Never underestimate a Tom Coughlin club turning things around
After starting the season off on a positive note by running over the poor, paltry Panthers at home, things then momentarily came apart at the seams for a teeter-tottering New York Giants club.
During the great Manning V Manning Civil War in week two, Jacobs exploded, threw his helmet into the stands, subsequently asked for a trade, and Coughlin, looking like a half frozen shaved Chihuahua, was on track to prove Tiki Barber right when the G-men collapsed at home vs. the Titans in week three.
Looking at the schedule and the way the Bears and Texans had been playing in comparison to the New York Football Giants’ halfhearted efforts, the team was even money to go into week six’s matchup with the Lions boasting a 1-4 record.
No one—outside of a Giants fan—really thought Chicago would be a team New York would star on. After being essentially useless against Peyton Manning and the Titans’ offense in consecutive weeks, Umenyiora and Tuck were thought dead on defensive end. But, just like that, the Giants’ defense sacked Jay Cutler nine times in the first half, giving him daily nightmares to go along with insulin injections, and even put Todd on his back for an even 10.
The G-men came to life where no one really expected them to. Now, it’s not that the Bears were so heavily liked in the game. The spread wasn’t much – a touchdown at best. It’s the fashion in which the Giants destroyed Chicago, however, that was unexpected.
A lot was made over whether or not the performance was flukey, like catching the bonus slots online and hitting the JP, or whether it was the Giants living up to their full potential and becoming the team to be reckoned with in the NFC East.
After a 34-10 butt-kicking of the Houston Texans, that question is a little trickier now.
Sure, both the Bears and Texans were—are?—good teams this year. And we all know that Houston’s Johnson is one of the best wide receivers in the league. But that doesn’t change the fact that both Houston and Chicago are perennially bad football teams, possibly playing over their heads.
Chicago is a lot better than Houston in nearly every phase of the ball if you want to break it down to team skill and not individual fantasy fodder. Even still, they were a team not considered on the level of the Giants before season’s start. So, do these back-to-back (big) wins hold the future, or did the G-men simply pull the G-strings out of their hind ends and decide to play ball?
In online blackjack games, or even in another sport, it’s easier to quantify with absolutes. The Giants offer no absolutes here. They played incredibly well for two games in a row, and now look to keep the motor running against the Lions.
If the Giants are a serious football team, capable of terrorizing quarterbacks and producing big stats on offense, they’ll actually have to show and prove flawlessly for every game after the home matchup against Detroit – not that they’re slouches, either.
The Giants get to go to Dallas to play the Cowboys, and then up to the northwest to fly with the Seahawks before heading back home to play Dallas yet again. Then they get the Eagles and the Jaguars. And before you go thinking Jacksonville is easy money, just remember that the Jags absolutely hate Manning boys – ask Peyton how well that worked out for him.
For their last five games, the Giants have the Skins twice, the Eagles again, and two of the three teams from Favre’s love triangle – Minnesota and Green Bay, with the G-men playing visitor at both.
By the time week 17 rolls around, most of the Giants will be wishing the only had to play an online roulette game instead of a balls-out NFL man’s sport. But it is what it is, and nobody recognizes this more than the Giants, and that’s possibly why they’ve been playing inspired ball. They know that, with their tremendously difficult schedule, they cannot afford to be asleep at the wheel.
The Giants are now actually favored to win the division, around 3:1 in some circles, but it’s going to take everything they have. Looking at it realistically, New York does have the best chance to take this division down.