New York Giants

The biggest losers from Super Bowl 52

The biggest losers from Super Bowl 52

The fans of the Philadelphia Eagles will have a parade on Thursday, celebrating our first Super Bowl victory. It’s a celebration of Doug Pederson, Nick Foles, and every man on this roster, and every Eagles roster before it. It is a day of good vibes, happy thoughts, and free beer. It is, quite simply, a day for Champions.

But hey, it’s also fun to acknowledge there were some pretty big losers this Sunday.

There was Tom Brady, the sorest loser of all, who didn’t shake Nick Foles’ hand and showed that five Super Bowl rings can’t buy you class. There was Cris Collinsworth, who maybe, just maybe, was secretly hoping the Patriots would get Numero Six. There was even President Trump, who’s probably bummed his close personal friends won’t be able to visit this offseason.

But there’s no bigger loser than the New York Giants.

Sure, the Dallas Cowboys fans, with their two playoff victories in the past twenty-two years, have to be feeling pretty crummy. Same with Washington, who also has just two playoff wins in the past quarter-century. Watching Foles have more postseason success in a month than they’ve had in a generation is the sort of thing that will make a 75-year-old oil man scream into his pillow.

But there’s no bigger loser than the New York Giants.

Giants fans have built their bravado for the past quarter-century on the idea of RINGS. Eli Manning has RINGS; it doesn’t matter that he’s a goof, or that he’s handed out interceptions like hugs, or that he has the leadership qualities of a month-old avocado. Eli has RINGS, and he got them against Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots, defeating the GOAT quarterback and the GOAT coach on the world’s biggest stage, and being the only team on the planet who was able to make that claim.

Well, the only ones, until Sunday night.

The Eagles' Super Bowl victory diminishes the Giants only real accomplishment in the millennial age. Don’t get me wrong; they still have two to our one, and four overall. I’m sure every Giants fan who fell back on the line ‘The Eagles have never won a championship!’ in arguments the past thirty years will still be quick to point this out. Inarguably, they still have that (for now).

But it seems safe to say the sting of that sentence doesn’t burn nearly as bad as it did a week ago.

Through all their bravado, Giants fans know the truth; since the turn of the millenium, our Iggles have owned them. I mean, OWNED them. We’ve owned them so thoroughly, we should have to pay John Mara a salary. The Birds are 25-14 against New York since 2000, and 12-4 since 2010. That includes knocking them out of the playoffs in the seasons before AND after there 2007 Super Bowl Championship. It includes the Brian Westbrook miracle return to kick-start the Birds' season in 2003, and of course the Mike Vick/DeSean Jackson Miracle at the New Meadowlands. Shoot, let’s throw the 61-yard Jake Elliott game-winner from earlier this week too, just for kicks (no pun intended).

Giants fans know the Birds have been better than them in every aspect for a while. Those two Eli Super Bowls have been the spray of Febreeze over what's been a pretty stinky franchise overall. They’re 137-139 since 2000, and just 42-54 since the last Super Bowl win in 2012. That’s despite having an (alleged) franchise quarterback in Eli Manning since 2004.

The Birds, meanwhile, are 172-115 since 2000. The truth is, the Giants stopped being scary to the Eagles the same time that Y2K did. All they’ve really had to hold on to is that they’ve beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Now they’re not the only ones.

So enjoy the celebrations, Eagles fans, because there is so much to celebrate. The Balboa-esque story of No. 9, the reality that this team is here to stay, the fact that we finally get to buy these hideously ugly hats ($39.99? Worth it!)... or even just the free beer. There’s plenty of reason this week to hug your loved ones, thump your chest, and scream PHILLY PHILLY at the top of your lungs.

The misery it causes Giants fans is just an added bonus.

Former Giant knows Eagles have good shot at beating Patriots

Former Giant knows Eagles have good shot at beating Patriots

ST. PAUL, Minn. — During the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era, the Patriots have been beaten twice in Super Bowls.

And the Eagles are pretty similar to the teams who took them down. 

Just ask a guy who was on both.

"Yeah, definitely," said former Giants defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora as he wandered around the floor at Xcel Energy Center during media night.  

"They have an outstanding pass rush and a plethora of pass rushes they can throw at a quarterback. If anybody has a good chance of doing it, it's going to be Philadelphia because of the players they have on the defensive line."

Umenyiora played in Super Bowl XLII when the Giants beat the Patriots, 17-14, in 2008 and he played in Super Bowl XLVI when the Giants beat the Patriots, 21-17. On Monday night, he approached Belichick while the coach was on the podium, introduced himself and shook his hand. 

Umenyiora wasn't wearing the two Super Bowl rings he won against him. 

The Giants sacked Brady a total of seven times in those two games and the pressure they got on the future Hall of Fame quarterback is looked back upon as one of the key reasons they were able to win those games. 

"You gotta be able to get to the quarterback without blitzing too many times," said Umenyiora, nearly describing Jim Schwartz's defensive philosophy. "I think Philadelphia has the guys to be able to do that."

In those two Super Bowls, the Giants' strength on defense was their line and they forced Brady into a lot of missed passes. He completed 56 of 89 passes (62.9 percent) during those two games. 

Umenyiora said the Giants never saw Brady get frustrated or flustered, but they did see him miss some passes he normally would make. He thinks that was a product of the Giants' pass rush. 

"We could tell he wasn't really in the same groove he usually is," Umenyiora said. 

The Eagles' sack numbers weren't overwhelming this season, but they have a couple Pro Bowl-caliber players up front and boast a rotation that goes eight or nine deep. In addition to having the best run defense in the NFL in 2017, they also became a nightmare for opposing defenses. 

Now 36, Umenyiora watched the Eagles all season and came away impressed with that front four and its pass rush. 

"Well, obviously Fletcher Cox is outstanding on the inside, but Chris Long, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, those pass rushers they have on the outside are bringing it every single play," he said. "They're quick, they're explosive, they're fast. They have a very good front seven."

When asked if he thinks the Eagles' pass rush will be the key in the game for them on Sunday, Umenyiora said it probably would. But then he turned around, looked at Brady, who was still surrounded by a crowd of media members about 10 deep, and shook his head. With that guy, Umenyiora finished, anything is possible. 

Still, he likes the Eagles and isn't ruling them out in Super Bowl LII like many already have. 

"Yeah, absolutely [the Eagles] have a chance," Umenyiora said. "They can actually win this game. It's going to be tough. It's going to be the hardest fight of their lives. But they have a chance for sure." 

Former Eagles assistant named Giants head coach

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AP Images

Former Eagles assistant named Giants head coach

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has been hired as the New York Giants head coach.

The Giants announced the hiring late Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Shurmur and the Vikings were beaten by the Eagles in the NFC title game.

The 52-year-old Shurmur replaces Ben McAdoo, who was fired in early December with the team mired with a 2-10 record and owners and fans upset with his handling of the benching of two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took over for the final four games and posted a 1-3 record.

"He has an outstanding track record in developing young players, and it is clear his players respond to his guidance and direction," co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said in a statement.

"We interviewed six talented and qualified candidates, and we feel like Pat, with his vision and experience, is the right person to lead our team."

The Giants won't officially introduce Shurmur until Friday. A winter storm in the Midwest is preventing him from coming to New Jersey on Tuesday and he will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, from Tuesday night through Thursday.

Shurmur returns to the head coaching ranks for the first time since leading the Cleveland Browns in 2011-12. He takes over a troubled team that posted a 3-13 record a year after making the playoffs.

Shurmur was interviewed on Jan. 6 by Mara, new general manager Dave Gettleman and assistant GM Kevin Abrams.

Following that meeting in Minneapolis, Shurmur had an hour-long phone conversation with Tisch.

"I can't wait to start working with Pat," said Gettleman. "I know he will provide the type of leadership we need to take our team back to where it belongs. I have followed Pat's career for many years, and he has had great success wherever he has been.

"What struck me during our conversation is that being the head coach of the New York Giants is not too big for him. He is made for this moment and this opportunity."

The Giants interviewed five other candidates, kicking it off with Spagnuolo three days after the season ended.

New York also spoke with New England coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and recently fired Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville, who has since been hired as a running backs coach by the Dolphins. Wilks was hired as the head coach in Arizona on Monday

Shurmur has earned a reputation as a quarterback whisperer. NFC title game opponents Nick Foles of the Eagles and Case Keenum of the Vikings were tutored by him.

With the Giants, Shurmur will get to work with Manning and possibly the No. 2 pick in the draft, if New York uses the pick to pick an heir apparent.

But the Giants also had problems in the locker room. Three defensive backs -- Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple were suspended for a game for conduct detrimental to the team.

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen said Shurmur constantly put players in position to contribute and he doesn't take anything for granted.

"He's not a stubborn guy. He's going to throw stuff out if it's not working, and he's going to find things that guys are good at," Thielen said Monday as the Vikings cleaned out their lockers.

"So I think as a head coach, he's going to do that on both sides of the ball. Special teams, he's going to find guys who can make plays and let them do what they do. So I think he's going to have a lot of success as a head coach."

Shurmur has been a part of teams that have qualified for the playoffs nine times and won seven division titles. He was the Eagles' quarterbacks coach when the Eagles played in the Super Bowl against New England in the 2004 season.

Shurmur is finishing his second year with the Vikings. He began last season as the tight ends coach and for the final nine games was also the offensive coordinator, the title he retained this season.

The Vikings finished 10th in the NFL in scoring (23.9 points), 11th in total yardage (356.9), and seventh in rushing yardage (122.3) this season.

Shurmur posted a 9-23 record in his two seasons with the Browns, going there after a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator with the Rams. He spent three seasons as the Eagles offensive coordinator after being fired.

Shurmur's NFL coaching career began with a 10-year run (1999-2008) with the Eagles. He coached in college at Stanford and Michigan State.