I thought the bye week in Week 10 would serve as a nice breather for a team struggling with some deficiencies on both offense and defense. It looked like the rest helped as the Giants jumped out to a 17-7 lead over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.
Then the defense gave up a scoring drive on every Falcons possession in the second half. One field goal and three touchdowns, including the score to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Wake up call?
All the talking heads will tell you the Giants were prepared and ready to play the Denver Broncos this past Thursday night. Supposedly they practiced hard in the days leading up to the important Thanksgiving Day matchup.
But what they did was come out flat, uninspired, unfocused, and unaware that they were fighting to stay in playoff contention.
Actions speak louder than words, don't they?
The Giants went into halftime down 16-0. They had 38 total yards. Their vaunted running game piled up 17 of those yards. Kicker Lawrence Tynes had to kick two field goals, one from 52 yards, just to keep them from putting up zeroes across the board.
But here are some more words to reassure the fans that they're really not that bad: "We're a good football team," said Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. "We just played bad today."
"We know we have a lot of talent and it's going to pick up," said Giants running back Brandon Jacobs. "We just have to get our engines going."
Yeah, you're right, guys. You just had one bad game and you forgot to turn your engines on. That makes sense.
I sort of wish I had known that earlier, then I could have stopped removing myself from a Thanksgiving party to check the score of the game online.
Give me a break.
The Giants are 1-5 in their last six games. Their one win came in overtime and was completely decided by luck. If they lose that coin toss and allow Matt Ryan another opportunity to expose Sheridan's lackluster defense, they're 0-6 in their last six games.
So spare me the optimism and just tell me to stop watching your football games because you guys are sleeping in until next year.
Have C.C. Brown refuse to play another down of football until he consistently contributes in a positive way.
Maybe he could refill Gatorade coolers without knocking them over before someone gets a drink. Maybe he could work one night as a security officer outside of Giants stadium and try to make it through the night without setting off any alarms. Just some suggestions.
Have offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride give a press conference entirely about in-game adjustments just to remind him he is allowed to make those sorts of decisions.
Make Bill Sheridan take a couple of communications studies courses at a local college so he can learn that "miscommunication" doesn't mean "I don't know how to do my job."
And have the rest of the team watch every single NFL game this season so they can see just exactly where they fit into the landscape: As an extremely mediocre team that flexed it's muscles early in the season against mediocre competition.
Oddly enough, those teams have gotten progressively better while the Giants have gotten progressively worse.
If they're searching for an identity, I've found it: A bad football team.