After a tough, albeit close, loss to the 49ers this week, the Giants’ rankings have suffered. Their overall play was good but the mistakes killed them, and the Giants will have to find a way to limit those mistakes if they want to reach, and contend in, the playoffs.
National Football Post has knocked them down a few pegs to number 6, and that’s a fair place for them. They may be the best in their division right now, but they have yet to prove that they are better than the best in other divisions, except the AFC East. Until they do, the doubters will continue to point out all their flaws instead of the positives. But as we all know, that’s how the Giants like it. Let’s see what everyone else has to say.
The Giants Across the Board
There is no shame is losing to a 49ers team on the road. This was a slugfest by two teams that want to win the same way…physically Eli Manning had a solid game, brought the G-Men back, but the two INTs (after throwing just six in the first eight games) is a concern. Victor Cruz continues to become a go-to guy for Manning.
Those interceptions just cannot happen, or this team will go nowhere. Eli has to be on point with his throws and continue to make good decisions. Despite those mistakes, he brought the team within a few yards of sending this one into overtime. You can’t win them all at the last second like this, though it certainly makes for dramatic television.
They got a split from their two tough road games, but they had a real chance against the 49ers in the end. They can put a real kill shot on the Eagles this week.
The Eagles are a shadow of the team they were at the beginning of the season. In recent years it has been the Eagles who have put the final nail in the playoffs coffin, utterly destroying any lingering hope and momentum late in the season. Maybe it is time for the Giants to return the favor?
I still don’t know if they’ll make the playoffs. Since Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg this team has not shown an ability to close out the season. Let’s see if they have what it takes this season.
As nice as it would be for the Giants to clinch a spot early, I just don’t see it happening. As always, this season will go down to the wire.
Here come the Cowboys. And a schedule that gets no easier.
I’m surprised more analysts aren’t as focused on the Giants’ schedule this week, usually this is a hot topic. But it’s true, their schedule is working against them.
Some more relevant rankings via National Football Post:
Philadelphia Eagles: 19 (3-6, week 11)
Like I said before, this team has failed miserably to live up to expectations. Now they are the spoilers in the division, and even though their playoff hopes are all but gone, they will still be motivated to beat the Giants on their home turf after suffering a home loss of their own earlier in the season. Vick may not play, but that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly.
New Orleans Saints: 4 (7-3, week 12)
Eli returns to his hometown in the hopes of taking out his dad’s old team. Unfortunately Drew Brees, who is having another great season, will be looking to shred the secondary which, while it has seen some improvement, is not as good as it should be. This will be a shootout, and I have to imagine a game plan similar to the one used against the Patriots would be useful here.
Green Bay Packers: 1 (9-0, week 13)
Ditto for the Packers, who could very well still be undefeated by the time they visit the Meadowlands. Whatever magic speech Coughlin gave to the Giants back in 2007, when the Patriots came to town and ultimately achieved the perfect regular season, needs to be dusted off and applied here. Winning this game would be huge, but even in defeat the Giants can walk away with the momentum they will need late in the season.
Dallas Cowboys: 10 (5-4, week 14)
I would never underestimate a division team, especially one that is on an upswing, but it’s going to take more that wins against the Bills and Seahawks to convince me that this team could take the division. The Bills have fallen fast in recent weeks, and the only other good team the Cowboys have beaten are the 49ers in week two. Not an easy task of course, but they have not stepped up against good teams since then. They face the Redskins, Dolphins and Cardinals before week 14. Three winnable games which for some reason will convince everyone they are the best of the division, especially if the Giants do not win the next three. But we will not know how good this team is until the Giants go to Dallas.
Washington Redskins: 30 (3-6, week 15)
Well, so much for the resurgent Redskins the Giants faced on opening weekend. Beginners luck, perhaps? It’s the same old story in DC, and I have to wonder how secure Shanahan is in his job right now, following two seasons of complete anarchy at the quarterback position. Andrew Luck may not be an option unless they can trade up, but they desperately need a quarterback just as a starting point to build this team back to relevance.