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For New York Giants, Opportunity Still Knocks

Like many Giants' fans, coach Tom Coughlin has to be wondering which team will show up the next few weeks.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Like many Giants' fans, coach Tom Coughlin has to be wondering which team will show up the next few weeks. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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Remember all the doom and gloom that surrounded the New York Giants during the preseason? Players seemingly fell to devastating injuries every day. Other players the Giants counted on stunned the front office -- and the fan base -- by signing elsewhere.

How would the Giants survive? Who would catch passes from Eli Manning? Did they have anybody who could play linebacker? How would they cover anybody with Terrell Thomas out for the year? Could the locker room hold together with players like Osi Umenyiora obviously unhappy? Would the Giants 'Suck for Luck?' Could Tom Coughlin possibly survive what looked like it was absolutely certain to be a disastrous five or six-win season?

Coughlin, Rex Ryan Are Different Coaches With A Similar Problem

Well, then there was that 6-2 start which included a victory in Foxborough against the New England Patriots. Suddenly, there were over-the-top locker room celebrations. There was talk of winning the NFC East. There was talk that the old man could be Coach of the Year if he could get this wounded group to the playoffs.

Then came last Sunday, a disappointing stinker against the Philadelphia Eagles that turned into the Giants second straight loss. Suddenly, Coughlin once again has forgotten how to coach. The Giants are headed for a third straight disastrous second-half collapse. Fire everybody!

Ahh, how quickly fortunes change in the NFL. The schedule looks daunting for the Giants, but that doesn't mean they should forfeit them and just go home. The second-half collapses are burned into the brains of Giants' fans, and the first two games of this second half put the Giants on the precipice of another one and many fans on the verge of bridge-jumping. Yet, anyone who looked at the Giants' schedule when it was released months ago had to anticipate the second half would not go as smoothly as the first half. A quick question. Considering the awful preseason the Giants had would you have signed up for 6-4 through 10 games? I would have, no matter how the Giants got here.

It is time to be concerned? Certainly, especially with more injuries hitting the already woeful Giants Invis-O-Line. Is it time to start figuring out who will replace Coughlin at the helm of the Giants next season? Not yet. This from the Daily News:

While there is considerable hand-wringing around the Giants, they shouldn’t panic and avoid talk of another collapse. This is the time the Giants need to get a grip on their destiny and shake free from the misery of the past. "The only thing we have to do is win football games. We still own our destiny," Tuck said. "We’re still where we want to be. But we can’t afford to play like we did."

The Giants, who were 6-2 and riding high after beating the Patriots in dramatic fashion, and the Bears, who are on a five-game winning streak with a red-hot Cutler, are examples of how quickly fortunes change in the NFL .

"This is the same (Giants) team that went up to New England and beat the Patriots, who hadn’t lost there in 20 games," Tom Coughlin said.

The Giants can’t afford to fret about what has happened or what might happen.

"Time to put up or shut up," Rolle said. "I’m not trying to be sitting at home the first week in January watching these other teams that I know aren’t better than us. We know we’re a great team. We have to go out there and prove it. We have to go out there and show them our toughness, show them how hard we work in the weight room, show them how mentally strong we are as a team."

In some ways, we are still right where we started the season with the Giants. If they can make the playoffs despite everything that has gone on we will be talking about how he deserves Coach of the Year support. If they don't make it many will be calling for his head -- and they just might get it.

As Rolle said, it's time for the Giants "to put up or shut up." It's probably long past time for them to shut up, in fact, but there is still time for them to put up. Let's just see where this goes.