Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The New York Giants have put on a familiar display of football this season. They had some games where they've outshined their opponent, some games where they've played to the level of their opponent's competition...and some games where they've played some pretty dreadful football.
Monday, Tom Coughlin addressed the media, describing the final weeks of the season for the Giants as a six-game schedule.
"We're excited about that. Watched a lot of football [Sunday], as you all did, I'm sure. Got excited, got upset, got excited, got all the emotions in play, but we're excited to be back on the field and seeing all of our guys again. Hopefully they're well rested and ready to go," said Coughlin.
Fresh off their bye-week, the Giants are looking for a fresh start to a new stretch of the season. The final six games are coming up starting this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Being 6-4 and a game ahead of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, only the Giants have control of their destiny.
"We're getting everybody back fresh and we're getting everybody back with a good mindset; good physically as well as mentally," said Giants' wide receiver Victor Cruz.
"I think it's going to be good for our football team. We've got a one-game lead and we just want to build up that and go off of that. We control our own destiny just like you always do, every year potentially at this time. We just have to continue to win."
Everyone around the NFL knows how hard the Giants' schedule is coming up. Everyone knew how tough it would be as soon as the schedule was released earlier in the year, so it's no surprise. The Giants have played seasons where their backs are against the wall, like last season after losing four in a row, and then the second meeting with the Washington Redskins. They had to win out in order for a chance at a Super Bowl title, which they got. Defensive end Justin Tuck finds this situation normal, and mentions that no matter what is said outside of this team, only they can control their season.
"I know a lot of people outside of this locker room are going to make a big deal about it, but we can only control what we can control and that's playing one game at a time," said Tuck. "Everyone knows about this vaunted six-game schedule, but honestly, I think that puts us in a great light, a great position because we don't have any room for error. We play back to back to back to back to back great teams and I think this team will be up for them."
Before the bye-week, there were reports of quarterback Eli Manning having a tired arm. Manning initially dismissed the idea, but said to the media yesterday that his arm felt fresh after the bye. "Usually after the bye, you kind of have a little more pep in your step and the arm is a little bit more live," said Manning. He said that rather than having an opportunity to start over, the team now has fresh legs to continue the season one game at a time.
"You just focus on the next game and all we can worry about is Green Bay right now, all we can worry about is trying to game plan and just get our offense back to playing at a high level and I think we're close. We're very close. We're just a little off," said Manning. "It's not like we've got to go and just start all over. So we're going to keep working, have a great week of preparation, great focus and go out there and give it our best effort."
At the end of the day, it's a brand new chapter in the 2012 season for the Giants. They have a tough stretch of games coming up against playoff contenders. Even though Dallas will be a thought in the subconscious, the Giants are not trying to focus on them, but rather focus on their own progress. It is a fresh new start, and coming off the bye week they have a fresh set of rested players. As long as they can focus, they'll perform.
"That's the way we like it," said Hakeem Nicks. "We don't want to have to depend on anybody for anything, so we've just got to go out there and take it one week at a time and prepare well and play well."
Follow Kelsey O'Donnell on Twitter @KelsODonnell