Originally posted on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 1/18/12

Shale Briskin
BGB Contributor

Now that the New York Giants have upset the Super Bowl favorite Green Bay Packers, many comparisons are being drawn between this team and the team that won Super Bowl XLII over the Patriots, which was also in upset fashion. The coaching staff and most of the player personnel between the two teams are very similar and this current group of Giants looks poised to win another Super Bowl.

With this being said, here are five similarities between this current Giants team and the Super Bowl XLII champions.

Similarity #1: Both Teams Have an Explosive Defensive Line

The Giants' defense for years has been built around their defensive line. Defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are still leading the defensive line today, just like they did four years ago at this time. Although the Super Bowl XLII champions also had the legendary Michael Strahan, who is arguably the greatest defensive end of all time in his last professional season, this year's Giants team has the young Jason Pierre-Paul, who has had a breakout season en route to his first Pro Bowl appearance.

The defensive tackles have changed with Fred Robbins now playing for the Rams and Barry Cofield signing with the Redskins last offseason. Rocky Bernard, Chris Canty and Linval Joseph are the three defensive tackles of the current Giants team and all three have had solid seasons. Hopefully, Canty will be healthy enough to to play in all of this coming Sunday's game against 49ers.

Similarity #2: Eli Manning is Confident and Poised

Although Eli Manning played extremely well back in 2007-2008 en route to his first Super Bowl appearance, it's quite obvious that he has made tremendous strides in his game from then. He looks more and more poised and confident than ever before. Back during the Super Bowl XLII run, Manning barely made any critical mistakes and so far in this postseason, he has been on point with his passes and decision making.

At the beginning of this season, many people were critical of Manning when he considered himself as one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL. However, with everything he has done this season, it's clear that he now belongs in the same class as Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, whom Manning outplayed last week. If Manning wins his second Super Bowl this season, his legacy will automatically overtake that of his older brother Peyton Manning. All in all, nothing stopped Manning in Super Bowl XLII from doing what he had to do to win, and at this rate, nothing should stop him now from repeating the trick.

Similarity #3: The Giants' Running Game is Clicking at the Right Time

The Giants' running game was one of the worst in the league this season, which was unlike the dominant running game that Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs brought to the Giants in recent seasons. However, in this postseason, Bradshaw has been healthy and has been playing very well as he continues to assert himself as one of the better running backs in the league. Bradshaw's health has a lot to do with how well he has done, but some credit should also go to Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who has been calling the right plays in this postseason, just like he made the right moves during the Super Bowl XLII run.

As long as Bradshaw stays healthy and avoids any fumbles and turnovers, there is no reason why he should not have a big game, even if it's against the 49ers' dominant defense. As for Jacobs, he could also present matchup problems due to his size. While the Giants will need to rely on their passing game more against the 49ers, the running game should be able to hold its own as well.

Similarity #4: The Players are Buying Into Tom Coughlin's Philosophy and it Has Paid Off Once Again

During the Super Bowl XLII run, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin got his team motivated once the playoffs began. The Giants then won three consecutive playoff games on the road and then won Super Bowl XLII by upsetting the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Even though the Giants were heavy underdogs in most of those series', Coughlin told his players to keep playing the same football they have always played and motivated them enough to win all those upsets. The Giants also defeated some of the NFL's best quarterbacks during the process, including Tony Romo, Brett Favre and Tom Brady.

In this current season, the Giants entered the year coming off of two consecutive late season collapses and the goal was to get back into the postseason. It took until the very last regular season game to clinch the NFC East title, but the Giants have turned into a much better team during this postseason. Coughlin knew his job would really be on the line if the Giants had missed the postseason, so he buckled down and really prepared his team for their recent games and they have not lost a game since Week 15 against the Redskins.

With Coughlin still leading the Giants, another Super Bowl victory is something that could definitely happen, and this time, it will not be in as much of a surprising fashion.

Similarity #5: History Has Repeated Itself in the Past

The Giants won their first ever Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXI, which occurred in January of 1987. They won their next Super Bowl championship during Super Bowl XXV four years later in January of 1991.

The Giants then went on a championship drought until Super Bowl XLII, which they won in February of 2008. Four years later, the Giants are in the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers and are ready to potentially repeat history by attempting to win their second championship within five years. The Giants have won two championships within five years between 1987-1991 and with history on their side, they could do the exact same thing and win two championships between 2008-2012.
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