To say that the New York Giants played a bad game on Sunday would be an understatement. Watching that game, many would think that this was the worst game the Giants have played in recent years.
After watching that game, it was hard to tell if the team that was just on the TV was the Giants or if it was a misprint and everyone just watched the Jets.
Despite the horrendous game and the inconsistencies the last few weeks, the Giants are arguably in the exact position that they love to be in. They historically struggle in November under Tom Coughlin but as they enter the bye week, they will have two weeks to prepare for the homestretch, a time when Big Blue normally thrives.
Eli Manning has struggled over the last few weeks and as his play has dropped, so has the play of the entire team. PHOTO COURTESY: ANDREW THEODORAKIS/NY DAILY NEWS
The Giants have done more than just struggled over the last three weeks. Although they were able to grind out a big win against the Cowboys, their offense has sputtered over the last two games. The Giants struggles could have a lot to do with Eli Manning’s tired arm as he only has one touchdown over his last four games.
During this stretch, Manning has a quarterback rating of 58.6 and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 1:6. He is far from where he was in the beginning of the season when people were starting to think he was better than his older brother Peyton.
Manning’s struggles should not come as that much of a surprise to many people as the quarterback has often struggled in the month of November. Over his career Manning has compiled a 13-19 record in the November and this month has been seen as the “midseason lull” for the Giants.
However, the biggest thing that is now happening to the Giants is that people are starting to underestimate them; again. For the first two months of the season, the Giants were seen as arguably the best team in the NFL. A second straight trip to the NFL was easy prediction.
After they were embarrassed by Cincinnati, people are beginning to doubt them again which has been a trademark for this team under Coughlin and Manning. They are always seen as good, never great and right when you think they have no chance, they prove the doubters wrong.
Just remember what happened last year. After a dismal November that included a 49-24 drubbing by the Saints on Monday Night Football, the Giants ended the year winning three of their last four and making yet another improbable run to the Super Bowl.
This is why the Giants are in the perfect situation to thrive again.
The difference this year though is that the Giants remaining schedule is brutal to say the least. After they host the Packers in two weeks, their five remaining games are as follows: at Washington, home against New Orleans, at Atlanta, at Baltimore and home against the Eagles.
To put it in other words, they have to play their final six games against Rogers, Robert Griffin III, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Mike Vick/Nick Foles.
By the end, there is no doubt that the Giants will be praying for Foles. Unfortunately for the Giants, with that schedule ahead of them, that final game might be irrelevant for both teams.
The upside of this is that if the Giants do survive and make it to the playoffs, they will be probably the most battle tested team in the NFL. Every game for the rest of the season will have the intensity of a playoff game and with one more magical run in December, the Giants could find themselves fighting for the Lombardi Trophy one more time.
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Contributor – Dave Ragazzo – @Dragazzo_Sports
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