The New York Giants victory over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday was a huge one. It proved to all of the doubters -- and even some of the players themselves -- that the depleted Giants still have enough talent to be a very good football team.
Thing is, though, all the good feelings generated by beating the Eagles for the Eagles for the fist time in seven tries and sitting in a tie for the NFC East lead at 2-1 through three games will be erased if the Giants fail to take care of business over the next month.
"The whole challenge to our team is to continue to grow," said head coach Tom Coughlin. "the real challenge now is to look at it as it was a nice win but it is early in the season so we have to build on it."
Coughlin is, of course, correct. Beginning Sunday with a road game against the 1-2 Arizona Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET) the schedule provides the Giants an opportunity to do just that. The Giants will be at MetLife Stadium for three games after the Arizona trip, against the 1-2 Seattle Seahawks, the 3-0 Buffalo Bills and the 0-3 Miami Dolphins.
There are never any easy games in the NFL, and the Bills in particular are looking like a quality team at this point in the season. If, however, there is a 'soft' spot in the Giants' schedule the month of October is it.
Looking at the schedule, this season figures to follow the familiar patter of the Coughlin era, with the second half record not being equal to the first half. The final nine games include the New England Patriots, Eagles, New Orleans Saints, defending champion Green Bay Packers, two games against the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets. Brutal is about the only way to describe that.
Obviously, looking at that daunting path through the second half of the season the Giants cannot afford any mis-steps in the next month. Beginning Sunday in Arizona.
New York Giants - Game Averages
|Off||23.7||324.0 (20th)||225.3 (20th)||98.7 (15th)|
|Def||20.0||358.3 (18th)||255.0 (20th)||103.3 (15th)|
Arizona Cardinals - Game Averages
|Off||19.7||347.3 (18th)||253.3 (16th)||94.0 (18th)|
|Def||18.7||397.7 (27th)||275.0 (25th)||122.7 (27th)|