During the jubilant post-game locker room celebration following their 24-20 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday New York Giants' coach Tom Coughlin sounds a bit like Adrian standing at the top of the stairs in Rocky 4 when she finds out her man is going to fight the killing machine, Ivan Drago.
"Listen, you're nine-point underdogs and THERE'S NO WAY YOU CAN WIN!"
Well, as we know the Giants did win. And no, they obviously were not supposed to. Not with the up and down way they played in the first seven games. Not with so many players out of the lineup. Not with Tom Brady having won 31 straight regular-season games he started in Gillette Stadium.
Last week when I traded questions with Greg Knooping of Pats Pulpit asked me for a prediction on Sunday's outcome. Honestly, I try not to be a "homer" when writers from other sites ask me for a prediction. I do my best to give an honest pick. Here is a what I wrote in predicting Sunday's Pats-Giants outcome:
"Somehow, the Giants under Coughlin always come up big when most people think they can't. I have no good reason to think the Giants should win this game, because they really shouldn't. Which is exactly why I think they will. Giants 35, Patriots 31."
I had the score wrong, but the game right. I have no crystal ball, and I'm not a soothsayer, but this is what the New York Giants are. Really, it is what they have been as long as I have been alive. Maybe longer.
- They are a team that will break your heart, all too often snatching historic failure from the jaws of certain, thrilling victory.
- They are a team that never does things the easy way -- often leaving fans frustrated and confused at how such a talented group can look so clueless at times. Seemingly, it has always been this way.
- They are a team that can do what it did on Sunday -- pulling off something that no one thought possible and doing it in amazing, improbable style.
This is a team capable of just about anything. They could go to San Francisco Sunday and blow the doors off the 7-1 49ers. They could go there, lay an egg and get beaten by four touchdowns. They could beat the unbeaten Packers in a few weeks. Or maybe not. They could make a deep playoff run. They could watch everything blow up in the next two months and not even get there.
Who knows what will happen? I sure don't. All I know for sure is following the New York Giants is about as wacky and stomach-churning as any roller-coaster ride you will ever take.