(Long Island, N.Y.) Following their week three 29-10 home loss to the Tennessee Titans, the wheels seemed to be coming off the Giants’ wagon. They may have taken care of the hapless Carolina Panthers in the season opener, but Big Blue was on the wrong end of two lopsided scores after that. Reaching such a crossroads before a month was out could have gotten out of hand for Tom Coughlin, but he managed to hold things together.
A win in each of the last two weeks has given the Giants new life and they find themselves tied with the Washington Redskins atop the NFC East, a position that they could not have dreamed of being in not too long ago.
“It’s good to get on a win streak,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “The past few years, we’d have a good streak going where we’d get a few in a row and hopefully we can keep that going. We’ve got to be focused, keep grinding and playing good football.
“Our defense is playing outstanding,” he continued. “Our offense did a great job getting an early lead (in the 34-10 win at Houston); especially against an explosive offense that runs the ball about as well as anybody.”
Reflecting on the victory over the previous 3-1 Texans, Coughlin said, “I hope it’s an indication. We talked about having to play better; we talked about having to improve. We talked about [it] being a very important game, that we did rise in our performance. We did show the quality of our team in all three phases (offense, defense, special teams), the way we might be able to operate together.
“So hopefully we’re in that direction.”
They appear to be but have yet to play a divisional game, and they will have to wait until October 25th to do so. The Giants host the Detroit Lions on Sunday before heading to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Monday Night Football. Trap game? Not to the Giants.
When Manning was asked if they are looking ahead to the Cowboys, he said without hesitation, “No, not at all. This is a big game for us.”
The Lions may be 1-4, but they have a plus as far as points scored (126) versus points against (112). Besides the game against Minnesota, they have been right there in every contest and routed St. Louis last week, 44-6. Quarterback Shaun Hill (who took over for the injured Matthew Stafford) went 21-for-32 for 227 yards and three touchdowns and Stefan Logan had a 105-yard kickoff return for another score against the Rams. This is a team that has been much improved from last year and now has to learn to win. The G-Men would like to stand in their way.
“Every game they have played has come down to the fourth quarter,” Manning said of the Lions. “They’re very talented and offensively they have playmakers. We have our hands full.”
If the Giants play the way they have been, they will walk away with a win they should have and maintain their share of first place in the division. Quite a difference from three weeks ago.