NFL Playoffs: Learning From The Final Four


The NFL Playoffs head into Championship Sunday, meaning that the National Football League is down to it’s final four teams. The New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts, while the Green Bay Packers travel to take on the Seattle Seahawks. What can the New York Giants learn by watching the remaining football teams?

These teams are all different but they have one thing in common. The final four teams all have a franchise quarterback. The Giants can mark this section complete in their championship checklist, because they too have a franchise passer in Eli Manning.

More than anybody else the Seahawks and Packers built their teams through the draft. They started by drafting their franchise quarterback of the future in Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, respectively. They then hit home runs with their draft picks. The bulk of these teams starters were players they drafted and developed quickly into superstars.

Seattle especially loves the draft. Richard Sherman was a 5th Round pick, now you can’t watch television without hearing that he is the best. Kam Chancellor was also a 5th Round pick.

The Super Bowl MVP last year was Malcolm Smith, a 7th Round draft pick. Bobby Wagner was taken in the 2nd Round though he has proven to be a first round talent at linebacker. Seattle owns the NFL draft, lets be honest.

All four teams have drafted well and that is the first lesson that the Giants can take from them. It is incredibly important to building long term success.

The Patriots and the Seahawks defenses are built remarkably similar. They both have aggressive shut down cornerbacks. By shutting down your receivers on the outside, they have so much more flexibility in how they call the defense. The Seahawks and Patriots beat you by dominating the line of scrimmage, but its their usual dominance in the secondary that allows them to do this.

Finally we can learn from these teams that it takes a great coaching staff. Pete Carroll is one of the finest coaches in the league. Both of his coordinators are candidates for head coaching positions. Mike McCarthy is a sharp minded offensive guru. His defensive coordinator, Dom Capers, has been coaching in the NFL since 1986 and is one of the most respected coordinators in football.

Chuck Pagano is an extremely good head coach. He has such an aggressive mindset, that his cancer never had a chance to beat him. The mentally tough Pagano, is a great coach and his record speaks for himself. The Colts resurgence had a lot to do with Andrew Luck but don’t underestimate the influence of Pagano. Bill Belichick is the standard in football coaching, whether or not you like him, he wins a lot of football games.

The Giants have two things in common with the final four teams this season; they have a great quarterback and a proven head coach. The Giants need to fix their defense and they too may be fighting for a championship soon.

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