When the Giants beat the Patriots in two Super Bowls, the plays and players talked about then, now, and for all time came from the offensive side of the ball.
Eli Manning and David Tyree's helmet catch in the 2007 Super Bowl.
Eli Manning and Mario Manningham on the sideline in the 2011 Super Bowl.
They were unforgettable plays, unforgettable moments, and unforgettable wins. Unfortunately, what they also did was make us all forget why the Giants won those two Super Bowls, and the two Super Bowls in 1986 and 1990.
The best teams in Giants history have always been led by great pass rushers and bullying offensive lines. But as the NFL evolved to a more offensive-focused league, the Giants forgot their identity. They've focused on offense, using their first pick in the last two drafts on offensive players (Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones) and passing up opportunities to draft (maybe by trading back) potentially dominant pass rushers like Josh Allen in 2019 and Bradley Chubb in 2018.
Well, the Giants can't make the same mistake in the 2020 NFL Draft. They need to tank the rest of the season, get the best draft pick possible, and select Chase Young. If they're No. 2, they need to trade up. If they're No. 1, the choice is simple. Young is the key to their future.
So far this year, Young has 16.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss and 7 forced fumbles despite missing two games. He's 6-5 and 265 pounds. He can beat you with his speed or power or technique. He's got it all and is just what the Giants need.
Consider their history: In '86 and '90, it was Lawrence Taylor and Leonard Marshall breathing down quarterback's necks. In '07? Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck. In '11? Jason Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora and Tuck. What's the common thread? All of those players were not only Pro-Bowl pass rushers, they were also Giants draft picks. Young could be the next in that line.
While the NFL has undoubtably become more offense-friendly, great defenses still trump great offenses. Just look at the Patriots' run to the Super Bowl last year. Yes, the Giants need solid players on offense who can make plays, but what they need more than that. when the weather gets cold and the ball gets hard, is a pass rush that can get to the quarterback and an offense that can control the clock.
Chase Young could be the first piece to making another puzzle that culminates with a fifth Lombardi Trophy. But the Giants have to get him first.