The irony is difficult to miss.
As the number on the daily Super Bowl countdown “clock” posted on a bulletin board shrinks, so, too, do the 0-6 New York Giants' chance to get into a position to compete for the Super Bowl.
Yet a saving grace for the Giants which continues to give them a sliver of hope has been the play of their three NFC East division opponents—the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
Those three teams have a combined 7-10 record, with Dallas and Philadelphia sharing a division-best 3-3 mark.
With the NFC East still wide-open, the Giants could still get back into the mix if they can somehow find a way to break free of a vicious cycle that, according to Statmilk, has seen them average 2.7 turnovers per game on offense.
The defense hasn’t been much better, as the Giants continue to struggle winning their individual matchups and counteracting offenses from getting rid of the ball faster.
That brings us to the Giants’ matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. That game is, essentially, probably the Giants’ last chance to get back on track toward their initial preseason goal of being in the playoff hunt, which can start with a win on Monday night.
"We've dug ourselves in such a deep hole, we just have to win each and every game if we really want a legitimate shot to reach the playoffs," said cornerback Terrell Thomas.
“It sucks right now to know that if we lose the next game we could be making plans for December in October. That's not a good feeling."
Yet that is the reality for the Giants, who have been to the playoffs once in the last four seasons, and whose coaches and players have been put on notice by general manager Jerry Reese.
With the pressure already high in the Giants locker room, a loss to the Vikings could very well be the catalyst that destroys whatever hope remains.
"At this point, you're human, and you definitely understand the significance of losing a game, especially that last one," Thomas said. "At 0-5, we're still in it. How we lost this last game, we don't know.
“But we're not going to give up,” he added. “We're going to win this next game and get this thing rolling."
Here’s a look at five Giants whose performances could very well be keys to ensuring that the Giants salvage what’s left of a disappointing season.