As the Giants' unlikely Super Bowl win proved, it's almost impossible to guess how pro football will shake out.
For the past few weeks sports fans have been inundated with preseason NFL predictions. Everyone has one, with thousands of words devoted to analyzing each team and picking division leaders, conference champs, and, finally, the Big One—the winner of the Super Bowl. It's fun—especially if your team is picked to do well—but here's the reality.
Did you think the New York Giants were going to win the Super Bowl last season? Really? None of the pundits did.
That means you thought that a team that was outscored by its opponents (400 to 394) over the course of the season was going to go all the way even though that had never happened before the Giants did it last year. It also means that you thought a team with the lowest total of rushing yards in the league was going to win it all. That had never happened before, either.
It also means that you thought a team that lost four straight games in its ninth, 10th, 11th, and 12th weeks of play—just four games before the end of the season—would take home the Lombardi Trophy. And guess what? That had never happened before either.
Sports fans have notoriously short memories. Football fans are the worst of the lot. Most of them remember the final game and judge the season by how that went. Last February 5, the Giants beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 21-17. What else matters?