If the Giants lose in Super Bowl XLII to New England, how disappointed can the Giants’ front office really be with their underdog team that battled through the playoffs only to fall to a team that is one win away from solidifying themselves as the greatest team in NFL history?
With the end of the season comes dealing with free agents and player signings for next fall and it just so happens Tom Coughlin is a free agent himself after next Sunday, and after a see-saw ride as the head coach of the G-Men, is a Super Bowl appearance enough to keep Coughlin around?
I am confident the Giants were going to keep Coughlin around whether they won their first round playoff game in Tampa Bay or not, even though a loss should have been enough to fire him when the clock hit 0:00 in the fourth quarter. Because before this incredible run through three straight favorites this postseason, including the NFC’s top two clubs, Tom Coughlin was nothing more than an average head coach in the NFL. He has been the Donovan McNabb of coaches in the league, someone who is expected to provide greatness, but when they don’t they still hold a job.
In 10 days he will stand opposite Bill Bellichick, the obvious coach of the year, and try to out-smart, out-strategize, and out-maneuver the man responsible for a flawless NFL season. Before this season Tom Coughlin had compiled zero playoff wins for the big blue in three seasons, including one playoff embarrassment against his former Carolina Panthers. Is it possible be can achieve more than he did in Week 17 against the mighty Patriots and overcome a three-point deficit and turn it into the most astonishing upset the game of football has ever known?
If the Giants win the Super Bowl, Coughlin stays. If the Giants lose in the Super Bowl, Coughlin stays. Not because you can’t punish someone for losing to the best team ever, but because the Giants were going to bring him back as long as they made the playoffs this season. Without a sense of urgency among the front office, it was probably the easiest choice for them, unless Bill Cowher was seeking employment in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
You can say Tom Coughlin got the Giants to where they are now, but judging by the level of talent, they should have been able to clinch a playoff berth without such pressure and they should have never gotten off to an 0-2 start against Dallas and Green Bay, playing for their season in Week 3 against Washington, where a goal-line stand in the final seconds gave them their first win. If anything, Coughlin prevented them from playing to the best of their abilities, until now.
Tom Coughlin has earned a couple more seasons at the helm of the Giants for bringing them to their first Super Bowl since Jim Fassel had on the headset, but it shouldn’t be known that his job is safe by any means because the worst thing you want to see is him get comfortable in the throne. But, I am sure the media will make sure he doesn’t following the first Giants loss of next season.