Let's be real for a second. The Super Bowl winner is the best team in the league. It doesn't happen by accident, and I don't need to go through what I am about to go through just to prove the point, but I am going to do that because, while I am not one to gloat, I have no problem throwing salt in the wounds of those who can't take losing like a man. Let me say, to those for which the latter applies, you disgust me. That you call yourselves fans of the game is a stretch of the imagination that I do not hope to fix, but rather, bury all appearances that you might give to suggest otherwise.
In football, above all else, one thing is coveted: winning the Super Bowl. As a rule, the Super Bowl winner is the best team in the league for that year, without question. Respect the process.
If you should not, I bring to you the following breakdown of playoff teams:
Opponents with 12 or more wins (regular season):
San Francisco (2)
New England (1)
Green Bay (1)
New Orleans (1)
Baltimore is the only team with more than one win in this area (beating Pittsburgh twice, as well as San Francisco). The Giants went 1-3 in this area, but it should be noted that they are the only team up there to play more than one of these games on the road (Baltimore played one, as did San Francisco). The Giants played three regular season games on the road against opponents with a record of 13-3 or greater, losing two of them.
Opponents with (.500) winning percentage or greater:
Giants (10) 6-4
Baltimore (10) 9-1
Green Bay (10) 10-0
New England (9) 7-2
San Francisco (9) 6-3
New Orleans (8) 7-1
This indicates that, while the Giants did have a worse regular season record than many counterparts, their wins against quality opponents are comparable to several other teams (New England, New Orleans, San Francisco) that are considered to be among the league's best.
New York Giants' track record against playoff teams:
Week 9: @ New England (13-3) (24-20) W
Week 10: @ San Francisco (13-3) (27-20) L
Week 12: @ New Orleans (13-3) (49-24) L
Week 13: vs. Green Bay (15-1) (38-35) L
Week 18: vs. Atlanta (10-6) (24-2) W
Week 19: @ Green Bay (15-1) (37-20) W
Week 20: @ San Francisco (13-3) (20-17) W
Super Bowl: vs. New England (13-3) (21-17) W
So, we can see that the New York Football Giants did pretty well against playoff teams. In these games, they went 4-2 on the road (including the Super Bowl). They were 1-1 at home. They lost just one of these games by more than one score (week 12 in New Orleans).
In these games:
Points Per Game (25.6)
Points Allowed Per Game (23.8)
Turnover Differential (+4)
To me, these numbers are impressive considering 75% of these games are played on the road, against opponents with a collective record of 105-23, or a winning percentage of (.820).
Considering the volume of injuries the Giants have endured through the regular season, it's all the more impressive.
Now, injuries are not an excuse in football. I agree with that wholeheartedly. However, we don't need to make any excuses because we won the damn thing. Excuses are for the other 31 teams that, no matter how you slice it, are all in the same boat. There is no silver lining. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and you either win the Super Bowl or you don't. That's how I've always felt about it.
There's no denying Giant legitimacy. They beat the top seeded Green Bay Packers (on the road) by 17 points, following it by knocking off the two seed in San Francisco. The Giants then beat a New England team had won 10 straight since the last time they played the Giants in the regular season.
Legitimacy of champion: Verified.