Nobody likes to read about their football team after they've lost.
On those ugly Mondays (and occasional Tuesdays), writers and overanxious fans will go out of their way to tell you how terrible things are. To hear them tell it, the glass isn't just half-empty; somebody's pooped in it.
After just two sloppy losses to quality opponents, all anyone can talk about around here is doom and gloom: The Giants are not an elite team ; their coordinators have been "exposed" ; Eli Manning is a bum; their defense is a fraud.
Because I'm as sick of hearing about this stuff as you are, I'd like to offer a reminder that will have you looking forward to next Sunday instead of dreading it:
The Philadelphia Eagles can be had.
Three weeks ago, even when the Giants were rolling over the NFL's JV squads, I'm not sure I would have offered a similar assessment, but Philly's injury woes are undeniable.
Their top two linebackers going into the season, Omar Gaither and Stewart Bradley, are on injured reserve. Gaither's replacement, and the man currently in charge of making the calls in first-year coordinator Sean McDermott's complex defense, Will Witherspoon, has been with the team for less than two weeks.
Brian Westbrook, the team's offensive spark plug, wandered off FedEx Field tonight with a concussion in the first quarter.
During the second half of the same game, DeSean Jackson came up gimpy and underwent X-rays on his foot.
And their offensive line, which has the dubious honor of being the heaviest in the NFL, has had tremendous continuity and injury issues dating all the way back to the preseason. Heading into Week Eight, the Eagles have not had all five projected starters on the field together once.
If ever there was a game that might get the Giants going again, it's this one.
New York's defense showed that they might not be invincible, but they've looked opportunistic against middling competition, and Philly certainly qualifies as middling.
Despite victories in which they've rung up 38, 34, and 33 points this season, Philadelphia's offense is ranked 14th. In Week Six, against an Oakland Raiders squad ranked 28th in the league in total defense, they only managed to score nine points.
The Giants offense has yet to face a truly stiff defense this season, but it can be argued that even the Eagles' defensive numbers (they're currently ranked fourth overall) are a little inflated.
Aside from a 48-22 shellacking they suffered at the hands of the Saints, the Eagles have beaten up on three teams that have fired their offensive coordinators in midseason (Chiefs, Bucs, Redskins), and two teams with unspeakably bad quarterbacks (Raiders, Panthers).
It would be silly to predict that Sunday's game is going to be cake walk. Divisional games in the NFC East are bloodbaths, no matter which two teams are involved.
But for those of you looking for a game that will shut the naysayers up, Sunday afternoon's a good place to start.