The New York Giants are 5-4 after this past Sunday’s victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you told me during the preseason that the G-Men would be top dogs in the NFC East after Week 9 with a 5-4 record, I would have most likely laughed.
In a normally competitive division like the NFC East, being just above .500 usually does not cut it. However this year, the East just has not been competitive. The teams are still close in terms of their records, but not competitive in terms of their showings on the field. The division lacks the competitive flair it had the first couple weeks of the season, especially with injuries to Dez Bryant and Tony Romo.
I think the Giants have played better than its record proves. They have botched a few fourth quarters and had a heartbreaking loss to the New Orleans Saints this season already. The team is hot and cold. When they have their offense and defense clicking, the Giants can compete. When they are not on the same page, things get tough. Kind of obvious, right? It is consistency on both sides that creates championship caliber teams.
Despite the lackluster record and moments that leave viewers scratching their heads, I will be so bold as to say that the Giants deserve to be on top right now. Their record should be better than the mediocre 5-4, and they are a scrappy, persistent team. I will give them an A for effort.
The important thing for the team from here on out is to maintain that top spot. It does not matter how a team gets into the playoffs, just that it gets there. Anything can happen once the playoffs start; regular season records go out the window. It is true that records can be indicative of how matchups can play out, but a game is a game and no team is going to be awarded a victory without playing.
Take the 2011 Giants as an example. The team finished the season that year with an unimpressive 9-7 record. It is above .500, but no one expects a team that squeaks into the postseason like that to win it all. But they did. They got their collective, proverbial foot in the door and got hot at the right time. As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.”
And who knows — maybe history will repeat itself. The 2007 Giants played the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl held in February of 2008, and New York won that game with a little divine intervention and David Tyree’s helmet. Four years after that in 2012 (after the 2011 regular season), the Giants played the Patriots once again and with what seemed to be a bit more help from above, New York claimed victory.
We find ourselves in 2015 with the Super Bowl coming up in February of 2016, and yet again that four-year interval shows its face. The Patriots certainly look to be well on their way to a Super Bowl appearance, and the Giants have the potential to take the NFC East, even with an uninspiring regular season record. Big Blue just needs to make it and once again find that postseason fire.
It really is all in the timing. The 2011 Giants’ unlikely Super Bowl victory can make a lot of fans hopeful even in hot and cold times such as these in Giants nation.
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