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Question: Which Super Bowl Run Was Better?
Pittsburgh Steelers XL - 9 (81.8%)
New York Giants XLII - 2 (18.2%)
Total Voters: 0

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Author Topic: Steelers XL vs Giants XLII  (Read 652 times)
Winters in Holland
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« on: Mar 02, 2008 at 17:51 »




Prior to this season, I didn't think there would ever be a Super Bowl playoff run equivalent to that of the Steelers during their road to Super Bowl XL.  Now, I'm not so sure...

1.  Seeding
We all know the Steelers were a 6, and the Giants were a 5.  No 6 has ever won the Super Bowl before the Steelers did it, though I believe 1 other 5-seed (Baltimore?) has won it before.

There isn't much difference, aside from playing a 3 in the first round vs. a 4.  Otherwise, both teams are basically on the road throughout.  Still, I'd have to give a slight edge to Pittsburgh here- they had the mathematically most difficult road.

Edge:  Steelers


2.  Wild Card Opponent
The Giants matched up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which, in my opinion, were typical NFC fodder- only really there because of the overall weakness of the conference.  The Steelers were playing a fairly high-power Bengals team, a divisional rival, and facing them for the third time to boot.

Edge:  Steelers


3.  Divisional Opponent
This is where it begins to get tricky.  Both the 2005 Colts and 2007 Cowboys dominated their respective divisions, and both were favored to represent their conference in the Super Bowl.  I want to say the Colts were a better team, but it's also hard to say the Cowboys were that much worse.  This one's a tad too close to call for me.

Edge:  Push


4.  Conference Championship Opponent
The one thing that I think keeps Pittsburgh's run from being a perfect utopian scenario for me is that they never got to avenge the Patriots along the way.  Obviously, the Broncos team that they beat bested NE the week before, but I don't think it was quite the same.  The Giants avenged their early season loss to the Packers a week after avenging their early season loss to the Cowboys, and did it in arguably the most hostile environment in the NFL.

Edge:  Giants


5.  Super Bowl
Although the Steelers were the AFC 6-seed, taking on the 1-seed Seahawks of the NFC, they were basically favored in the game, and rightly should have been.  The gap between AFC and NFC was around its peak in 2005, I believe, and I don't really think the Seahawks would've been there during a normal year.

Meanwhile, the Giants took down arguably the best regular season team in NFL history, and did it with some last minute heroics during a season in which no other team was able to do so.  Absolutely epic.

Edge:  Giants


Final Verdict, IMO
It's no slight against the Steelers- XL was an amazing run, and I felt blessed to be a part of it as a fan- but I tend to think the Giants' run was a tad more impressive.  Even if I leaned toward giving the Colts' victory (PIT) the nod over the Cowboys' victory (NYG), it will still be tough to say Pittsburgh's run was better.  I think the Steelers clearly had the more difficult start, but the Giants' Conference Championship and Super Bowl victories were fairly epic.


Thoughts?

.WiH.
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 02, 2008 at 19:19 »

I agree with everything you said except for two things.

First, re: the Steelers had the edge as far as the Wild Card round.  Bengals over-achieved all year (see: they haven't done dick since) and their QB went down on the first offensive play of the game.  sure, the '07 Bucs were only in the playoffs because of a JV division, but they were atleast at full strength.

So, I would make the Wild Card round a push also.

The divisional round I would actually give the edge to the Steelers, as they were matched up against what was believed to be far and away the very best team in the league, matched up against the best QB remaining in the playoffs.  Also, don't forget the spanking the Colts gave the Steelers on MNF earlier that season.   Based on the QB matchups alone, and given the fact that everyone (other than Steelers fans) had the Colts in the AFCC (I still can't believe Phil Sims had the gall to say during the Broncos/Pats game the night earlier that the winner of that game would move on to play the Colts in the Championship game, what a douche.  But I digress...)

Edge in Divisional Round goes to the Steelers.

Overall though, I still think because of the way the Giants' run culminated with winning in Green Bay in negative temps and then dethroning the undefeated Cheats was a much better exclamation point then the '05 Steelers had, as their Super Bowl was played in Indy 3 weeks before.
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 03, 2008 at 00:57 »

That "push" in the divisional round I would say is a slight advantage for the Steelers. Remember, the Colts were supposed to be the "team of destiny in 2005"; the Cowboys were not last year. Another thing to consider is that the AFC in 2005 was tougher than the NFC in 2007.

Advantage: Steelers.
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 03, 2008 at 07:22 »

Quote
First, re: the Steelers had the edge as far as the Wild Card round.  Bengals over-achieved all year (see: they haven't done dick since) and their QB went down on the first offensive play of the game.  sure, the '07 Bucs were only in the playoffs because of a JV division, but they were atleast at full strength.

So, I would make the Wild Card round a push also.
 
I disagree with this but only because familiarity breeds contempt.  Granted the Steelers and Bengals split the season series but it is always tough to play a team a third time in one year.  I do agree that the Bengals had over-achieved all year.  

I put the Wild Card win as a Steelers advantage as well.

PUMA
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aj_law
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 03, 2008 at 10:10 »

At first blush, I'm not sure which one was better.  They were both extremely impressive.  I think the fact that the Giants were the lone team to beat the Pastries might give them the appearance of having a better run.

However, don't forget the Steelers '05 late season run where every week was essentially a playoff game; 4 straight wins just to get in; one of them was against the then #1 seed in the NFC; lose any of them and the season's done.  Then, a #3, #1, #2 and #1 in the playoffs.

Man, it's close, but given the totality of how the regular season finished and what they did in the postseason, I'd have to say Pittsburgh by a hair.
« Last Edit: Mar 03, 2008 at 10:21 by aj_law » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: Mar 03, 2008 at 10:19 »

If you just look at the five points highlighted in the OP, I'd go:

1. Steelers by a little
2. Steelers
3. Steelers
4. Giants
5. Giants by a lot

Again, factor in the '05 stretch run for Pittsburgh and they get the edge, IMO.
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 03, 2008 at 10:27 »

I think both runs, taken from start to finish, are a dead-even draw.

6-seed in the AFC is tougher than 5-seed in the NFC.

The Been-gals of '05 >>>>> than TB this year, even with Kitna.  

The Cowboys of 07 <<<< the Colts of 05.  

Green Bay at home >>>> Denver at home.  Although, one could argue that GB overachieved for much of the year.

And obviously, Patriots >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Seahawks.

The Giants had their most amazing win in the biggest game, on the biggest stage.  But was it any more unlikely that we would win 8 straight, including one of the most amazing and unlikely wins in playoff history at Indy?  Remember, the last time the Giants played NE, they played really well.  Indy shellacked us earlier in the year.

I'd have to say that the whole thing is a push...perhaps a slight edge to the Giants b/c they gave us an amazing SB upset.  
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