The Giants (5-5) got back to work this week, preparing for the Washington Redskins, in a battle for first place in the NFC East.
The division is in such shambles, that Washington (4-6) and the Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) are only a game behind the first-place Giants, while even the Dallas Cowboys (3-7) remain in the hunt.
But with a win over Washington, the Giants will have nice command in the division, considering they’ll own a sweep in the season series.
The quest for the division title begins with refocusing of the collective mindsets, as all have tried their hardest to erase from memory the first 10 games of the season. Forgotten is the fact that New York should be at the very least 9-1, with the only true butt-kicking coming Week 6 in Philadelphia, 27-7. Had they knew how to close out games, the Giants would’ve been one of the more compelling storylines in the league this season, but a .500 mark is what happens when a team can’t hold onto late leads, as four of their five losses have come by a total of nine points.
Quarterback Eli Manning said the challenge is to look ahead to the next obstacle and leave past defeats in the rear-view mirror.
“We know what we have to do. It starts with Washington. We have to go get a win down there, take it week by week, and know what it is going to take to get into the playoffs,” Manning said, noting the Giants still control their own destiny. “We just have to handle our business these next six games. We are in a good position. You would obviously like to have more wins, but we still have the lead in the division, and if we take care of our business and do what we have to do and win these next six games, that would guarantee us a spot in the playoffs.”
Big Blue has shown that nothing is guaranteed this season, as they’ve had plenty of time to pull away and secure the division, which means Monday begins their quest to have a six-week audition for players, coaches, and management alike.
While the season has been a roller coaster, to a man, no one is pushing any panic buttons. Big Blue is getting healthy, as key contributors like tight end Larry Donnell, linebacker J.T. Thomas, and cornerback Prince Amukamara were all back to work, today.
And it also helps that the stars of the team still possess a swagger.
Wideout Odell Beckham Jr. has made it a point to say that the team will not succumb to the past disappointments, as they are all-in for a march towards the postseason. Beckham insisted that there’s no reason to think there will be a carry-over, and that a losing mentality has not -- and will not -- creep into the locker room.
They are ready for Washington and the home stretch, he noted.
“It’s a matter of executing, and that’s the difference between being 9-1 or 10-0, [or] 5-5. There’s really no reason why we couldn't have been 9-1 or 10-0,” said Beckham. “But we’re all good. We started the season 0-2, and [it] didn’t faze us.”
Big Blue notes:
-Neither center Weston Richburg (ankle) nor guard Justin Pugh (concussion protocol) were seen at practice during the media’s access portion.
-Defensive end Damontre Moore (hamstring) was also seen working with the trainers outside, while the team practiced indoors.
-Newly-inked wideout Hakeem Nicks was welcomed back with open arms, as he participated in practice, today, donning his familiar No. 88.