After starting the season 0-6, most fans in New York, or anywhere, would give up on their team. Let's face it, no team has started the year 0-6 and made it to the Super Bowl.
Now, is it definite that Big Blue will find a way into the wild card?: No. But is it possible? Yes, for one reason: These Giants, led by Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning, play torture ball like none other. In short, this is what they do.
When they’re not expected to get very far in the playoffs or make it at all, they don’t, like in 2007. The Patriots, Packers and the Cowboys were supposed to beat the Giants in the Super Bowl and the playoffs. And the Giants kept on keeping on, defeating Dallas on a last-second interception by R.W. McQuarters in the end zone, then fighting the bitter cold to beat Brett Favre in overtime in Green Bay, then catching passes on helmets to defeat the heavily favored and then-undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
Yet that was then and this is now. But has much really changed?
The team that missed out on the playoffs in 2010, thanks to a walk-off punt return for a touchdown by none other than DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles, dubbed the Miracle in the Meadowlands II, ended up winning it all the following season, beating a San Francisco team that “should’ve beat them” in the NFC title game and a New England team that, again, should’ve beat them. Ironically enough, Eli won Super Bowl XLVI at Peyton’s (old) place.
Last season, the team collapsed toward the end, giving way for RG III and the Redskins to take the NFC East.
So why should anyone give up on these Giants? Because this is what they do. This is a team that loves to be cornered and doubted. They love the role as the underdog.
Since starting 2013 with an 0-6 record, their four straight wins puts them about two shy of the NFC East lead with the Cowboys and Redskins coming up in the next two weeks, with the only challenge coming in Week 15 against Seattle. With a favorable schedule and the Giants starting to look more like themselves, the playoffs aren’t exactly such a far reach for this team after all.
With Andre Brown back in the backfield and Eli Manning starting to play more like himself with four touchdowns and just two picks in his last four starts compared to the gifts he was giving away to open the year, the offense is beginning to click. Brown’s return, along with the short spark of Brandon Jacobs’ return to the Giants, helped the passing game, as Manning has had fewer than 40 pass attempts in seven of his last eight starts, taking some of the burden off his shoulders as Eli is easily on pace for another season of 3,000-plus yards passing.
The acquisition of linebacker earlier in the season gave the defense, especially the front seven, the spark it needed to help with this rally as the Giants are ranked 11th in yards allowed.
A win Sunday would put the Giants in second place in the NFC East, just a game behind division leader Philadelphia with four winnable games in the next five weeks, as they should beat Dallas, Washington, San Diego, Detroit and Washington again on the road after that. Their only affordable loss, if they can have one, would be against Seattle, which has been dominant all season thus far.
The Giants will have about 10 weeks of do-or-die football if they hope to hoist the Lombardi trophy at home at MetLife Stadium in February.
But first, time to get ready for Dallas.