you think was the best team last year?

I'd probably say the 49ers. They were dominant in the regular season, beat a high powered Saints team in a fashion that nobody would have expected(passing the ball, quick scoring drives and long scoring drives, shootout), and while I hate to pin point a loss to 1 area them having Kyle Williams instead of Ginn returning punts was the primary reason they lost to the SB champs.


I agree it should be a little of both taken into account, but I'd certainly give more weight to the playoffs if we were using that ratio. They also gave the Giants the toughest test since the point they got hot, and had the easiest variable to identify as to why they lost.


The entire Packers team just looked lost in that game. Where as the Niners had a new returner who continually gave up the ball in Giants territory. If not them I'd say the Giants, but I'd have SF slightly higher due to them dominating games mostly from beginning to end all year long.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:39 AM    (permalink
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I'd probably say the 49ers. They were dominant in the regular season, beat a high powered Saints team in a fashion that nobody would have expected(passing the ball, quick scoring drives and long scoring drives, shootout), and while I hate to pin point a loss to 1 area them having Kyle Williams instead of Ginn returning punts was the primary reason they lost to the SB champs.


I agree it should be a little of both taken into account, but I'd certainly give more weight to the playoffs if we were using that ratio. They also gave the Giants the toughest test since the point they got hot, and had the easiest variable to identify as to why they lost.


The entire Packers team just looked lost in that game. Where as the Niners had a new returner who continually gave up the ball in Giants territory. If not them I'd say the Giants, but I'd have SF slightly higher due to them dominating games mostly from beginning to end all year long.
Yeah ok. I went with the 49ers as well, for those reasons.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:39 PM    (permalink
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I'd probably say the 49ers. They were dominant in the regular season, beat a high powered Saints team in a fashion that nobody would have expected(passing the ball, quick scoring drives and long scoring drives, shootout), and while I hate to pin point a loss to 1 area them having Kyle Williams instead of Ginn returning punts was the primary reason they lost to the SB champs.


I agree it should be a little of both taken into account, but I'd certainly give more weight to the playoffs if we were using that ratio. They also gave the Giants the toughest test since the point they got hot, and had the easiest variable to identify as to why they lost.


The entire Packers team just looked lost in that game. Where as the Niners had a new returner who continually gave up the ball in Giants territory. If not them I'd say the Giants, but I'd have SF slightly higher due to them dominating games mostly from beginning to end all year long.

Yeah they were a very solid team last year during the regular season AND in the playoffs. I can see them being the answer. I think with parity in the NFL, good teams are so close in talent, that the smallest breaks in the game can lead to a win or loss.

I think the niners had a great defense which fueled their team. That insane turnover ratio helped propel that team far as well. I can see them being a good choice for the best overall team.

But the irony is they lost the game because they had more turnovers, which was one of the critical factors for their success overall. Kyle Williams hurt them, but those are breaks in the game.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:49 PM    (permalink
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If the 2007 Patriots and Giants had hypothetically played each other 100 times, it's my opinion that the Patriots would win roughly 55-60 of the games. The Patriots after all did beat New York at the end of the regular season in what was also a close game. They were clearly two closely matched teams, and the gap wasn't very big. The Giants actually did win and are 100% the rightful champions of that season, but weren't necessarily the best (in my opinion, but maybe New York would have beaten New England a higher percentage of the times had the hypothetical been played out). The NBA, MLB, and NHL all have series to determine their champions, which allows for a more accurate way of choosing the best team. I greatly prefer the NFL's single elimination, despite the fact that I don't believe it gives as accurate a determination.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:25 PM    (permalink
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Rosebud, i think you're clearly missing the point. I think it's pretty clear that the best team doesn't always win. And I think you'd be hard pressed to find a team in the post season last year that would rather face the Packers, 9ers or probably the saints for that matter, rather than the Giants. I mean even if you go back and look at power rankings for the post season last year and vegas odds of who will win the super bowl that the giants were probably middle of the pack at best. Going into next season I don't even think the Giants are the best team in the East and a more of a barely top 10 team.

My pre season top 10

Packers
Pats
9ers
Texans
Bears
Steelers
Saints
Ravens
Eagles
Bronco's (if peyton is healthy)

Next tier is falcons, dallas, NYG, lions

Teams on the rise Skins, KC, Tampa, Carolina,
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:26 PM    (permalink
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If the 2007 Patriots and Giants had hypothetically played each other 100 times, it's my opinion that the Patriots would win roughly 55-60 of the games. The Patriots after all did beat New York at the end of the regular season in what was also a close game. They were clearly two closely matched teams, and the gap wasn't very big. The Giants actually did win and are 100% the rightful champions of that season, but weren't necessarily the best (in my opinion, but maybe New York would have beaten New England a higher percentage of the times had the hypothetical been played out). The NBA, MLB, and NHL all have series to determine their champions, which allows for a more accurate way of choosing the best team. I greatly prefer the NFL's single elimination, despite the fact that I don't believe it gives as accurate a determination.
I think it would be 3:1 in the Pats favor (that year).
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:38 PM    (permalink
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I think it would be 3:1 in the Pats favor (that year).
Clearly you are under rating us. Barely a top 10? Not to mention 3 to 1, yet the first time we played we had a good size lead on them, only for the pats to valiantly come back and win the game. The next time we played in the super bowl we won by 3. So we lost by 3 after having a good size lead and came back after being down to win by 3.

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3rd Quarter

NYG - Plaxico Burress 19 yard pass from Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes kick), 9:12. Giants 28-16. Drive: 7 plays, 60 yards, 4:10.

We were up by 12 points in the 3rd quarter and couldn't close the deal. Very frustrating watching the defense not close out. However, it was that game that gave the team confidence and made them realize that they can go toe to toe with the Pats and not have to back down.

It's not like we lost by 45 points.

You have to look at it this way. The way our team is build we are def. a top 10 team AND we can hang with any team in the NFL except for the Saints who royally own us. Maybe if we played them outside the dome in bad weather, perhaps I give us a fighter's chance. But other than that, that list under rates us big time.

I am not saying we are the best team, but top 10 is inaccurate. Football is about match ups and the way Reese has build this team we match up with basically any team very well. It all comes down to our defense and DCs. It always has! Sheridan stunk, and was a one year wonder, and I am still not sold on Fewell. I want him to actually have a good regular season. If we can take a step with that, we are right up there.

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Old 07-29-2012, 06:44 PM    (permalink
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Redskin fans always get cute this time of year.

Then the season starts. And they stop.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:01 PM    (permalink
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LOL!
jsagan is a Skins fan like myself, so you have to acknowledge there's a built in bias for him not to include a defending SB champ with nearly all their key players returning as a preseason top 10 team.

IMO he's still severely underrating Eli Manning, which I stopped doing after he won his first SB.

No real preseason top 10 can include the Bears/Eagles/Broncos but exclude the Giants.
If the Giants had beaten overmatched chumps in the SB, or had a weak, cushy path to the SB, maybe I could understand people discrediting what they've accomplished.

But when you look at who they beat to get to the SB in '07 and '11 on the road, then taking it the 'greatest team ever' once, then punking them again in the last SB, that has to factor in to your opinion about the Giants.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:17 PM    (permalink
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Redskin fans always get cute this time of year.

Then the season starts. And they stop.
I don't understand. What does his affiliation with the Redskins have to do with his point?
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:29 PM    (permalink
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Rosebud, i think you're clearly missing the point. I think it's pretty clear that the best team doesn't always win. And I think you'd be hard pressed to find a team in the post season last year that would rather face the Packers, 9ers or probably the saints for that matter, rather than the Giants. I mean even if you go back and look at power rankings for the post season last year and vegas odds of who will win the super bowl that the giants were probably middle of the pack at best. Going into next season I don't even think the Giants are the best team in the East and a more of a barely top 10 team.

My pre season top 10

Packers
Pats
9ers
Texans
Bears
Steelers
Saints
Ravens
Eagles
Bronco's (if peyton is healthy)

Next tier is falcons, dallas, NYG, lions

Teams on the rise Skins, KC, Tampa, Carolina,
You're talking about expectations/predictions/etc., I'm talking about performance, how they actually played. During the playoffs, the Giants play on the field, was superior to that of the Packers and Falcons by a lot, better than the Patriots and on par with 49ers. That's my argument, not that winning 4 playoffs games makes them the best team to play in the playoffs last year.

Not talking about how they looked going to the playoffs, they're talent, outlook or anything like that, just how they actually played on the field during the playoffs.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:48 PM    (permalink
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Maybe I am but that's a good thing right? I mean both. Years you won the SB you barely even made the playoffs, Coughlin was on the hot seat and Eli was a borderline bust in 2007. His record as a starter is 65-50 with an 8-3 post season record. So while I admit they've bern good in the playoffs they've been pretty lack luster during the regular season. If they can come out and disprove that this season, I'll change my tune but let's face it they're playing in a tough division, have a huge bullseye on their back, and they have a tough Schedule that gets exceptionally brutal the 2nd half of the season. If they make the playoffs this year I'll be suprised.

And I don't put teams in my power rankings based off of anything except for how I think they'll be that particular year. IMHO people are overrating the Giants just because they won the Super Bowl.


As far as being a skins fan, im probably the most objective skins fan you will meet. I think it will take a miracle for us to win 10 games this year. Heck if we win 7 I'll be suprised. Our schedule is tough, we have secondary problems, a problem at RT, a lot of potential at the skill positions (still worst in the NFC East), and a Rookie signal caller.

The NFL is a topsy turvy league so there are always suprises, risers and fallers. I think the Bears with a healthy Cutler/Forte, good D, and revamped recieving core shpuld scare everyone. I think Newton will fall to earth. I worry about the Texans losing their DC. I think the Bengals regress and the Browns progress. The Giants will be tough but probably won't win the division and i think they'll miss the playoffs. I think Seattle, KC, and Titans will be much improved as well.

Just looking at the skill level of all the teams going into next season it's going to be one of the toughest most fun to watch seasons in the history of the league.

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Originally Posted by NY+Giants=NYG View Post
Clearly you are under rating us. Barely a top 10? Not to mention 3 to 1, yet the first time we played we had a good size lead on them, only for the pats to valiantly come back and win the game. The next time we played in the super bowl we won by 3. So we lost by 3 after having a good size lead and came back after being down to win by 3.




We were up by 12 points in the 3rd quarter and couldn't close the deal. Very frustrating watching the defense not close out. However, it was that game that gave the team confidence and made them realize that they can go toe to toe with the Pats and not have to back down.

It's not like we lost by 45 points.

You have to look at it this way. The way our team is build we are def. a top 10 team AND we can hang with any team in the NFL except for the Saints who royally own us. Maybe if we played them outside the dome in bad weather, perhaps I give us a fighter's chance. But other than that, that list under rates us big time.

I am not saying we are the best team, but top 10 is inaccurate. Football is about match ups and the way Reese has build this team we match up with basically any team very well. It all comes down to our defense and DCs. It always has! Sheridan stunk, and was a one year wonder, and I am still not sold on Fewell. I want him to actually have a good regular season. If we can take a step with that, we are right up there.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:04 PM    (permalink
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I picked the saints because I'm a homer and proud of it. I know after Brees we're probably going back to 7-9 8-8 seasons so I'm enjoying the bragging while I can.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:59 PM    (permalink
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jsagan, what does your post have to do with this thread? If you want to talk about the giants coming out after a superbowl and having a great follow up season, look no further than the last time the giants won the SB, the following year they were the best regular season team before Plax shot himself and the team's passing game imploded in the playoffs, so there's that.

We'll see whether they are able to repeat that, minus the Plax-tardation at the end. The question isn't talent, seeing how well they played in the playoffs despite having to deal with a lot of injuries. But again this has little to do with the purpose of this thread, which is to reflect on last season, not speculate on the coming one.
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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