Don’t expect Eli Manning to rest on his laurels after winning his second Super Bowl ring.
Manning said on today’s Dan Patrick Show that the Giants’ mindset this offseason isn’t that they’re the defending champions who enter the season as the top team in the league. It’s that they’re coming off a season in which they needed to win their last game to make the playoffs, and a season in which most of their wins were by four points or fewer.
“The attitude is, Hey, we went 9-7 last year and hardly made the playoffs,” Manning said. “It could have easily gone a very different route. We had to make a lot of fourth-quarter wins, and those are fun, but we’ve got to be better. We’ve got to be a better team all around. On offense, there are a lot of areas where we can improve.”
Manning is absolutely right: It’s entirely possible that 9-7 won’t be good enough to win the NFC East this season, and that if the Giants are just as good in 2012 as they were in 2011, that won’t be good enough to make the playoffs. The Giants were the best team in the NFL during the postseason, but they may need to be better in the regular season if they want to return to the postseason.