Super Bowl talk among Giants players, coaches far from taboo

Damon Harrison doesn’t think the Giants have the league’s best defense and he doesn’t care, either.

“No sir, we’re not,” Harrison said straight up when asked if he considered his unit to be the best in the NFL.

Undoubtedly they’re in the conversation though, along with teams like the Broncos, Seahawks and Ravens, after holding opponents to single-digit points for the second week in a row after beating the Lions 17-6 on Sunday. Big Blue’s ā€˜Dā€™ is red hot and for the season ranks third in fewest points allowed per game. Harrison wouldn’t say which teams he thought the Giants trailed.

Even though Harrison said he doesn’t think his defense is the best, he also thinks that conversation misses the point. There’s no big piece of hardware for the league’s top defense.

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“That’s not our goal. Our goal is obviously to make it to the playoffs and put a fifth trophy in the case,” Harrison said. “If that comes with it, then fine. That’s just not something that’s talked about.”

Discussing the Super Bowl is not a taboo subject at 1925 Giants Drive these days, given that Ben McAdoo mentioned aiming to win the big game back at his introductory press conference and during his first team meeting. With the playoffs just a stone’s throw away, it seems the Super Bowl is as front of mind as center for the Giants.

“It was talked about in the very first meeting and just about every meeting since then. If you don’t take anything from any meeting we have, you know the ultimate goal,” Harrison said. “It’s something that’s spoken about a lot.”

Ben McAdoo.

Ben McAdoo.

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

It’s worth noting that later on Monday Paul Perkins denied hearing Super Bowl talk in meetings, but that likely was just the case of a rookie not wanting to be accused of thinking past the next game. That next game in Philadelphia on Thursday, by the way, can be a playoff clincher for the Giants if they win.

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McAdoo frames the Super Bowl goal as being the reason to focus on the task at hand.

“We talk about everything is out in front of us and we have to make sure we are taking care of the task at hand and that is the important thing for us,” he said. “We make sure that we focus our attention and we have to be where our feet are, especially in a week like this where every second counts and we can’t waste a second of any day leading up to the ball game.”

Eli Manning reiterated that point, calling the Super Bowl the “far goal” and that all the work is to “to give yourself an opportunity to win a championship.”

Obviously, the Giants have given themselves that opportunity ā€” in large part due to the play of the defense ā€” and are playing good football in December. Though the Giants would clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Eagles on Thursday, McAdoo sidestepped whether he would use that as incentive for his players in the run-up to the game.

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“It’s a division rival. You could throw the records out the window,” McAdoo said. “It’s going to be a physical game on a short week. We need to focus on taking care of the task at hand and focus on taking care of each day and the plan for each day.”

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