Week Seven is gone and the Giants are now 5-2. Not a bad record at all, however, the fact that Big Blue lost two in a row is a disappointing and gut wrenching one to all Giants fans.
After an offseason of doubt and insecurity regarding the offensive production, when many predicted the Giants would crumble and be mediocre, the season began well—well enough for even the most pessimistic fan to become hopeful.
A win in Week Two at Dallas showed that this team can be great as it is. Eli Manning shined like his older brother and the young receivers thrived. The defense proved to have depth, too, playing well despite many injuries to starters.
After Dallas came the soft games. Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Oakland combine for a grand total of three wins. Needless to say, the Giants didn’t need more than a half effort to cruise through this weak competition, and sit pretty well at a 5-0 record.
But then the Giants faced the Saints—poised as the best team in the league right now —and their potent passing game.
The game was in New Orleans, and while many jumped to deeper conclusions, I stick with the fact that it is extremely tough to beat the Saints in the Superdome, so, first loss of the season, 5-1 record.
The next game was against the Super Bowl runners-up, the Arizona Cardinals, at the Meadowlands. The images of the game remain fresh in every Giants fan's memory.
From Eli Manning throwing three interceptions to Kurt Warner picking the defense apart and Kevin Gillbride once again calling weird plays at key moments of the game, I for one am having a hard time getting any sleep this week.
The outcome: a 24-17 loss, a serious amount of doubts, and insecurity regarding the rest of the season.
The beginning of the season showed that this team can be everything expected from it. This is especially evident in the game against the Cowboys, in which the entire team behaved as real Super Bowl champions en route to outlasting the ‘Boys.
That was a game to prove that the Giants are for real. However, as predicted so many times by quality writers within this Web site, there will be growing pains.
The surprisingly good play of the young receivers seems to have made most fans forget that they are very young. This offense is still finding its identity and is learning on the fly.
While many believe that the Giants are spiraling toward mediocrity right now because of the lack of offensive production and that the season is doomed, it is evident that, despite all worries, this is a very good team.
The fact that Big Blue faced such poor competition for three weeks in a row also went against the tide for improvement. For a team searching for its identity, one would think that facing some weak teams would be a good thing, but I disagree.
Even though it is not the team’s profile to lose focus, when you go out every Sunday and have things handed to you easily, it is impossible to keep the very same approach. Moreover, the coaching staff lost a glaring opportunity to experiment.
The defense could have experimented a lot of new blitz packages, as the opposing O-lines were weak and their quarterbacks were not really poised as being able to burn our secondary because of the one-on-one coverage.
The offense could have experimented all kinds of offensive play calling, which now would come in handy to Eli’s audibles at the line of scrimmage.
Manning would know what works better and the WRs would have improved their communication with the quarterback, increasing their understanding of the Giants' offense and resulting in better overall execution.
With so many good teams ahead, the Giants must recover their swagger, and with the bitter taste of two losses in a row plus the will for revenge against the hated Eagles (no need to explain why), I would risk saying that this will probably happen this Sunday.
For all the negative fans out there, just remember this: the Giants are 5-2, not 2-5. This is a dream start to many teams out there.
Finally, even losing two in a row, remember that one way or another, Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning have always found a way to at least squeeze into the playoffs. Don’t expect them to end the streak this season.