After an ugly 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night, the New York Giants keep hope alive that they can go on a run and jump back into the playoff race in the NFC. After Antrel Rolle promised 12-straight wins after starting 0-4, this proved to be a little overzealous as they dropped their next two games, falling to 0-6.
There are many reasons behind the Giants 0-6 start to the 2013 season. One reason is their lack of a pass rush by their talent-filled defensive line includingJason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. Another reason has been their inability to run the ball consistently. David Wilson has been a bust, and now that he is injured, they must look to old veteran Brandon Jacobs, whom they brought back mid-season, and Michael Cox, their rookie 7th round pick out of Massachusetts.
Despite these issues, their number one problem has been turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Eli Manning leads the league with 15 interceptions, and the Giants have proven to just be careless with the football. These are problems they must address if they have any hope of jumping back into the NFC playoff picture.
After their 6 losses to the Cowboys, Broncos, Panthers, Chiefs, Eagles and Bears, they got a break when the Vikings came to town, and started Josh Freeman, their new QB acquisition, who was released by the Buccaneers earlier this season. Freeman made the Bucs look smart for getting rid of him, as he was missing throws and out of rhythm all game long. Perhaps the Vikings threw Freeman to the wolves a little too soon, but the Giants salivated at the chance to get after Freeman and keep him uncomfortable. If not for an 86-yard punt return touchdown by MarcusSherels, the Vikings would have lost 23-0.
The Giants are relieved to notch their first win of the season, and hope that they can build on their momentum as they head to Philadelphia to face the Eagles in an attempt to get revenge from their Week 5 loss to the Eagles. Another positive for the Giants is that the NFC East leader, the Dallas Cowboys, has the worst record of any division leader in the NFL. They are only 3 games behind the Cowboys, with 9 games left in the season, including a Week 12 home game against the Cowboys.
The Giants are in the hands of their quarterback, Eli Manning. He needs to stop turning the ball over, and play smart football if they have any chance of catching the Cowboys in NFC East. As Eli goes, the Giants will go. Many of the Giants’ players have championship experience, as they are just two years removed from a Super Bowl Title. They just need to band together and prove it on the field. No one is going to lie down and give it to them. They will have to play hard and earn every win they get.
By Dave Guberman