Most people look back at last season's final regular-season game, the 38-35 loss to New England, as the game that started the New York Giants on the dominant run they are still enjoying.
Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News has a different take. He points to exactly one year ago today, a brutal 41-17 loss at home to Minnesota, as the low point from which the Giants have risen.
Here is some of what Bondy wrote:
When the Tennessee Titans lost on Sunday, that pretty much made official what everybody was saying anyway: The Giants are the best team in the NFL - and for now that includes the Jets.
You never know with football, and there is a game left on Dec. 28 in Minnesota. But it doesn't appear likely the Giants have a stinker in them anymore like the one they played last November against the Vikings.
Too much has changed, starting with Manning. Since that debacle, the Giants have gone 17-3, including the playoffs. They've won a Super Bowl and are plus-nine this season on turnovers. Manning has thrown a total of only seven interceptions in 11 games.
"Fundamentals. It's emphasis," Coughlin was saying Monday, about how his team has become a different club entirely, a dependable possession side. "We have a great scheme ... The quarterback is so conscious of that No. 2 stat, turnovers, he does a great job mentally. We never let up on it. It's the first thing I talk about on Monday."
I went back and looked at what I wrote about that debacle a year ago. Here is part of what I wrote in my 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review.
Bluntly, if you're a New York Giants fan it is time to begin worrying. Yes, the Giants are still 7-4 and figure to find a way to stagger into the playoffs.
With last year's second-half collapse still fresh, however, you can't like what you are seeing. The Giants have lost two of three, and particularly on offense have played four bad football games in a row.
Here was my assessment of Eli Manning following that game, which saw him throw four interceptions. Three of those, if you recall, were returned for touchdowns.
Amateurish. Awful. Putrid. Terrible. Pick your adjective, anything negative fits what Manning did Sunday. Perhaps the best one is disturbing. How is it possible for a guy in his fourth year, who has started as long as Eli has, and played basically with the same receivers, to look so clueless. Errant throws and miscommunications were the rule Sunday. Eli looked like a rookie starting for the first time, and that truly is disturbing. The booing he received was well deserved.
It sure is amazing what has happened to the Giants in the last 365 days. What a great time to be a New York Giants' fan.