By Eric from BigBlueInteractive.com
Approach to the Game: I am not even going to focus on the Giants’ opponent this weekend. This game has nothing to do with them, and it wouldn’t matter if the Giants were playing the best team in the NFL or the worst. This game is about the New York Giants. Do they want to regain their early-season form and become a contender again? Or do they want to slip into mediocrity or worse? Are they interested and capable of once again being a physically and mentally tough team?
1994 Season: The New York Giants have lost seven straight games and are 3-7. Only an insane person would believe they could compete for a playoff spot. But the Giants win their final six games and barely miss doing so.
2000 Season: The 7-2 New York Giants lose back-to-back home games in embarrassing fashion to the Rams (38-24) and a dreadful Lions team (31-21). The press and the fans believe the Giants are done. The 7-4 Giants then win their next seven games, including two playoff games, and earn the right to play in the Super Bowl.
2002 Season: The 6-3 New York Giants lose back-to-back games to the expansion Texans and then lose to the Titans at home in overtime. Again, the wheels look like they are about to come off, but the Giants win their final four games and make the playoffs.
2007 Season: The 6-2 New York Giants lose two out of three in embarrassing fashion at home, including a 31-20 loss to the Cowboys and a 41-17 drubbing by the Vikings. Three weeks later, the Giants are embarrassed again at home by the Redskins. Most think the Giants are going nowhere. The Giants just barely make the playoffs by beating the Bills, a team that they trailed in the 4th quarter, and go onto win their seventh NFL championship.
The Giants are 5-3 with eight games to play. Five of those eight games are at home; only three are on the road. The Giants are only a half-game back from the division-leading Eagles and Cowboys. It’s all in front of them. The team will continue to miss Kenny Phillips for the remainder of the season, but the team is getting healthier as it approaches the bye. Even if the Giants lose on Sunday, it’s not over at 5-4 despite what most people think. But being 6-3 at the bye would be sweet and set the Giants up well for a seven-game sprint to the finish line.
Get it done. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Just get that taste of victory in your mouths again.
Giants on Defense: Yes, there have been injury issues at all three levels of the defense. But there is way too much talent and big-game experience on this defense for it to be playing like this. It’s time to get back to basics: play smart and play physical. Stop the run, get after the quarterback, and play aggressive coverage with your very good corners.
What I want to see more than anything is the defense playing with passion and being physical. Dictate to other team rather being dictated to. Dominate the line of scrimmage. Punish the opponent. Get back to New York Giants defensive football!
Giants on Offense: Back to basics here too Mr. Coughlin, Mr. Gilbride, and Mr. Manning. RUN THE FOOTBALL. Opposing defense loading up against the run? So what! RUN THE FOOTBALL. Become that physical football team again by allowing the offensive line and Brandon Jacobs to play smash mouth. Don’t put so much responsibility on Eli Manning and the young receivers. The easy pass plays will be there after you ESTABLISH the run. The coaches and Manning can help the offense get into a rhythm too by using more short passes, especially to the tight ends and running backs. Where are passes to the running backs that we saw all preseason? Help Eli out.
Giants on Special Teams: The Giants’ special teams coverage units were kicking ass during the early part of the season. Get back to that. Make a difference in the football game by winning the field position battle. The blockers can help out one of the most dangerous returners in the game in Domenik Hixon. Every play is the ball game and every special teamer can be the guy that wins the game. Get it done!