In Tom Coughlin’s last three seasons as New York Giants head coach, Big Blue was a disappointment as the team combined for a 19-29 record and missed the playoffs in all three of those seasons. At the end of the 2015, Coughlin was no longer the head coach of the Giants yet Coughlin tenure did have bright spots. Particularly the two Super Bowl championships the G-men won when Coughlin was at the helm. While any coach who wins a Super Bowl in the NFL will receive some affection from the fan base who Coughlin defeated for those two Super Bowls will enhance Coughlin’s legacy.
Bill Belichick is considered to be the football mastermind of his generation and can be considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game. After the New England Patriots win in Super Bowl LI Belichick has won more Super Bowls than the likes of Chuck Knoll, Tom Landry, and Bill Walsh. And while Belichick is in the pantheon of great football coaches Tom Coughlin was able to defeat Belichick in the biggest game of the season.
Further examining the last two Super Bowl wins by the Patriots does prove that the opposing coach needs to be flawless when competing against the evil genius of Belichick. In Super Bowl XLIX the opposing coach was Seattle’s Pete Carrol who actually was actually Belichick’s predecessor as New England head coach. Carrol won national titles on the college level and a Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XLVIII. Yet even with Carrol’s credential one mistake against Belichick could be crucial. In the final moments of Super Bowl XLIX it looked like the Seahawks were poised to score the game-winning touchdown, but from the one-yard line Seattle decides to throw the ball and Russell Wilson’s pass is intercepted by Malcolm Butler. A repeat by the Seahawks was upended by one errant play call.
In Super Bowl LI Atlanta’s head coach Dan Quinn had his Falcons up by what appeared to be an insurmountable 25 points. Yet even with that big of a lead New England was able to make a comeback and secure the franchise’s 5th Super Bowl title. The major critique of Quinn was not running the ball in the 4th quarter to wind down the clock. And by not running down the clock left the Patriots enough time to mount a historic comeback.
Both Pete Carrol’s and Dan Quinn’s mistake in the Super Bowl was exploited by Belichick and altered who hoisted the Lombardi trophy. And in both of Coughlin’s Super Bowl appearances, Coughlin did not make a mortal mistake that doomed the Giants chance to win. Coughlin went up against the most revered coach of his era and defeated Belichick. And for all of those that say Coughlin’s victories against New England were because of luck, winning twice demonstrates that Coughlin’s wins against Belichick were not flukes.