Even with the greatest quarterback of the modern era, the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII win is a pathway for the New York Giants in their rebuild.
The Giants don’t have to draft a quarterback or move on from Eli Manning this spring. This needn’t be a massive overhaul.
Simply, they need to build an identity.
For once, Tom Brady wasn’t the star in the Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. He didn’t even play all that well. But at the end of the day, it was a balanced effort on both sides of the ball that carried the Patriots to a sixth Super Bowl title. The defense was tremendous in stopping the high-flying Rams and the offense controlled the ball, limited mistakes and gave their opponent a long field to play with all night.
That Brady didn’t have to carry the team is a reminder for the Giants as they enter an offseason of full-fledged rebuilding. The knee-jerk reaction says to draft a quarterback and blow this thing up. But the Giants don’t have to do that.
There is enough talent on this roster for the Giants to be a contender, and the NFC East is muddled enough that they can win the division. The Patriots played to their strength in Atlanta and came out with another Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The Giants can begin to form a similar identity. They have some young pieces on defense and an elite safety in Landon Collins. If they can resist the urge to draft a quarterback in the first round, then they can begin to load up with talent on the defensive side of the ball. There are good pass-rushers who can step in immediately and make an impact in the first two rounds of this draft.
Picking sixth, the Giants can grab one of these elite pass-rushers or trade back to accumulate more assets.
Going after a quarterback, in particular, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, would be the exciting move. But as Manning proved this year, there is still plenty left in his arm and he could easily be the Giants quarterback the next two or three seasons.
And while Manning isn’t Brady, he has beaten the Patriots quarterback twice in the Super Bowl. He’s good enough to get back into the playoffs, provided that the team around him improves.
And while the offensive line needs help, the Giants need to get better on the other side of the ball. The Patriots defense is what carried them against Los Angeles. This is where the Giants must seriously upgrade their team this offseason and not at the quarterback position.
New England won because of good coaching, and Pat Shurmur showed in the second half of this past season that not only did he not lose the locker room after a rough start, but he turned his team into a competitive one that started winning some games. Now, if they can resist that pesky urge to cast Manning aside, the Giants can follow the Patriots Way and win some games.
This Giants defense isn’t perfect and is very much flawed. But there are some pieces on the roster that, with a good draft and free agency, can elevate this whole team.
A first-round quarterback pick might be exciting, but it won’t get the Giants back into the postseason in 2019. The offense is almost there as evidenced by the second half of the year. Upgrade the offensive line and begin to stack that defense with speed and a pass-rush, and suddenly, the Giants could be contenders again.
A 13-3 win may not bee too exciting for Patriots fans, but that it landed New England a sixth Super Bowl title is excitement aplenty for the organization. Time for the Giants to build their identity on the defensive side of the ball.
Quarterback, Manning in particular, is fine for the next couple of seasons.