Super Sequel




It sure feels like 2007 all over again. And for the New York Giants, the second time was just as sweet.

The parallels between Big Blue’s magical run four short seasons ago and their 21-17 triumph in Super Bowl XLVI are truly astounding. Where do we begin?

Well for starters, the 2007 Giants took on a 15-0 New England Patriots team that appeared destined for perfection. Big Blue played their hearts out before falling 38-35 as the Patriots clinched the first undefeated regular season record since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Flash forward to the 2011 season, where the New York Giants took on the 10-0 Green Bay Packers, a team that finished the regular season at a mark of 15-1. The Giants would fall to the Packers on a late field goal by Mason Crosby.

The score…38-35. If this is starting to sound eerie, just wait, it gets better.

Despite the Giants losing regular season contests to the Patriots in ’07 and the Packers in ’11, Big Blue’s solid performances gave them a reason to believe that they could compete and eventually knock off the heavy favorites.

The 2007 New York Giants, much like this year’s version, breezed through the Wildcard round and entered the Divisional round of the playoffs as significant underdogs. In 2007, the Giants stunned the 13-3 Dallas Cowboys behind a staunch defense and efficient offense clinching a berth in the NFC Championship game with a 21-17 road victory.

In similar fashion, Big Blue dealt the 2011 Packers a crushing blow, dominating in all facets of the game to the tune of a 37-20 win.
In both the 2007 and 2011 NFC title games, the Giants opposed 13-win squads in the ’07 Packers and ’11 Niners with each contest waging into overtime. Lawrence Tynes kicked the Giants into the Super Bowl not once but twice, as his 47-yarder split the pipes in 2007 and his 31-yard kick sent the 2011 Giants to Super Bowl XLVI in Indy.

Just as in 2007, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots were standing between the New York Giants and a date with destiny. In Super Bowl XLII, David Tyree’s miraculous fourth quarter helmet-catch lifted Big Blue to the most shocking upset in recent history, as the impossible became reality and the Giants ruined the Patriots pursuit of perfection and captured the Lombardi Trophy by a final of 17-14.
Prior to Super Bowl XLII, Tom Brady mocked Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress’ prediction of a 23-17 Giants victory. Brady chuckled “We’re only going to score 17 points?” That response will forever be a part of Super Bowl lore.

Once again, flash forward to Super Bowl XLVI as two familiar foes waged battle. This Super Bowl sequel featured yet another heroic catch by a Giants wide receiver late in the fourth quarter. This game’s signature moment was courtesy of Mario Manningham as he tight roped the sideline and hauled in a 40-yard reception on New York’s game-winning fourth quarter scoring drive. The Giants snapped the Patriots 10-game unbeaten streak, handing them another devastating Super Bowl defeat.

On Sunday in Indy, The Patriots managed 17 points. The very same point total Brady scoffed at four years ago as he ridiculed what he felt was a foolish prediction.

It seems as though the Giants got the last laugh.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Podcast Review Show: Is Mark the Jets Sanchize QB?







Join Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein as they discuss Mark Sanchez's first three years as the New York Jets starting quarterback. We will determined whether Mark is indeed the Jets Sanchize quarterback.

Podcast Show Link
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

NFL Divisional Round Playoff Picks





AFC

(1) New England vs. (4) Denver

Looks like Tim Tebow’s magic carpet ride will come to an abrupt halt at Gilette Stadium in Foxboro. The Broncos stunned the Steelers Wldcard Weekend as the Tebow phenomenon reached biblical proportions. Expect the Patriots high octane offense to overwhelm Denver ‘s stout defense as Tom Brady will play up-tempo and score early and often. New England will put Denver behind the eight ball and force Tebow to be one-dimensional, a recipe for disaster for the Broncos. Denver may hang in contention, but Bill Belichick and Brady will earn their first playoff win since 2007.

Prediction: Patriots 31 Broncos 20


(2) Baltimore vs. (3) Houston


For the first time under head coach John Harbough, the Baltimore Ravens will host a home playoff game in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens were a perfect 8-0 this season and 15-1 over the past two years with their only loss coming at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that knocked them out of postseason contention two times over the last three seasons. With the Steel City gang bounced on Wildcard Weekend , the Ravens are chomping at the bit to make a serious Super Bowl push. Expect the Ravens defense to engulf Texans quarterback T.J. Yates by keeping him on his heels in the pocket and hurrying his throws. The clock will strike midnight on Houston’s Cinderella story as Joe Flacco, Ray rice, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed will provide too much firepower for the Texans to overcome.

Prediction: Ravens 27 Texans 10


NFC

(1) Green Bay vs. (4) New York

Upset alert! The New York Giants are playing championship caliber football on both sides of the ball. Forget Aaron Rodger’s sterling quarterback rating for a minute. Even forget the Packers 15-1 regular season record. The Giants are carrying some powerful mojo into Lambeau Field and believe they can go toe –to-toe with arguably the best team in the NFL. Many are likening this year’s playoff run to the magical championship run in 2007. In Week 13, the Giants nearly knocked off the undefeated Packers, coming within a brilliant last second drive by Rodgers from forcing overtime. New York lost 38-35, the identical score of the Week 17 contest in the 2007 season against the 15-0 Patriots during which head coach Tom Coughlin elected to play his starters and challenge New England’s perfect record. Despite the Giants losing both those regular season games, their performance gave them the belief that they could pull the upset back in 2007 and during this current postseason run. Expect the Giants to unleash their furious pass rush and for their offense to make enough big plays to keep pace with Rodgers and the Packers prolific attack. New York will outlast Green Bay on a late field goal by Lawrence Tynes ala the 2007 NFC Championship game.

Prediction: Giants 34 Packers 31

(2) San Francisco vs. (3) New Orleans

While the Harbaugh brothers are hoping for a reunion in Indianapolis on February 5th, the Niners will not hold up their end of the bargain. Despite the New Orleans Saints failing to win a road playoff game in the entire history of the franchise, quarterback Drew Brees can singlehandedly will his team to victory. San Francisco has embraced the hard-nosed mentality of its head coach and set a new standard in winning ugly. Behind quarterback Alex Smith and tailback Frank Gore, the Niners rode a ground and pound attack to a 13-3 record and first round playoff bye. Smith is an adept game manager tossing only five interceptions on the season. Expect New Orleans’ high-flying aerial assault to have the Niners backpedaling all afternoon. This game could be scary-ugly for the Niners as they will rely on the arm of Smith to match Brees’ brilliance. The Saints will build a two-score lead and win going away as San Francisco will fail to contain “Who dat” nation on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Saints 34 Niners 17
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets Season Review Podcast




Jets Season Review Podcast

Join Rick Laughland and Daniel Fuerstein as they recap the Jets disappointing and drama filled 8-8 season.

Showtime Friday, January 13th at 4:00PM.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Ringing in the New Year with No Jets Cheer




There was the champagne toast at midnight, and then came New Year ’s Day, where the New York Jets were just that…toast.

As the final seconds slipped away Sunday afternoon, so did the Jets slim playoff chances. New York came to grips with the fact it will not be contending in the 2012 NFL playoffs.

Another season littered with Super Bowl aspirations and plenty of title talk from head man Rex Ryan ended abruptly in a bitter 19-17 Week 17 defeat in Miami at the hands of the AFC East rival Dolphins.

Gang Green showed virtually no sense of urgency as a frazzled Mark Sanchez tossed three interceptions culminating in nine points on the scoreboard for Miami. Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes—named team captain prior to the start of the season—was benched for New York’s final offensive possession of the game— following his spat in the huddle with offensive lineman Wayne Hunter.

New York’s right tackle Matt Slausson recorded more receptions (1) than Holmes (0) as the former Super Bowl MVP has developed into a malcontent while openly expressing his frustration with his diminishing role in the offense in recent weeks.

With their championship proclamations unfulfilled for the third straight year, the Jets are left searching for answers. Meanwhile, fans are clamoring for wholesale changes to the offensive coaching staff, putting offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on notice that his days in New York may be numbered.

The Jets enter the 2012 offseason as a team that has taken a major step back—following up back-to back AFC Championship game appearances—with a middling 8-8 record this 2011-2012 season.

The Jets organization is at a crossroads in the franchise’s history. New York will likely use the upcoming offseason period to identify the missing ingredients for its championship formula; otherwise it will face the prospect of another season mired in mediocrity and without a postseason berth.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

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