The New York Giants, fresh off a 27-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, now only stand one game ahead in the NFC East in front of the Dallas Cowboys, who just came off of an impressive 44-7 victory against the Buffalo Bills.
Although the Giants were not blown out, some have stated that the Giants should have won the game, citing costly turnovers, some poor offensive play calling by Kevin Gilbride and the defense giving up 15 points in the fourth quarter as obstacles the Giants should have been able to overcome. The argument is if they were able to beat a team as strong as the New England Patriots last week, then they should have been able to put it together against the 49ers.
Well, the Giants didn't win. That doesn't mean that the Giants should panic for any reason. Let's talk about why.
They Can Definitely Bounce Back against the Eagles
The Eagles, now 3-6, lost to an Arizona Cardinals offense that was starting a backup quarterback. The Arizona Cardinals are among the bottom 10 in total offense and total defense, and the Eagles still gave up a fourth quarter lead.
Last Sunday, the Eagles couldn't afford to lose a game. They have lost two in a row since then. Although the stakes would be much higher for New York should they lose, the Giants are at home, playing much better all around and match up well against an undisciplined, inconsistent Eagles team that lacks chemistry. If the Giants lose to the Eagles next week, then they might start to hit the panic button.
They Did Beat Themselves
Not taking anything away from Alex Smith and an excellent San Francisco 49ers team, but the Giants did beat themselves in this game. You can't have a team post up more than 10 points in the fourth quarter, especially in a preview of a possible playoff match.
Even Tom Coughlin himself stated, "I thought we were in perfect control. I thought we would get there, score and send it into overtime and win it in overtime. We've done well in those situations and I expected to do well again." And he was right. The game slipped through the Giants' fingers, and the Giants would have had momentum had the game gone into overtime. The Giants are fortunate in that they can look at internal problems to solve rather than just looking back and saying there was nothing they can do to win.
The Giants Are Still Playing Well, And Have a Lot Going for Them
The Giants scored 20 points. They were one drive away from tying the game. At no point did they ever quit, or seemed out of the game. Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs all played well. The Giants seem to be getting their rushing attack back into play and still have a good takeaway ratio.
More positives to consider:
-If they don't win the division, they are a strong wild-card favorite.
-Eli is still playing like an elite quarterback, giving his team a chance to win, always.
-They have exceeded expectations and have overcome injuries this season to Prince Amukamura, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and others to come up with a fantastic start.
-You have a quarterback and a coaching staff that is among the best in the league.
-The Eagles are playing terribly, and the Giants match up well against the Dallas Cowboys, and have always found ways to beat Tony Romo.
-They have a chance to beat every team on their schedule, including the Green Bay Packers.
-They play four quarters of ball, and play with heart, brains, pride and a lot of other factors that are incalculable but really make a difference in the NFL.
-Ten teams in the NFC would gladly trade places with them, three of which are in their division.
Long story short, the New York Giants can afford this loss.