Well Folks, the season is over. We gave the NFC’s top seed a competitive battle with mostly backup players, and that must count for something in the positivity department. The real test begins this weekend. The New York Giants face the Minnesota Vikings in Super Wild Card Weekend. Many pundits have already written off the G-Men, but why not the NY Giants?
Though the Giants record is nothing intimidating at 9-7-1, the true indicator of a worthy playoff team is how they overcame adversity and where their current momentum stands. These Giants came roaring out to a 7-2 start but dropped 3 straight and tied 1 along the way.
Many teams face adversity midseason, but its how they handle it and stop the bleeding that stands out. The Giants did just that by winning a “playoff vibe” divisional game against another team vying for a ticket to the dance. They took it a step further by punching their ticket with their most explosive offensive output of the year and traded haymakers with a top playoff team along the way.
This turnaround tested this Giants team’s mettle and helped them discover that their team is capable of a downfield attack if given the opportunity to do so despite their lack of collective talent on offense. This also helped them with their confidence and could even make the argument this team is currently “hot” right now.
While the “hot” label might be premature, all it takes is 1 upset win in a playoff game that can set the domino effects of a truly hot team. We saw this in 2007 with the Giants and their 1st playoff game upset of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They rode this “road warrior” momentum all the way to the Super Bowl and took down arguably the most dominant team in NFL history, the 2007 New England Patriots.
Lastly, there is 1 parallel that makes this a tantalizing argument and that is the historical connection to young Eli Manning and Daniel Jones. While Eli Manning already had playoff experience in his 4th season, it was in this season where he captured his 1st championship. Daniel Jones has a chance to do the same in his 4th season as well.
Both Quarterbacks spent the early parts of their careers enduring criticism. Whether it’s the stoicism or goofy/awkward demeanor, the questions are/were there. Eli Manning changed his narrative, and Jones can too. Even if Jones ultimately doesn’t achieve this outcome right now, he certainly has time to make some noise of his own if he can harness the positives of his season and make it a trend going forward.
While this team seemingly had no business being in the position they are in, we cannot deny the awesome work of everyone who brought this team to this point. This coaching staff and team turned impossible regular season matchups into improbable victories. All they need to do is harness that energy for 4 more games… which begs this question once more: Why not the NY Giants? GO BIG BLUE!