Giants starting to dream about making playoff run

Michael Cox
Michael Cox had 10 touches in just his second career game Sunday.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants enter their bye week on a rare high this season — winners of two straight — following an 0-6 start. But they realize there’s still a long ways to go if they want to contend for the NFC East crown.

“We haven’t done nothing yet,” said cornerback Terrell Thomas, who was awarded a game ball for his 10 tackles, including a sack and forced fumble.

“It feels great to have two wins. The smiles around here, everybody is confident and this team has the makeup to make a run like this,” Thomas said. “We’ve been in a position like this before and we’re better when our backs are against the wall. It’s a good time for us to relax and get football off our mind [but] then we need to come back refreshed and ready to go.”

The Giants (2-6) are actually only two games out of first place, but they merely laid the foundation of a comeback.

“First, it’s nice to win. Thank God,” said Coughlin. “We’re excited about having an opportunity to improve on certain areas [because] if we were going to have any chance to make a run, we had to put ourselves in position here … but we’re certainly not blind to the issues that we have.”

The past two games have showed few issues to attend, as the Giants have played efficient football on both sides. A defense that was once among the league’s dregs has rebounded nicely, as it hasn’t yielded a touchdown by an opposing offense in 10 consecutive quarters — the team’s longest such streak since a 15-quarter stretch from Oct. 23 to Nov. 20, 2005.

The defense has not surrendered a touchdown in 158:24 of total game action. And the Giants’ once-vaunted pass rush is beginning to show signs of life, as Big Blue sacked Eagles quarterbacks 4 1/2 times on Sunday to finally break a tie with the lowly Jaguars for fewest sacks in the league.

Now that they finally get to catch their collective breath, many of the Giants’ star defenders feel there’s more positive results to come since they weathered the early storm and have gained confidence with each passing performance.

“It’s been a rough eight weeks. It’s been extremely rough,” said safety Antrel Rolle. “But in the last couple of weeks I think we formed our identity as a team. We’re heading in the right direction. Yeah, there’s a lot of room left for us to grow, a lot of room for us to get a whole lot better. But right now were just taking it one game at a time. … Right now we should all just try to get away from the game, get guys back healthy so everyone can contribute to winning.”

Defensive end Justin Tuck backed up Rolle.

“Whatever he says, I guarantee there are 52 other guys in this locker room going to damn sure step up and try to back him up,” said Tuck, adding he has full confidence in his team catching the division-leading Cowboys (4-4). “We do feel like we’ve dodged some bullets. And we’ve given ourselves a shot … but we’re also aware that it’s still a long road to get to where we need to get.”

Big Blue notes …

» Manning surpassed yet another of Phil Simms’s franchise records on Sunday — career passing yards. Manning’s second completion allowed him to jump ahead of Simms’s total of 33,462 yards. He now has 33,694 passing yards. The two-time Super Bowl MVP is also the franchise’s all-time leader in attempts, completions and touchdown passes.

» The Giants have 13 takeaways this season, but only have one touchdown and five field goals to show for it.

» As the waning moments of the opening quarter ticked away, the Giants had a huge advantage in total yards: 111-2. Big Blue ultimately held a 116-16 advantage to cap the first quarter.

» The Giants snapped an eight-game road losing streak dating back to last season — and their longest as visitors since the 1978-’79 campaign. Sunday’s win was their first road victory since a 29-24 victory in Dallas on Oct. 28, 2012.

» Josh Brown’s five field goals accounted for all of the Giants’ scoring. This is the Giants’ first victory in which they did not score a touchdown since Sept. 22, 2002, when three Matt Bryant field goals enabled them to beat Seattle, 9-6.

» Philadelphia’s offense was shut out, as its only score was a 2-yard fumble recovery by Najee Goode, who scooped up a high snap by Zack DeOssie that sailed over punter Steve Weatherford’s head and stepped into the end zone with 4:11 remaining in the game.

» The Giants did not allow a point in the first half for the first time since Jan. 1, 2012, when they opened up a 21-0 lead on over the Cowboys in the 2011 season finale.

» The Giants shut out their opponent over the first three quarters for the first time since leading 41-0 over the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 7, 2010.

» The Giants’ 2-6 record at midseason is their worst since they were 1-7 in 1980. The Giants were 2-6 after eight games in 1987, but that was a strike-gutted 15-game season. They were 2-5-1 in 1983.

» Safety Will Hill recorded his first career interception when he picked off Matt Barkley with 11 seconds remaining in the game.

» Running back Andre Brown (leg), who noted he’ll likely wear a shin guard “for the rest of my career,” said he expects to play against the Raiders in two weeks and is actually looking forward to feeling sore after some game action.

“I’m getting ready for when they unleash me. … I might need a little blow, but I would love to feel a little soreness right now,” Brown said.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…