There is no question that football fans, as well as players, around the league are as stupefied by the last two New York Giants losses as all of us here at home are. A feeling of uncertainty sinks in when a fan and its team sees the G-Men on their schedule before the start of the season. The reason being is that the New York Giants are a viable and competitive team that are capable of turning a stadium, crowd and team up on their ear. That, of course, is dependent on which Giants team shows up to play.
The Jekyll and Hyde Giants syndrome has been an unfortunate reality for the 30+ years that I have been a football fan. This enigmatic affliction wreaked havoc in 2009 and is beginning, or continuing as the case may be, to work its ominous chicanery. These last six quarters of football are clear, cut indicators that there is a silent but deadly assassin picking apart the success of this Giants football team.
The G-Men are incorporating a different approach this week. They are not trying to bury the Green Bay loss behind them and point their radar on the Redskins straight away. No, they are allowing it to seep into their pores in hopes to realize and focus on their goals once more.
Tom Coughlin said yesterday, “What I sense is that the guys would like to continue to deal with a dose of reality.” Being stuck in Wisconsin an extra few days certainly helps keep the Lambeau loss fresh. With their two biggest losses of the season still haunting them, the NY Giants are hoping to end their season on a positive note, not to mention extending it.
Justin Tuck told reporters at the post game press conference,
“All we can worry about is learning from this loss and coming back and trying to get it right next week. We’ve got at least one more game to play. If the season ends next week then I don’t want to end it with this kind of taste in my mouth.”
The loss against the Green Bay Packers didn’t come as a surprise when the final seconds of the fourth quarter ticked away. The Pack dominated the game from start to finish. While the Giants did have some success, it was not enough to tip the scales in their favor. This was a prime example of the “Mr. Hyde” Giants showing up and bringing about a self implosion.
The loss to the Philadelphia Eagles was quite a different tale. For 55 minutes the “Jekyll” Giants were in full swing and in those minutes, the best team in the NFL. They were unwavering, uncompromising and unstoppable. The “Hyde” Giants showed up for 5:11 at the tail end of the fourth quarter and all but paralyzed this team, allowing the Eagles to score 28 unanswered points. For some this Giants reversal of fortune came as a shock. For those who have been around for awhile, it was another painful reminder of this Big Blue manic condition.
The saving grace of the 2010 season is that the New York Giants are not a bad team, quite the contrary. At one point they were being hailed as the best in the league, enter Hyde Giants. As badly as their last two losses have been, they are still not bad enough to warrant a loss against the Washington Redskins. While many fans do not believe that the Giants deserve a shot at the playoffs, they might find themselves with one regardless.
There were two scenarios that would have put the Giants into a wildcard game. The first was the New Orleans Saints losing their last two games. That scenario is now off the table as the Saints pulled out a huge victory last night against this year’s nemesis, the Atlanta Falcons. There’s only one road to the extended season and it requires the Big Blue Wrecking Crew to defeat the Redskins at home next Sunday and a little help from ChiTown.
The Chicago Bears, who are probably still a little sore that the Giants sullied up their undefeated record earlier in the year, will have to beat the Packers in order for the Giants to advance to the playoffs. Easier said than done. The Bears now find themselves playing for one of the top two seeds in the NFC, giving them a first round bye. The Bears have quietly been making noise this year, beating such teams as the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and next week’s opponent, the Green Bay Packers. The Chicago Bears have not swept the Packers since 2007. They lead the series 91-82-6. Both teams seem to have a head full of steam going into next Sunday’s matchup but only one of them has the home field advantage, the Pack.
The New York Giants had two golden opportunities to secure themselves a playoff spot. Not prone to taking the easy road, the blew each one. They now find themselves with another chance to advance. First, skin the skins. Second, hope that Chicago’s success on the road this season continues (6-1). Third, keep “Mr. Hyde” far, far away from all things Giants.
This season has been tumultuous, to say the least, for the New York Giants. It has been very streaky business. The Giants recorded 3 pairs of dual losses throughout the season. After each pair of losses, they went on to win a string of multiple games. If history repeats itself, the New York Giants are due for another string of wins. The first dose of double losses this season inspired the Giants to win 5 consecutive games. That’s exactly how many games the G-Men need to pull out now, with a Chicago win next week of course, to bring home their 4th Lombardi Trophy. Yes, highly unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility.
Can the G-Men channel up the “Jekyll” Giants of January and make a run for the playoffs?