If you could watch only one Giants game ever again, it would be Super Bowl XLII.
Schmeelk: Fact -- On television? Yes. It was a dramatic game with ups and downs, and high level play on both offense and defense. It was a close game until the end when the Giants drove for a game-winning touchdown. Often forgotten is the Giants defensive stop of Tom Brady and Randy Moss on the following possession, thanks to a deflected pass down the field by Corey Webster and a thunderous sack by Jay Alford.
If I could see any game in person again, I would choose the NFC Championship game from the same season against the Green Bay Packers. As thrilling as the Super Bowl was two weeks later, the ambience of that game being played in Lambeau Field in literal sub-zero temperatures is the football experience I will never forget.
Salomone: Fiction – Super Bowl XLVI is near and dear to my heart. It was my second season on the job, and the first time I ever traveled with the team was the Divisional Round in Green Bay. Everything was a blur after "Another One Bites the Dust" played on the airplane PA system as we got out of Dodge. Super Bowl XLVI cemented a lot of legacies for the coaches and players who were part of the 2007 championship season. Doubters couldn't scream "luck" anymore at Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin. They beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick – again. Oh, by the way, the 2020 Bracket Challenge has launched on the Giants Twitter account, and you can vote for the greatest game in franchise history. Super Bowl XLVI gets my vote. Don't forget you can watch all the games on the Giants YouTube Channel.
Medow: Fiction -- I understand the significance of the win but at this point and after all these years, are you really going to learn anything new. While watching a Super Bowl is an easy choice, I'm not taking the bait. Instead, I'd choose the 2011 NFC Championship Game against the Niners. That game had a little bit of everything: physical play, wet conditions, mishaps, game-changing plays, plus it went to overtime. It also may be one of the gutsiest performances of Eli Manning's 16-year career, perhaps one of the gutsiest from anybody for all time. That game was memorable from start to finish.
Your outlook on the draft has changed significantly since the college football season ended.
John Schmeelk: Fiction -- My view of the draft was confirmed by what I saw at the NFL Scouting Combine, and unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there haven't been many pro days or other activities since to alter my perception. Unless another team trades ahead of the Giants for a quarterback, there could be a chance to move down in the draft with a trade. Edge rusher Chase Young, cornerback Jeffrey Okudah and linebacker Isaiah Simmons will be the three stud defensive players who could be options for the Giants.
The Giants may also take one of the four top offensive tackles in the draft. After watching more of those four players on tape since the combine ended, I have a better feeling of which of those players I like more, but there is no telling what each individual NFL team thinks of them. Tristan Wirfs definitely made himself more attractive with his physical testing at the combine. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the less than four weeks we have before the draft.
Dan Salomone: Fact – Heck yeah. They paid me to go to Alabama for the Senior Bowl and Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. So I better have learned something new. Joe Judge hadn't even named his coordinators when LSU beat Clemson in the final game of the college football season. Just look at everything that has happened since. Judge assembled his staff, Dave Gettleman and his personnel group got to meet these prospects in person at the aforementioned events, and the first wave of free agency has passed. And that's only with the Giants. Think of all the variables with the 31 other clubs, which have an impact on the Giants' draft plans. In terms of prospects, can I honestly say I knew a ton about, for example, a Louisville offensive tackle in mid-January? No, not really. That's why we have this process.
Lance Medow: Fiction -- I don't get too caught up in combine numbers because I think what a player does on the field during his college football career is far more important than a few days of running around in his underwear. Given the current state of the country and the cancellation of pro days, there haven't been many developments since the end of the season other than the Senior Bowl and the Scouting Combine, so I can't see how my outlook on the draft would be significantly impacted. The depth, or lack thereof, of various position groups hasn't changed and the only factor that could drastically change my outlook is what came out of individual meetings at the combine, which isn't for public consumption.
This has been the biggest free agency period in recent history across the NFL.
Schmeelk: Fact -- I hate to boil this down to something so simple, but when not one but two probable Hall of Fame quarterbacks change teams in the same offseason, doesn't it have to qualify as the biggest? It isn't very often that a player like Tom Brady, considered by many to be the best quarterback of all time, leaves the team he has spent his whole career with as an unrestricted free agent. Philip Rivers did the same and signed in Indianapolis. One of the best wide receivers in football, DeAndre Hopkins, switched teams in a shocking trade between the Texans and Cardinals. The lack of other sports to capture the attention of the public has contributed to the perceived impact, even if it was more perception than reality.
Salomone: Fact – Typically, NBA owns free agency. Major stars pack up and leave every year and significantly change the landscape of the league. Sure, in the NFL you get a dominant receiver or pass rusher change uniforms, but franchise quarterbacks usually stay put. The position is so important that if you have your guy, you don't let him leave. Not this year. Tom Brady, no longer a Patriot. Philip Rivers, no longer a Charger. Cam Newton, no longer a Panther.
Medow: Fact -- There's two reasons why I support this statement. Three players who spent at least 16 seasons with the teams that drafted them changed uniforms in the same offseason: Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Jason Witten. That's unheard of. The second reason why I think this year's free agency period deserves that label is the current circumstances surrounding the country. As a result of the coronavirus, every team and every player has had to make significant adjustments in the free agency process due to travel restrictions and access to team facilities. This is uncharted territory for everyone associated with the league.
The Giants' schedule is tougher after seeing some of the moves in free agency.
Schmeelk: Fact -- Tom Brady wasn't on the Giants schedule before, but he is now (Tampa Bay). DeAndre Hopkins wasn't on the Giants schedule before free agency started, but he is now (Arizona). Those are significant additions for both teams that will be hoping to turn themselves into playoff teams this year. The Chicago Bears added a Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Nick Foles. The Browns added an excellent tight end in Austin Hooper and a new starting offensive tackle in Jack Conklin. The Bengals will eventually add Joe Burrow as their new starting quarterback. It could be another very tough slate of games for the Giants in 2020.
Salomone: Fiction – Let's just see how everything plays out. It's the boring answer, but it's true. Football, more than any other sport, cannot be won or lost with one – or even two or three – new players. Even when Tom Brady, the most accomplished player in NFL history, goes to a new team, I have no idea how it is going to turn out. You have to take into consideration coaching, schemes, rosters, culture, health, and on and on and on.
Medow: Fact -- With Tom Brady going to the Bucs, that certainly makes Tampa Bay a much more dangerous team, so the Giants didn't catch a break there. The Ravens continued to bolster their defense by acquiring veteran lineman Calais Campbell from the Jaguars and holding onto linebacker Matthew Judon with the franchise tag. The Bears added pass rusher Robert Quinn to the mix as well as quarterback Nick Foles, and the Cardinals provided quarterback Kyler Murray with another weapon in the form of DeAndre Hopkins in a trade with the Texans. Within the NFC East, the Eagles revamped their secondary by trading for Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay from the Lions and signing Nickell Robey Coleman, who was with the Rams, and the Cowboys beefed up their defensive line by adding veterans Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, as well as re-signing wide receiver Amari Cooper. Overall, many of the Giants' opponents helped their cause in free agency.