The Giants head into their bye week limping instead of strutting. But to a man, they still see the big picture.
“We still have a lead in the division, and we do have a bye week,” Eli Manning said. “We have six games left after the bye and we have to take advantage of those. If we have a winning record down the stretch, then we should be good.”
The Giants (6-4) were anything but good in their 31-13 defeat by the Bengals. Instead, they laid their second straight egg against a physical team from the AFC North.
“There is an opportunity for us to do some soul searching and look ourselves in the mirror this week,” Tuck said. “Just get away from football a little bit, refresh our bodies and minds, and get back to playing Giants’ football. ... If not, none of the next six are going to be easy. We’re capable of turning this around. That’s where our mindset has to go.”
Wide receiver Victor Cruz acknowledged that the time away will be more positive than negative.
“At this point of the season, I guess we could use a break to get healthy and refocused for the last stretch of the season,” said Cruz. “We have to focus on getting better. That’s getting better at practice, in the meeting room and all the way around.”
Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin has seen this story before, as he’s been in charge of some memorable Giants’ second-half collapses. Coughlin’s Giants are 13-21 in the month of November — 27-39 overall in the second half — and have lost what looked like insurmountable division leads before. Those are bad trends considering the Giants are 53-20 under Coughlin in the first halves of seasons.
“By winning [Sunday], I thought we’d be able to put ourselves in a better position, in terms of we had the bye, and other people in our division would be playing,” Coughlin said. “But that didn’t happen, so we have to deal with it when we get back.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.