The New York Giants are currently 3-7 at the time of this writing and are on the hunt to earn first place in the NFC East.
Somehow after their abysmal start, they are only two games out of first place.
When the year started, they hoped to be the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. After a 0-6 start, fans were hoping for the top pick in next year’s draft.
But the rest of the NFC East has been just as disappointing.
With the Redskins and Eagles struggling, the Cowboys seemed poised to take the division with ease. But they continue to be mediocre despite their potential.
Now they have left the window open for any team to win first place in the division called the “NFC Least.” The Giants now hope to repeat the Redskin’s success last year by turning a 3-6 team into a playoff contender.
Their recent play and relatively easy schedule indicates that they do have a realistic shot.
New York Giant teams led by Head Coach Tom Coughlin have been prone to magical runs.
In the past, this team has shown that it can catch fire and defeat its opponent no matter how imposing, as if they’ve eaten Popeye’s spinach.
The Giants managed to win against the Green Bay Packers who started a third string quarterback in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers.
Despite going up against the worst ranked defense in the league, the Giants were not able to overcome Dallas, who were without linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant.
The Giants were able to down the Washington Redskins 24-17, and find themselves with a record of 5-7. The Giants are in third place in the NFC, behind the 7-5 Cowboys and Eagles.
The 2011-12 Giant team was 6-6 before they went on their Super Bowl run, and this year’s Giants will have to recapture that team’s resilience if they want to make a playoff run of their own.
After acquiring Jon Beason in a trade with Carolina, the defense has been superb.
In their last three games, the defense has only allowed one offensive touchdown, and that was following a kickoff return fumble near the goal line.
The run defense that has caused problems for so many opposing offense in past years has been able to bounce back from their early season struggles, and their secondary has been better than expected.
The running game has been revitalized by the return of Andre Brown. The 26-year-old came back against Oakland and rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown.
He is also a better blocker than former Giants backs.
Although David Wilson is not expected to return for the remainder of the season, Brown gives the Giants an improved running game.
He should help balance out the offense and improve the passing attack sporting Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle.
But for the Giants to have any chance at the playoffs this year, Eli Manning has to elevate his game. He cannot continue to turn the ball over. He needs to play like he did in 2011 when he called himself an elite quarterback.
In the first six games of the season, the Big Blue couldn’t do anything right. Their defense was porous, their run game was nonexistent, their special teams were incompetent and there were turnovers aplenty.
New York’s patented pass rush with Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck showed no signs of life, and Eli Manning threw 16 interceptions.
Most of these problems have been resolved except for Manning’s poor play.
If he plays up to his ability like he has in the past, and Tom Coughlin continues to motivate his players, this could be the first 0-6-playoff team in NFL history.