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Can Giants keep the good times rolling?

The Giants have had a lot to smile about the past five weeks. The question is, can they keep it going? (Getty Images)

These are the salad days for the New York Giants. They have won five straight games. They are showing a dominating defense, a punishing ground game and a big-play passing attack.

Heck, players even seem to be enjoying Tom Coughlin. There hasn't been a peep of complaint all season.

It's really tempting to start peeking at the Giants' schedule and figuring out how many wins this team should end up with.

Miami? A win. Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago, Buffalo? All games the Giants should win. Philadelphia? Another win.

What does that make? Eleven wins. Maybe more with some breaks.

To all of that I say, hold on a minute. Don't do it. Remember last year when 6-2 with Super Bowl dreams turned into 8-8 with Coughlin's job hanging by a thread.

The Giants remember, that's for sure.

"We are by no means doing cartwheels in here because we are 5-2," center Shaun O'Hara told Gary Myers of the Daily News. "That doesn't mean anything. It's about how you finish."

Keith Idec of the Star Herald reminds us that this is a familiar spot for Coughlin and the Giants. And it has not always turned out well.

They've started each of Tom Coughlin's four seasons as head coach 5-2, and only once have their maintained momentum to finish strong.

They lost eight straight in Coughlin's first season, which led four anonymous Giants to tell a New York tabloid that Coughlin should've been fired before that eighth defeat at Cincinnati the day after Christmas in 2004. They finished 6-10 and in a three-way tie for last place in the division with Washington and Dallas. No one was talking then about how they won five of their first seven games before the calendar turned to November.

Another 5-2 start in 2005 prompted skepticism, but the Giants won six of their last nine games. They won the NFC East, too, before falling in the first round of the playoffs to Carolina.

Then they reverted to their 2004 form last season. They lost four straight games and six of seven before Tiki Barber basically saved their season by running for 234 yards and three touchdowns in their last game against Washington.

So, in a way we are right back where we started with Coughlin. What happens from here on out? Who knows?

This does seem to be a different team, though. It's a talented team, no doubt. It's also a looser team that gets along with each other -- and Coughlin -- and has yet to suffer any of the losses to inferior teams that plagued the Giants last year.

Myers goes so far as to say "this is the best a Tom Coughlin team has looked in his four seasons with the Giants."

Coughlin also likes what he sees, and why wouldn't he? Aside from some placekicking inconsistency there hasn't been much to complain about.

"I like this team in terms of their approach," Coughlin told Myers. "There is real good support on the part of these guys for one another and that is what we are striving for and have always been."

We will just have to wait and see if the Giants can take all those positive signs and good feelings and turn this into a special season.

Only time will tell.