[Note by Ed Valentine, 05/18/11 8:15 AM EDT : Maybe I shouldn't encourage 'Simms' not to work, but this is a good post.]
Well, I got word from my boss that his boss is concerned that I'm sneaking out of here early every day. And.... I am. SO here I am at 2:45 trying to look like I'm working. Inspired by BigBlueIntervention's team vs. team analysis of the Big East, I got the idea last night while watching the Giants beating the Cowboys in the 2007 D-round playoffs to look at what we have now vs. what we had for XLII.
I am not going to consider the Giants' recent draft very much, although a slight consideration will go to Prince and Marvin. Also, in several positions players remain. In some cases I'll call it a wash -- others, not so much. Please feel free to let me know if I've screwed up the rosters, omitted anyone, or just made a bad analysis.QB) 2007: Eli / J-Lo ----- 2011: Eli / Sage
I'd take Eli today over Eli then. But his detractors would probably point out his high INT numbers last year. Still, he's not in physical decline and I'm hoping the best years of his career are ahead. Also, nobody is sure if Jared Lorenzen was ACTUALLY a quarterback at any level. Just sayin'. Sage has played QB at the NFL level.
Advantage: 2011 (barely)
FB / RB) 2007: Jacobs / Bradshaw / Ward (injured) / Hedgecock ----- 2011: Jacobs / AB / Ware / Pascoe
I'm going to give Pascoe the advantage at Fullback, because I've heard he has ten fingers and can catch. He did a good job filling in last year. Other than that, this is basically the same RB tandem -- but older. in 2007 AB and B-Jake were running like they hated the world. They're still good running backs. But I think they were better 4 years ago.
WR) 2007: Burress, Toomer, Smith, Hixon, Tyree ----- 2011: Nicks, Ham, Smith, Hixon, 7 no-names.
This one is clear. 2007 Burress was in his prime. Love Nicks all you want, but I'll take '07 Plax as a game-changing beast. No question the GoaT Amani Toomer is the greatest Giants WR ever, and in 2007 at the end of his career, I'll still take him over Ham. Smith is probably a wash -- great rookie year, probably smarter and a tiny bit better now, but the surgery casts some doubt.
OL) 2007: Diehl, Seubert, O'Hara, Snee, McKenzie ----- 2011: See 2007 plus Will Beatty.
I know, we have a bit more depth now with Boothe and Petrus and Andrews. But again there should be little question here -- in 2007 this was perhaps the best OL unit in the NFL. Now there are questions at almost every position except Snee.
DL) This is the hardest unit to call.
2007: Strahan - Cofield - FredRob - Umenyiora 2011: Tuck - Cofield - Canty - Umenyiora
Tuck - Alford - ? - Tollefson JPP - Linval - Austin - Kiwanuka
And the most fun. The 2007 Giants DL won the Superbowl. With apologies to Tito, Strahan should have been the MVP. Strahan is to me the Greatest Giant. On the field, he is greater than Tuck. But Tuck is very good, so it's not an absolute smashing. Cofield is a wash, and Even Osi has probably about the same value.
Tuck backing up Stray vs. JPP backing up Tuck. Wow, what an embarrasment of riches. I'll take Tuck behind Stray. Maybe in 2-3 years it'll be closer. Let's hope so. But we have to give a BIG depth advantage to the 2011 unit. We have two high-round draft picks in Marvin Austin and the Anvil. In 2007 Kiwanuka was a linebacker and actually on IR for the Superbowl.
To sum up: LDE, 2007; RDE, 2011; DT, ... 2011. Thanks to depth. I call it a wash for the starters and an advantage for our new guys.
Advantage: 2011 Disclaimer: If Cofield leaves, it's even or 2007.
Gotta give it to the '07 guys. Kawika > Bulluck. Pierce > Goff (great signal caller & leader.) Torbor = Boley. The 2007 team also had an injured Kiwanuka in this unit.
2011: CB: Webster, Thomas, Ross, Amukamara s: Rolle, Phillips, Grant
This unit looks good. I'd call Webster a wash as he is about as good as he was. Terrel is an upgrade over Ross, and with Ross & Prince as nickel-dimers we're overall stronger at CB. Hopefully Fewell the purported DBs genius can figure out how to scheme and use these guys, because Rolle, Phillips, and Grant are all head and shoulders above their 2007 counterparts.
Advantage: 2011 (by a mile)
Special Teams: Feags crushes Dodge. Tynes a wash. Hixon crushes Rey-not.
Still, this team looks good on defense. If the secondary and the DL play to their potential, our average/solid linebackers will be of little consequence. We will destroy teams with this defense. If the Wide Receivers step up / improve, and the OL can hold, I hope someday this will be a comparison of two Superbowl winners.
OK, that was pandering.