What lessons can the New York Giants learn from the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory on Sunday over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52? Here are five.
The Eagles will be around for a while
Philadelphia just won a Super Bowl without its best player and leader, Carson Wentz. In addition to Wentz, DT Fletcher Cox, WR Alshon Jeffery, DT Timmy Jernigan, DE Vinny Curry, OT Lane Johnson, DB Rodney McLeod, TE Zach Ertz, C Jason Kelce and DB Malcolm Jenkins are among the player signed thru 2020, and in some cases beyond.
The Eagles are going to be good for a while.
The Eagles won the game ...
... But, Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr, really won the Super Bowl. For this:
For thirty teams, Super Bowl isn’t the end of the season – it’s the start of next season. Watch Eli, @OBJ_3, @TheHumble_21 and the @Giants O-line put in the work in our #SBLII commercial. pic.twitter.com/QP6UducMYa— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2018
And the New York Post wins the battle of the back pages. For this:
Congratulations to the New York Post on winning the Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/Wyy0uLOEK0— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) February 5, 2018
The Patriots’ dynasty might be cracking
OK, this one doesn’t really impact the Giants, but it had to be mentioned.
Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions) and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (Indianapolis Colts) will be leaving for head-coaching jobs. Rob Gronkowski raised the possibility of retirement — the guess is he won’t, but once it’s out there you have to wonder how much longer he will play. Tom Brady will be 41 next season, and at times looked his age Sunday. Even Bill Belichick is drawing fire over the benching of Malcolm Butler.
There were special teams mistakes, missed opportunities, and what felt like desperation at times from New England. It was a very un-Patriot like performance.
It takes a team to win
The Eagles just won a Super Bowl with their backup quarterback. Oh, and the Minnesota Vikings got the NFC Championship Game with their third choice at quarterback.
Singular superstars can help you win and are good to have, but it takes a team to be a champion. It takes a good plan, and the ability to adjust. Look at how Doug Pederson adjusted the Philadelphia offense after Wentz went down to suit Nick Foles. It’s a concept Ben McAdoo never grasped, but one we know from his success in Minnesota and other places that Pat Shurmur does.
The Eagles got a great touchdown catch (maybe) from undrafted free agent running back Corey Clement, who had 100 receiving yards. They got a brilliant touchdown catch from a really good wide receiver in Alshon Jeffery.
They rotated defensive lineman, with only Cox playing more than 68 percent of the snaps. That’s a concept the Giants, who rarely rested Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, didn’t grasp the last couple of years. Being fresh had be a factor in the late-game strip-sack of Brady by Brandon Graham.
Big men allow you to compete
Part of the reason the Eagles are champions is that they won both sides of the line of scrimmage. On defense, they hit Tom Brady nine times and Graham had the huge strip-sack in the final moments. On offense, Nick Foles was never sacked and was hit just five times. The Eagles also averaged 6.1 yards per rushing attempt.
Former GM Jerry Reese preferred to build from the outside in, especially on offense. That is flashy, but not fundamentally sound. Fortunately for the Giants, we know Dave Gettleman believes in those “hog mollies.”