NYG 15 PHI 7

A win is a win.  A road win is even better.  The Giants had an 8 game road losing streak.  Good riddance to that streak.  The Eagles now have a 10 game losing streak at home.  That ongoing malady breaks my heart. Not.  May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the Linc.

Dallas snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. 

Why are the Dallas Cowboys America's team?  Because when the going gets tough, they shut down.

Remarkably the Gmen are 2 games out of first place.  So anything is still possible this season.  But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.  In these last two weeks of football, the NY Giants have beaten two teams that are collectively 4-11 (after MIN loses to GB tonight) and which both DID NOT HAVE A QUARTERBACK.  As a reminder, the Giants were up 12-0 near the end of the first half when Barkley replaced a completely ineffective Vick.  The Eagles drove down the field for the first time all day and a Barkley fumble turnover snuffed out what looked like a 12-7 ball game.  But given the weak opposition, the Giants did what they had to do- they held serve on defense,  Yes, with the exception of two TDs allowed on special teams (ugh, can't completely handwave those away), the Giants defense has shut out both teams.  That is impressive and is clearly something to build on.

On a more sober note the Giants offensive struggles continue, as the team could not get into the end zone vs the Eagles.  You lose games on the road when you come away with FGs on drives.  In this contest, of course, that was not the case.  But as soon as the schedule stiffens, the Giants need to rise up to that task, else these past two games will be remembered as a charitable oasis in an otherwise sour season.

So what is happening that is good and lasting, for 2013 and beyond?  Will Hill.  Peyton Hillis.  Jon Beason.  This NY Giants blog is circumspect about anything significant occurring in 2013.  So while we watch and wait to see how the team performs when it is truly tested, we are nonetheless very pleased that the Giants have a bonafide linebacker.  And the Safety position can be a source of many happy returns when/if Stevie Brown fully recovers from his torn ACL.  Imagine the Giants' future with Brown and Hill- if they are healthy they could be back there for a while together.  Rolle, as a veteran, can compliment these younger players with leadership and a very good nickel package.  

Amukamara is quietly becoming more consistent on the corner.  All this defense needs is JPP to come back with a strong pass rush and the defense will be more than fine.  That is really the transcontinental divide for this team… WHEN DOES JPP's CONSISTENT IMPACT PASS RUSH COME BACK?  If it gets turned on after the bye, 2013 is still on the table.  I am trying to remain more grounded and realistic.. JPP is playing better than at the beginning of the season, but his pass rush is not significantly improved.       

Hillis, for his part, has stabilized the RB position with solid fundamentals.  Flashy this veteran ain't.  But he pushes the pile, he blocks, he runs simple "small ball" routes… all the unsexy meat & potatoes things that the Giants were missing in the first 6 weeks. Add Round 7 pick Michael Cox's platoon running and some blocking from FB John Conner and you get a functional backfield.  If Andre Brown can stay healthy when he comes back from his "Reserve/Designated to Return" slot, together the offense can get some balance. 

Some repeats of tweets made earlier in the day..  (1) Daryl Johnston remarked that the offense's long ball hasn't worked this season- it was a good move to play more small ball by Gilbride.  Can the Giants' OC stay with that playbook?!  (2) Linval Joseph is coming into his own as a solid DT.  Can we re-sign him with cap dollars found from (in part) money saved from cutting David Baas? (3) Wilson in Round 1, Cox in Round 7. Where do you think the Giants should be drafting their RBs??!!!

Scary, but the NFC East is collectively 5-14 outside of the division. 
WAS 2-3 with wins vs OAK and CHI
PHL 1-3 with a win vs TB
DAL 1-4 with a win vs STL
NYG 1-4 with a win vs MIN

Humdinger, those 5 teams the NFC East has beaten are 11-23… in other words, outside of the division, these 4 teams in the NFC East have managed to collectively beat ONE team with a winning record.  Let's pull for JPP to get that pass rush back, and we'll see what this team has vs OAK after the bye. 

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