(Long Island, N.Y.) Losing to the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday in the fashion they did, the New York Giants have made their job much more difficult. The 38-31 loss was bad enough, but blowing a four-touchdown lead in the final eight minutes to their division rival can have some serious implications – if the G-Men let it linger.
By being swept by Philadelphia in the season series and now trailing by one game, one would surmise that winning the NFC East would be a long shot for the 9-5 Giants. But they control their own destiny and would qualify for the playoffs as a wild card entrant at worst if they win their final two games.
“We’re still in a good position,” Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. “We’re in a position a lot of other people would like to be in. We have to have a great week of preparation and focus and make sure we continue to do things and find a way to get a win against a good team.”
That would be the Packers, who are still in the playoff hunt themselves at 8-6. Matt Flynn has taken over as the Green Bay signal caller in place of the inured Aaron Rodgers, who is still feeling the effects of his second concussion this season. Flynn threw his first three touchdown passes of his career in a close loss at New England and at home, the Pack will not be an easy target.
“I like the way we responded when our backs have been up against the wall this year,” added Manning. “We had two cases earlier in the season when we lost a few and responded well with win streaks. That’s what you like to see, a team that can get hot. We know we’re capable of that and we just have to go do it.”
Big Blue experienced some adversity early in the season when they looked bad in Week 2 (a 38-14 loss at Indianapolis) and Week 3 (a 29-10 home loss to the Titans), seeing their record drop to 1-2. They responded by winning five games in a row. Then in mid-November, two divisional losses to the Cowboys and Eagles gave the Giants a 6-4 mark. Three consecutive wins later, they were poised to take control of the division. We all know what took place then.
If the Giants can shake off the effects of the collapse, then it will not be spoken about for long. But if the hangover is present, then we will be hearing about it for years to come. Their head coach is choosing to look ahead, not behind. “I think this is a mentally tough group,” Tom Coughlin said. “What we can do is have something to do with right now and hopefully that will contribute to what’s going to happen in the future, so let’s get about our business.”
Having the opportunity to get off the mat and win a decision is in front of the Giants. They can erase one of the worst losses in franchise history by putting it past them. Let’s see what they’re made of.