In a matter of a few weeks, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has gone from nearly unemployed to near Hall of Fame worthy.
On Dec. 4, the Giants lost to the Green Bay Packers at home by a score of 38-35 to fall to 6-6. It was their fourth consecutive loss, and Giants fans and media were beginning to turn on Coughlin. Two weeks later they fell at home in an ugly game against the Washington Redskins, placing Coughlin on the hot seat.
But somehow, the Giants persevered and clinched the NFC East Division Title with wins over the Jets and Cowboys in the final two weeks of the season.
Then the Giants kept rolling through the playoffs, stifling the Falcons 24-2, knocking out the consensus top team in the NFC in a 37-20 win over Green Bay, and then hanging tough in a wild NFC Championship 20-17 over San Francisco.
Now on the cusp of another Super Bowl victory, Coughlin has gone from goat to God in roughly two months.
But could the swing, and specifically one more title, really propel him all the way to the Hall of Fame?
A look at the numbers seems to indicate that it would. In his 16 years as a head coach, Coughlin has a regular-season overall record of 142-114; he is 11-7 in the post season, and may claim two Super Bowl titles should the Giants win on Sunday.
That gives him a nearly identical record to the last coach elected, Marv Levy, who guided the Buffalo Bills to four Super Bowls. Levy was 143-112 in his 17 year career and 11-8 in the post season. The difference being that Levy went to four straight Super Bowls but he never won one.
Bill Parcells, who is eligible for and will likely be granted induction this year, was 172-130 in the regular season and 11-8 in the playoffs, over the course of his career.
With one more title, Coughlin will match nearly all of Parcells's marks with the Giants. Both reached the playoffs five times, both would have two titles. The only real edge Parcells would have would be his gaudy .611 win percentage at the helm in New York.
With a Super Bowl victory on Sunday, Coughlin would have more titles than five Hall of Fame coaches: Bud Grant, John Madden, George Allen, Hank Stram and Levy. He'd have more appearances than either Madden or Allen but he does have the lowest winning percentage of the bunch at just .555.
He is certainly on the border as it stands now and Sunday's action will go a long way towards cementing his legacy for the long term.