Go ahead and count the Giants out. Give them the underdog role. They prefer it.
When everyone's counted out Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and the New York Giants, that's when they play their best.
Once again, the Giants went into the Super Bowl as the underdog, the team that shouldn't even be there. A team riding a hot streak that carried them to one of the most unlikeliest Super Bowl just four years ago, where they slayed Goliath - the great 18-0 Belichick and Brady.
Enter Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVI (that's 46 for the non-Romans) and Eli Manning is pulling out another come-from-behind victory. The Giants are somehow, some way, grabbing the ultimate prize from the Patriots again.
Can't count them out anymore.
In another great game in the new-age rivalry of Giants-Patriots, Belichick-Coughlin, Brady-Eli, the team that squeaked into the playoffs at 9-7 becomes the 2012 champs and the only Super Bowl champions to finish with fewer than 10 wins.
If you looked at them in Week 4 when the refs had to hand them a victory against the lowly Cardinals, you wouldn't have ever believed this Giants team could win the Super Bowl. How about Week 5 when they imploded and lost to Seattle at home? They got beat 49-24 against the Saints in Week 12 amidst a 4-game losing streak.
They were 7-7 after losing to their rival Redskins, for the second time, and faced two more rivals (Jets and Cowboys) to end the season. One loss would've done them in. Probably cost Coughlin his job. Yet somehow Eli and the core members of the team rallied the troops once again around the oldest coach in the NFL and went on another against all-odds championship run.
Now the debates can begin about the status of Eli and Coughlin. Two rings puts them both past a lot of people. A lot.
That's how it works. Coughlin is now 5-1 versus Belichick and 2-0 in the Super Bowl. If Belichick is a genius, what does that makes Coughlin? Two rings puts him in elite company, same with Manning.
Coughlin clearly should be considered a great coach. Eli also can be called great, just like his big brother always has been. Some might say even better. Probably not but I'll say he's played better in the Super Bowl.
Those two rings get you a lot of places. Places many never thought they'd see Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. Just how they prefer it.