Bye Coming at Right Time for Giants
John Fennelly , Executive Editor
The Giants stumble into their bye week playing perhaps the worst football they’ve played in years. Not much went right in Cincinnati yesterday: Eli threw two silly INTs and fumbled. Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled again, too. Victor Cruz dropped a TD.
The secondary, vowing to shut down Bengals’ WR AJ Green, left him unattended for a 56-yard TD reception before the game was even three minutes old. That set the tone for the rest of the game. The Giants’ were never in it.
“A letdown,” said LB Chase Blackburn when asked to describe his team’s performance. “Obviously, we didn’t play well on all three phases. We turned the ball over too much. We gave up the early momentum on the touchdown, early in the game. That gave them some confidence. You can’t do that against a team like this.”
Eli Manning had another week of flat production. No touchdowns, three turnovers. He sloughed off the notion that his arm was “tired”….
“I don’t think so. I am still making the throws and I don’t feel like it is tired. We have a bye week this week because we have had 10 games in a row. We are going to use the week to rest up and come back refreshed and ready to go.”
And that, folks, is how we are going to spin it going forward. The Giants (6-4) hold a 1 1/2 game lead over the 4-5 Cowboys with seven games remaining. The Eagles and Redskins, at 3-6, both appear to be going nowhere.
When the Giants come back from their week off, they will get put through the wringer: Green Bay at home, @ Washington, New Orleans at home, @ Atlanta before finishing up with the Ravens in Baltimore and the Eagles at home.
The Giants can split those games and win the NFC East with nine wins. Dallas would have to win five of their last seven to keep up. That is very possible looking at their schedule. They play five of those seven games at home.
The Cowboys will be at home the next three weeks vs Cleveland, Washington and Philadelphia. Their last four are: @ Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and New Orleans at home before finishing up in Washington. 4-3 only gets them to 8-8, which probably won’t be good enough. They’ll need the Giants to lose four of six just to tie.
The Giants have been down this road before and have righted the ship before. There is no reason why they can’t do it again. It won’t be easy, though….
“That’s the one thing about football season. Every season is going to have its peaks and valleys,” said Justin Tuck. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s how it goes. We’re better than a 6-4 team, but that’s where we are now. We have six more, coming out of this bye. It’s a very treacherous six, but the confidence of this football team will never waiver. We have to get back to playing our best ball.”