They had a quarterback in Eli Manning who was durable and unflappable and focused. They had a running back in Ahmad Bradshaw who pushed through a painful foot condition all year and still produced. They brought back Chase Blackburn to play middle linebacker and bring their defense together.
Eagles fans, especially those not in lockstep with owner Jeffrey Lurie's decision to bring coach Andy Reid back for a 14th season, might want to turn their heads away from the page at this point, because the 2012 season figures to bring more of the same for the Giants.
This is not to say they will win a second straight Super Bowl or should even be favored to at this point, because in this era of pro football, winning a championship requires equal amounts of luck and skill. But they figure to be better equipped to go after it than they were in 2011.
Like the Eagles, they have a mostly young nucleus and are not in position to be hit hard by free agency, despite 18 expiring contracts, including Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham's.
Manningham's return is far from certain, but the Giants will have plenty of options to draft a replacement or even upgrade in free agency.
The Giants are still rebuilding their offensive line and their secondary depth. They also face the losses of starting cornerback Aaron Ross and punter Steve Weatherford, who was as a huge factor in their Super Bowl run for many more reasons besides the fact his name isn't Matt Dodge.
However, they have many promising young defensive pieces and a cast of assistant coaches who haven't been raided (yet) and are good bets to be back for at least one more season. This is always a factor when a team wins the Super Bowl. Heck, look at the team they just beat. The New England Patriots haven't been the same since losing offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel following the 2004 season.
Needless to say, optimism is predictably running at an all-time high now.
"If we won it this year, there's no doubt in my mind that we can [repeat]" linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka told the New York Post this week. "We've just got to get in the playoffs. That's it.
"The big thing for us is to get one next year. We had a great season a couple years ago and we had a letdown the year after. We've got to make sure that doesn't happen again."
Added wide receiver Hakeem Nicks: "I feel like the sky's the limit for this organization and our team. I feel like we can be at this level for a long time."
The euphoria doesn't figure to wear off anytime soon, and for good reason: It is a lot easier and infinitely more realistic to see the Giants taking a step forward next season rather than a step back.
Again, this is bad news for the Eagles, whose strong but puzzling program is in a much different place with uncertainty still hovering over their defense, their quarterback and their coach following owner Jeffrey Lurie's de facto ultimatum to win next season or else.
Coach, quarterback, defense. For the Super Bowl champs, those are the biggest strengths, in no particular order.
For the Eagles, those are the biggest question marks following a season in which Michael Vick's career took a severe downturn and rookie defensive coordinator Juan Castillo consistently struggled with play calls, particularly in the fourth quarter.
All of that added up to head coach Andy Reid's 13th straight season without a championship and third straight without advancing in the postseason.
Ironically, the Eagles' last playoff victory came against the Giants more than three years ago.