Monday, December 6, 2010

What a difference two weeks makes, right Giants fans?

Four weeks ago: The New York Football Giants were riding high after five straight wins, which included just one over a team with a record over .500. But there they were, the best and most complete team in the NFL and a Super Bowl favorite.

Two weeks later: Following a terrible loss to a newly-inspired Dallas team and a tough loss at divisional rival Philadelphia, the bloom was off the Giants' rose. They were on the outside looking in to the playoff picture and without their top two wide receivers, many thought this was the beginning of the end.

Today: An ugly season-saving win against Jacksonville (I'm not hating, just proving a point that a win's a win) and a blowout of a Redskins team that isn't as good as its 5-7 record have the Giants tied for the division lead at 8-4 with the Eagles and for the NFC's final Wild Card spot with Green Bay. With Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks hoping to return for this week' game at Minnesota, things are looking up for the Giants.

One of my major themes of this year's NFL season has been hating on fans who overreact to one week of football. The Jets are tied for the league's best record right now at 9-2 but after an ugly opening-week loss to the Ravens, they were the most over-hyped Super Bowl contender ever. Their quarterback was garbage and in today's NFL, no team could compete for a title without a great (or even average) quarterback.

Fast forward to eleven weeks later. The Jets have won nine of 10, many of them due to the great clutch play of their terrible quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Since Week 1, Sanchez has been great and has turned from the player many thought would hold this team back into a player that looks like he can lead the team to wins when other facets fail.

Back to the Giants though. They won't run for 200 yards every week but they won't need to with their receivers getting healthy again. Eli Manning has been more caretaker than playmaker the last two weeks, but this short stretch should help him and the offense once they're completely healthy.

The best news for Giants fans? With games left against the Eagles and Packers, they control their own destiny in terms of playoff positioning. All is not lost yet for the G-Men and it's looking more and more like one of these three deserving teams will miss the playoffs. The funny part is that all three can also still make moves on the second seed and a first-round bye. It's going to be a fun final four weeks in the NFC; much more so than the AFC.

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