NFL Playoffs: Has Tom Coughlin Built Another Bill Belichick Buster of a Team?
The duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick for the New England Patriots has been quite the unstoppable force for the last 15 years or so.
Over that time the Patriots have been to seven and won five Super Bowl Championships, the only team and more specifically person to beat them? Tom Coughlin, when he was the Head Coach of the New York Giants.
Coughlin isn't coaching anymore but he is still constructing teams and gearing up to beat the odds and take down the Patriots yet again in the postseason.
Tom Brady holds the record for most postseason games started (35) and won (26) by a quarterback in NFL history. With that, he's 4th on the list of postseason losses with 9, which will happen if you get there as many times as he has.
The only teams Brady has had more trouble with than Coughlin and the Giants have been the Baltimore Ravens (lost twice) and the Denver Broncos (lost three times).
As for Coughlin constructed teams, the 2007 and 2011 New York Giant teams both came into the respective Super Bowls as heavy underdogs and both times beat the odds to down the evil empire. How were those teams constructed? What made them so successful against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots?
For starters, those teams were constructed around a solid defensive foundation, a stable of pass-rushers, and a solid secondary.
The formula to beat Brady lead teams has and always will be, get pressure in his face rushing three or four guys, and let the secondary cover with an extra guy or two.
The 2007 Giants accumulated 53 sacks during the regular season and the main culprits were, Justin Tuck (10), Michael Strahan (9), and Osi Umenyiora (13). In the Super Bowl they were able to get to and take down Brady 5 times.
The 2011 Giants totaled 48 sacks and a monster season by Jason-Pierre Paul with 16.5 sacks. Osi Umenyiora was still getting after it with 9 and Tuck added only 5 that season. In that Super Bowl the Giants were only able to get home twice but were able to hurry throws and Brady finished only 27/41 for 276 yards, 2 TD's, and 1 INT.
Now, lets look at this years Jaguars team. They've sacked the quarterback even more then either of those two Giants teams with 55 total sacks as a team. The leaders in the clubhouse were, Calais Campbell (14.5), Malik Jackson (8), Dante Fowler (8), and Yannick Ngakoue (12).
Wow, now those numbers really stand out as you have four guys who can legitimately get after the quarterback and reek havoc. Not to mention the solid secondary with two All-Pro corner-backs in AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey.
Some questioned why Tom Coughlin would return to a Pro Football team this late in his life (he's 71) but as the Vice President of Football Operations his patented football finger prints are all over this roster.
Oh yeah, don't forget about the young stallion in the backfield in Leonard Fournette.
The recipe for Coughlin and Doug Marrone's Jag's to be successful this weekend, rush the passer with three or four guys, create turnovers, and keep Brady on the sidelines.
Will Coughlin be able to dash the Super Bowl hopes of Brady and Belichick once again? No one's 100% sure, I think they've got a good shot, and I know we're all hoping he can.