"You are what your record says you are."
This is a famous quote from Bill Parcells. Most people know it well, and quote it often. However, I think Bill got cut off mid-sentence when he was giving this gem. The real quote probably should have read something like: "You are what your record says you are...unless you've lost to the Giants."
After a dominating 41-7 victory on the road, over a team that had yet to lose at home, I woke up today feeling like I was a fan of the best team in football, and that at the very least Giants fans would agree. Of course, this is not the case. Those who feel the Giants are not the best team will point to the "fact" that hey have not yet defeated a "quality opponent", and have lost to the only two "good" teams they have played. Is this argument valid? My opinion is no, and the reason can be found after The Jump.
How do you define a "quality opponent"? Is it a team that has beaten other "quality oppenents" themselves? Is it a team with an above .500 record? Or is it simply a team that has the ability on any given Sunday to beat your team?
The Giants best wins have come against the Bears at home, and against the Texans at Houston. Detractors would have you believe that these are not "quality teams". What I would like to know is if in fact these teams are not, than who on the Giants schedule is? The majority would answer this question with the Titans, Colts, and Eagles. All of whom, have a 5-3 record. 5-3. The same record as the Bears, and only one more win than the Texans. They would also probably throw in the 6-3 Packers, who have lost to the Bears, and would be in second place of there division if not for the Giants beating those Bears.
If you are what your record says you are, than how are the Bears any better or worse than the Colts, Titans, Eagles, all at 5-3, and a team they beat in the Packers at 6-3? The answer is pretty simple: They're not, because you are what your record says you are.
A detractor might ask 'Surely some of these 5-3 teams have quality wins though, that seperate them from the pack?'
Well, detractor, let's have a little conversation.
The 5-3 Titans have wins against OAK, NYG, DAL, JAX, and PHI. The best team being the Giants at 6-2, who (in your eyes) have no wins over quality opponents, and the Eagles at 5-3.
'So the Eagles are the quality opponent there right?'
Well, the 5-3 Eagles have wins over DET, JAX, SF, ATL, and IND.
'Surely, the Colts are a quality opponent...'
The 5-3 Colts have wins over DEN, KC, WAS, HOU, and the NYG. Again the best team there is the NYG, but since they haven't yet beat a quality opponent , their next best win is over Houston, who you have already said...is not a quality opponent at 4-4.
'Yea but the Eagles beat the Falcons...the Falcons are 6-2. Now that's a quality opponent.'
Actually, the Falcons have wins over ARI, NO, SF, CLE, CIN, and TB.
'Come on, the Saints are 6-3...they have to be a quality team.'
I mean...the Saints have beat MIN, SF, CAR twice, TB, and PIT so.... 'Pittsburgh is quality!'
Yea you would think so, but while Pittsburgh might be 6-2, much like the Giants, and Falcons their "quality" wins have come against Atlanta, and Tennesee...who both have no quality wins, as we've said above.
'And the 6-3 Packers?'
The Packers have been able to beat PHI, BUF, DET, MIN, DAL and the Jets.
'AHA! The Jets are 6-2!'
Yes. The Jets, like the Giants, Steelers, and Falcons are 6-2, but again where are there quality wins? The Jets were victorious against NE, MIA, BUF, MIN, DEN, and DET.
'So New England is the quality opponent?'
I'd like to be able to say that, detractor, but again a lack of quality victores will hold me back from saying so, as the Patriots have only won against CIN, BUF, MIA, BAL, SD, and MIN.
'Why isn't Baltimore a quality win?'
You would think at 6-2 the Ravens have had at least one quality win, but again, the Ravens only beat CLE, DEN, BUF, MIA, along with the Jets and Steelers...who, like the 6-2 Giants, Patriots, and Falcons, do not yet have a quality win.
After this conversation the detractor simply shook his head, and said:
"Damn. There are no good teams in the NFL."
You could say that detractor, or you could recognize 5-3, and maybe in some cases 4-4 teams for what they are.