Repeating tougher than Victor Cruz thought it would be
The New York Giants have won two of the last five Super Bowls but their odds of repeating are nearly gone as they will require an unlikely set of events to even reach the playoffs this season.
So, once again an NFL team will fail to repeat as champions. The last time that happened was with the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004. It looked good for the Giants this season until a second-half collapse that they simply could not pull out of following crushing the losses at Baltimore and Atlanta in the previous two weeks.
“It’s a lot more difficult than I thought it would be,” Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “I guess when you think about it from an individual standpoint, you think it’s easy, but it takes a full team effort ... it’s tougher than it looks.
“Winning a Super Bowl takes a lot out of a team. It takes a lot out of anyone individually, just emotionally, physically and then the next year, just physically demanding each and every week how teams are fighting to beat the defending champions. It’s tough to do.”
The Giants believe their goal was made more difficult by a tough schedule that greets the Super Bowl winner. Sure, that’s part of it but every division winner plays a tough schedule too.
“When you have the most recent trophy you’re gonna get everybody’s best shot and you have to play with that expectation,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. “It doesn’t matter what a team’s record is, when they see you on the schedule they’re gonna say this is an opportunity to beat the world champs.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune