The 2012 New York Giants just finished a miraculous run to the super bowl by beating the New England Patriots for the second time in four years. They were 7-7 at one point in the season and left for dead, but won their last six games to win the Super Bowl. The Giants run in the playoffs had some similarities to the run the St. Louis Cardinals had in winning the 2011 World Series.
Both teams were figured to have no shot down the stretch of the season. The Giants were 6-6 and had to beat the Cowboys twice including the last game of the season to clinch a the division title at 9-7. The Cardinals were down 10.5 games in the wild card on August 24th. The Cardinals were down two with six games left and still managed to make the playoffs as a wild card. The Cardinals went 23-9 to finish the regular season including 18-8 in September.
Neither were given much of a chance once they got into the postseason. All of the talk was about the Phillies, the Cardinals first round opponents. The Phillies had the superior starting pitching as well as the superior offense with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino. The Cardinals ended up winning the series in the deciding game five, beat the Brewers in six in the LCS and then went up against the Texas Rangers in the World Series, and again were underdogs to a team with a superior offense. The Cardinals again beat them this time in seven to win the title.
The Giants weren’t expected to do much either. After beating the Falcons in the Wild Card round, they beat the defending champion Packers who went 15-1 and had the MVP in quarterback Aaron Rodgers who they had lost to in the regular season. They beat the 49ers who they also lost to in the regular season to win the NFC championship and then the New England Patriots again in the Super Bowl.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Giants both got contributions in the playoffs from players who were injured throughout the regular season. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora were both players on the defensive line for the Giants who were in and out of the lineup with injuries all throughout the regular season, but both got healthy in time for the postseason and made major contributions. Umneyiora had an important sack of Aaron Rodgers against the Packers and Tuck had two sacks of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. David Freese only played in 97 regular season games at third base for the Cardinals hitting .297. He finally got healthy in the postseason where he hit .397 for the Cardinals getting clutch hit after clutch hit, whether it was in the NLCS or in the World Series to help lead the Cardinals to the title.
Every team that wins a title will need some sort of “magic”and good luck and skill in order to win the championship. The St. Louis Cardinals and the NY Giants had both and it helped lead each to the top of the mountain in their respective sports. These two teams prove that you never know in sports and that’s what makes it great.