Yesterday’s 31-13 loss to the Bengals could have been the most unwatchable Giants game I’ve ever seen. I’ve watched my favorite team get blown out before (even in bigger games like the Super Bowl) but yesterday’s game couldn’t end fast enough. The coin toss was the only thing worth cheering for all day. We were down 14-0 before I could even get set up on the couch. Eli threw 2 picks, got sacked 4 times and has now gone 3 full games since his last touchdown pass. The defense allowed Andy Dalton to throw a career-high 4 TD while failing to record a single sack. The number of things that we did correctly on Sunday could be counted on one hand. In summary, nothing went right.
Instead of rehashing a game I’d like to forget, let’s look ahead. A good place to start when looking ahead is the past. If it feels like you’ve seen a Giants hot start and then sudden November swoon before it’s because you have. Like Andy Reid mismanaging the clock or the Chargers underachieving, the Giants up and down season trajectory has become an NFL staple. Here’s our record after 8 games for the last 6 seasons…
2007: 6-2 record
2008: 7-1 record
2009: 5-3 record
2010: 6-2 record
2011: 6-2 record
2012: 6-2 record
We are consistently a contender with a respectable record at the halfway point. In fact Tom Coughlin has a 53-19 record in the first halves of seasons. The only problem is that Coughlin’s record in November is now 13-21 and it’s 27-39 in second halves of seasons. So it’s not surprising to see the 2012 Giants following the script perfectly.
A 6-4 record and 1st place in the NFC East going into the bye is not a bad thing at all. It just feels worse given the performance we will be remembering for the next 2 weeks. The schedule lends us no favors but I get the sense that the team is exhausted and will be rejuvenated by the bye week. Week 11 is the last possible bye week and fatigue at this point in the season is understandable, especially considering Hurricane Sandy threw many players out of their regular routines.
I wish we would make it easier on ourselves, but Eli and company always have to make it interesting with their November no-show. No reason to worry though – limping through the 2nd half is all part of the master plan. Don’t forget that the Giants have made the playoffs in 5 of the last 7 seasons and won 2 Super Bowls. I’m banking on another late season hot streak just like ’07 and ’11.
The Giants will be playing meaningful games right up until Week 17 which will be a good barometer for how good the team really is. A couple of late wins could be a confidence boost that leads to another deep playoff run. You never know in the NFL.
Come to think of it, it’s possible that this 2nd half struggle is all a genius plan to get everyone off the bandwagon allowing the team to rally behind the “nobody believes in us” motto. Everyone is definitely off the bandwagon now, so let’s get right during the bye and come back with a big win against Green Bay on national television in Week 13.