The New York Giants, 4-6 and still trying to overcome their miserable 0-6 start to the 2013 NFL season, certainly understand the magnitude of Sunday's game vs. the Dallas Cowboys. Win and they are in the race. Lose and they will almost certainly just be playing out the string of their fourth playoff-less season in five years. Here is some of what they said on Wednesday.
"This game is like the Super Bowl, it's not a playoff game, it's like the Super Bowl. They got us, they got one. We need to get this one. This is going to be a blood bath out there. I know they're going to be ready to play. This is going to be a physical game. I'm sure that I'm going to be ready and I know my boys are going to be ready to back it up."
"Personally, I feel like this game is going to determine the outcome of the season. I think this is such a huge game, being they've already beaten us once. I think this is a game, we can't walk away with a loss."
"At 0-6, I didn’t envision anything other than this. Obviously that doesn’t mean that it will happen, but it did. All of us were very confident that we could get out of that hole. We felt as though we should have played a lot better to not have been in that hole to begin with. It’s the cards that we’ve dealt ourselves and we need to figure out how to play the hand better. We did the last four weeks."
Head coach Tom Coughlin:
"We’re very much aware of having dug ourselves a very, very deep hole, have started to make a little bit of progress to get out. It’s nice that we do have a challenge of this nature. We call it an opportunity ... This is what you play for. You play for this, you play for the opportunity to be in games that are important."
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The Giants have a plan to slow Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. It involves getting in his face and being as physical as possible at the line of scrimmage.
They believe the best way to slow one of the league's top receivers is to stymie him before he gets going. Bryant doesn't like the contact.
"Get your hands on him," Giants safety Will Hill said. "He doesn't like to be touched, like most receivers in this league. But really him. He doesn't like to be touched."
"When you look at what’s at stake up there Sunday, you look at the respect we have for the Giants, respect we have for how well they’re playing right now, we don’t need any more," he said. "And I … think you’ll see that deep down they don’t need any more either.
"We’re a team that certainly has our faults, but by the same token we’re a team that can really be effective — and they respect that."
By claiming their fourth straight win on Sunday, the New York Giants elevated themselves back into the NFC East conversation by virtue of Dallas and Philadelphia being just as inconsistent as New York this year. Unfortunately, whether you look at it with your eyes or the statistics, the Giants seem much more likely to stay in the conversation than they are to take the next step toward actual contention. New York enters Week 12 as the 27th-ranked team by DVOA, carrying a mark of minus-15.1 percent. (DVOA is Football Outsiders' defense-adjusted value over average metric, explained here.) The Eagles and Cowboys are 10th and 11th, respectively, with DVOAs of 9.6 percent and 7.1 percent. That disparity is enough for us to peg the Giants with just a 3.3 percent chance at the playoffs despite being just a game-and-a-half behind Philadelphia for the division lead.
"Because of the way our passing game is and because we know how good it can be, we talk about it every now and then," Cruz said. "Any given week, it could be any one of us with the big game. And we're definitely going to need all hands on deck to be successful this week."
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