Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Feb 2012

ESPN: Can the Giants Become a Dynasty?

A look at New York's chances of contending for the crown again next season shows a lot of reasons to be optimistic.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 06 Feb 2012

25 comments, Last at 29 Feb 2012, 4:41am by the cat in the box is dead


by BJR :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 7:55am

Ah, the old first Monday morning in February "Can the **insert Super Bowl winner** become a dynasty?" article.

I'm going for maybe, but probably not.

by RickD :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:24pm

Jesus H. Christ, can we not have this exact article written every freakin' year?
"Can the Saints Become a Dynasty?"
"Can the Packers Become a Dynasty?"
Can we at least wait for a champion to repeat before we use the word "dynasty"?

There's been one successful title defense in the last fifteen years, right?

Can't we at least walk this backwards to "Can the Giants repeat?"

by Kurt :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:33pm

Can't we at least walk this backwards to "Can the Giants repeat?"

That's not really a backwards step; it's a sideways step. Like it or not, three championships in six years would be historically perceived by most as a dynasty.

by RickD :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:55pm

"Like it or not, three championships in six years would be historically perceived by most as a dynasty."

So if, in a six year period, two separate teams each win three titles in an alternating fashion, they're both dynasties?

by Kurt :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:06pm

Absolutely yes.

Based on your other response, you seem to have a more restrictive meaning of dynasty than most people. I'm not saying you're wrong, but since "dynasty" is entirely a matter of subjective opinion, the majority opinion is going to hold.

by Independent George :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 4:16pm

Were the Raiders a 'dynasty'? They won the title in 76, 80, and 83, and won a heck of a lot of games between & around each of those championship years.

by RickD :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 5:17pm

Apparently the Steelers, Raiders, and Cowboys all had dynasties at the time.

At one point in the Middle Ages, there were three popes at the same time.

Made just about the same amount of sense.

by tuluse :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 8:18pm

Pretty sure people consider both the 80s Lakers and Celtics dynasties.

by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:39pm

The only difference is the Giants already have 2 in 5. This wasn't title #1. Now, there are a lot of new players, but Manning, Jacobs, Bradshaw, Osi, Tuck, Webster are all holdovers, as is Coughlin. If they can win another in the next couple years, that is close to dynasty status in my mind (3 out of 6 or 7).

by RickD :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:59pm

3 out of 7?

I think the word "dynasty" needs to be retired. It's bad enough that it's now commonly being used where the word "reign" would be more appropriate. (In a real dynasty, one monarch dies and is replaced by another. The sporting equivalent would require massive turnover of the personnel of a team.)

The only true dynasty in sports that I can think of was the UCLA basketball program. Even the 1960s Celtics were a reign (of King Bill Russell) as opposed to a dynasty.

by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:45pm

I think you are right in the larger sense. To me, the only true dynasty in the Super Bowl era was the 49ers from 1981-1997. Ten trips to the NFC Title Game. Five to the Super Bowl, winning all five times. Two different HOF QBs. Three coaches, one in the hall and one probably could have been had he never coached Carolina (or retired before that 1-15 year). 10+ wins from 1983-1997. Records of 15-1, 13-2, 14-2, 14-2, 14-2, 13-3, 12-4 and 13-3 in that stretch. That was a dynasty.

However, few actually considers dynasties in this sense. That's a disconnect that is probably never going to change.

by patsfool (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 2:59am

No dynasty for a team losing 6 and 7 games a season, unless the Scottish Stuarts are the model. Consider the Stuart sovereigns and their end.

  1. James I - murdered by Robert Graham
  2. James II - blown up when a cannon exploded
  3. James III - thrown from his horse during battle
  4. James IV - killed in battle at Flodden Field
  5. James V - died during childbirth
  6. (He died as his Queen delivered Mary. She was crowned at nine months.)
  7. Mary - beheaded by Elizabeth I
  8. James VI - dysentery, after 58 years as sovereign
  9. Charles I - beheaded by English Parliament
  10. Charles II - apoplexy, after 25 years as sovereign
  11. James II - brain hemorrhage, after 13 years exile

That's all.

by Shattenjager :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 2:46am

"There's been one successful title defense in the last fifteen years, right?"

Wrong. There have been two. Denver in 1998 and New England in 2004.

by RickD :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 5:19pm

I was trying to pick the number that would exclude the Broncos. Was off by one.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:17pm

In monarchy terms a dynasty is defined as an UNINTERRUPTED reign - I like that definition for football too. When I first started watching football the dynasties were the Dolphins and Steelers of the 70s; the Redskins had just failed to create one in 83/84 and there was talk in the late 80s that no team would ever manage one again - enter the 49ers.

As for the question ... taking it literally anything CAN happen so yes they CAN. Realistically - no way - they're an average that got hot at the right time. I'm sure most people are aware that fans were calling for the head of Coughlin in December - it's hardly the most awe-inspiring track record.

I'd give the Patriots better odds to be back in the Super Bowl next year than the Giants.

by RickD :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 5:21pm

I'd give the Pats better odds to be back in the Super Bowl but that's because the Packers, Saints, and 49ers are all in the NFC. If the two teams were to trade conferences, I'd give the Giants better odds.

by thebuch :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:18pm

I feel like there should be more to a dynasty team than winning titles. If you're a dynasty, teams better fear playing you year after year, and you certainly aren't a 9-7 or 10-6 borderline playoff team missing the playoffs in between winning the Super Bowl. If you're a dynasty, people are going to modify their rosters after getting burned by you. I don't think anyone is going to overreact to stop the Giants in the offseason this year like the Eagles did going after 3 "elite" corners and the Falcons did by trading up to try to grab a difference maker in an attempt to slow the Packers. If you're a true dynasty, your losses need to be a result of you not playing your best football that day (which happens at a maximum of three times a year, otherwise you're just inconsistent), and not the other teams just being better than you. I just don't think the Giants are that good, I think they were lucky to play the Packers on a day where their offense just wasn't their usual self, obviously the 49er special teams handed the game away, and then the Patriots just didn't look that good. They won the Super Bowl, but please, get all this dynasty talk away. FBO is better than this trash.

by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 9:06pm

It might be better to think of a dynasty as being a team that consistently wins its division and/or makes the playoffs year after year. Think of divisions as countries. Thus the Colts, Pats, Cowboys of yore, the consistent winning teams.

Of course, in today's NFL, it just means you have a top 5 QB.

by NYMike :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 11:08pm

This makes sense to me. Winning the whole thing in this day and age requires so much luck that that idea of dynasty seems quaint. The "dynastic" Giants WERE OUTSCORED BY THEIR OPPONENTS in the regular season. Hardly seems dominating much less a dynasty.

by NFL Stadiums (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:34am

The days of dynasties in the NFL are long gone. Scouting is too advanced, talent is dispersed much better throughout the entire league, coaches don't get the opportunity to stick around for long.

by tsmonk (not verified) :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 1:11pm

All I can say is, if they're to be considered as a dynasty then dynasties sure run cheap these days.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 2:29pm

I heard they just signed Joan Collins, so maybe...

by vette :: Wed, 02/15/2012 - 12:23pm

Let's see after Free Agency and how the team looks after the Draft. Reese has to re-work some contracts that can then become more Cap friendly. There are also several key players who's contracts expire and will be on the market. McKensie, Manningham, Thomas, Jacobs and Ross all have to be looked at. They have to pay Cruz. Jacobs and Osi will have contract issues.

The Defense has come together and has trended well the last 6 games. If they get Thomas and Goff back Healthy, if Osi stays put and Austin comes on, then the Defense will be very good.

They also need to keep Gilbride and Fewell for purposes of continuity.

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."
-Vincent T. Lombardi

by the cat in the box is dead (not verified) :: Wed, 02/29/2012 - 4:40am

If they'd been more dominant in the regular season, then I would say so. To me, they've never felt like that all-conquering force that the Patriots were, or the Cowboys in the 90s. They've just been an above average team that got hot at the right time, both times they own the SB recently.

Now, two Superbowls in that short a period of time is genuinely impressive, but I think those are Guts rather than Stomps, to borrow a phrase from some FO research.

What I mean by that is that if a Stomp (ie beating up on weaker teams) is more indicative of quality than a Gut (last minute Elway Heroics again and again) when looking at one game, I think it makes sense to think of the league title and indeed performance throughout a season, in that way. I think the Giants SB runs were Guts. Sorry if that's misusing that idea, but hopefully people get the point I'm trying to make.

I also think that to be a dynasty, you have to have a sustained period of time where each game you look at, you think 'those poor opponents really don't have a chance' and you're genuinely surprised if the other team wins the game. That's never been the case with the Giants in this current era. They've been very good, but not dominant. Now, if they have something like two 12-win seasons and another title in two years' time, that'll be different.

I think the team with the best shot at that kind of dominance will be the Packers, if they can draft well on Defense in the next year or two.

by the cat in the box is dead (not verified) :: Wed, 02/29/2012 - 4:41am

Ha. that should be 'both times they WON the Superbowl.' funny typo.