November 28, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) tackles New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (28) during the fourth quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Giants 49-24. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
After two gut-wrenching losses by the New Orleans Saints, fans are still hopeful that their team will rally and turn the season around on it’s axis. One silver lining they have been holding on to is the 2007 and 2011 New York Giants seasons that led to a Super Bowl victory.
While there is always a chance in any situation, Saints fans should be cautious about using that as their last bastion of hope. It’s like the celebrity that was “discovered” while walking through the mall so now you spend every waking hour strolling through the mall hoping it happens to you. The right time and right factors are key.
Even Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo cautioned about honing in on the 2007 season that he was a part of as the Giants defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo said that things came together at just the right time and with the right personnel. Personnel that the Saints unfortunately don’t have right now.
The Giants had in their 10-6 2007 season a dominant defensive line that headlined players like Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, and Michael Strahan. Although Strahan retired the next season, the Giants drafted first-round defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in 2010 who appeared to be the missing link.
The Saints on the other hand aren’t getting much out of their defense especially on the front seven. The main component of Spagnuolo’s defensive scheme is putting pressure on the quarterback, something the Saints have failed to do in any way, shape, or form.
With their past season, while they did go 9-7, the Giants still had a dominant defensive line that generated a pass rush and won when they had to do so against superior opponents. Let’s don’t forget too that they weren’t also having to deal with the offseason distractions that the Saints are currently in.
Don’t be mistaken, the Saints are a legitimate Super Bowl contender still. Although the statistic says that teams that start 0-2 only have a 12% chance of making it to promised land, there is still that 12%.
The last thing to keep in mind about the Saints chances mingling with the Giants past history is the division they play in. The NFC South is one of the toughest to play in currently and the Saints will have to beat out teams like the red hot Atlanta Falcons in order to reach the end.
In order to be the Super Bowl champions, the 2012 New Orleans Saints will have to not hold onto the template of the 2007 and 2010 Giants, but instead like the team that everyone is used to seeing and they are used to being.