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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mediocre NFC Yields Giant Strides For Big Blue During Bye Week



Mediocre NFC Yields Giant Strides For Big Blue During Bye Week
BY Jon Wagner-Sr. Writer at Large Football Reporters Online

New York Giant fans can now calm down a little this week. Rest assured, at this point, there’s still very much of a season left for Big Blue.

It wouldn’t be New York if its fans and media didn’t often overreact to each game that any professional team plays in New York. That response just comes with the territory when rooting for or discussing teams in the New York City area.

Sure enough, to the degree that the Giants were being discussed as part of the National Football League elite after a dominant 5-0 start, was the extent to which many in the New York area were asking what was wrong with the Giants and how New York could let its entire season slip away after a subsequent four-game slide.

No doubt, the questions surrounding the problems that the Giants still need to fix this season were, and still are, legitimate. And, if the Giants don’t soon rectify a lot of the issues that were exposed during their aforementioned four-game losing streak, it’s true, Big Blue’s goal of reaching the playoffs could be in serious jeopardy.

But, for those who were spewing all of the doom and gloom talk about the Giants’ playoff possibilities, many going so far as to say that the Giants’ fourth straight loss ended their season, take a look at the current NFC standings after what happened on Sunday, as the Giants tried to regroup during their bye week.

Sure, New York had slipped from 5-0 to 5-4, and from first place to third place in the NFC East.

Yet, simply by not playing, the Giants moved back into a tie for second place with the 5-4 Philadelphia Eagles (who were beaten in San Diego on Sunday), and are now just one game behind the 6-3 Dallas Cowboys, the NFC East leaders, who lost at Green Bay this week.

As for the NFC wild-card race, the Giants and Eagles are not only tied for the wild-card lead with each other, but also with the 5-4 Atlanta Falcons (losers at Carolina on Sunday) and the 5-4 Green Bay Packers. Carolina, San Francisco, and Chicago are each a game back, at 4-5.

For all of this past week’s chatter about the Giants’ season being over, New York still very much controls its own destiny as long as it can pull everything together and play better.

The Giants host Atlanta next week, while having other home dates with Dallas, Philadelphia, and Carolina in December. And, the Giants are done with both the Cowboys and Eagles on the road.

The bottom line is that while the Giants have to correct a lot of what plagued them while losing four games in a row, and they still have much work to do in order to reach the playoffs this year, they’re very far from the fate many had prematurely predicted for them (if any Giants are Mark Twain fans, they can certainly relate).

As evidenced while the Giants rested this week, no one else in the NFC East seems to be running away with their division, and even less so in the NFC wild-card picture.

So, at least for now Giant fans, view the remaining Giant games in this season the same way your team plans on approaching them. It may sound clich├ęd, but forget about the recent past and take the rest of the season one game at a time.

Because it doesn’t appear that anything regarding where the Giants are headed this season, one way or the other, will be determined any time soon.

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