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Giants need to re-write this tired script

The Giants of 2013 are sounding and acting too much like the Giants of 2012, who under-achieved and missed the playoffs.

Ron Antonelli

There is much unrest among the New York Giants' fan base these days. When wide receiver Victor Cruz said to me on Tuesday that "We've been in this position before" much of the reaction was not pleasant.

Thing is, the Giants HAVE been in this position before. No, they have not been 0-2 to start a season since 2007. Every regular season during the Tom Coughlin era except 2008, however, the Giants have faced some sort of crisis that left them in must-win situations. The difference this season is that the crisis comes at the beginning, not in its usual November or December position.

We know that in 2011 the Giants pulled themselves together at the last minute and went on a Super Bowl run. We also know that in other years things have not worked out so well. After all, in three of the past four seasons the Giants have not made the playoffs.

This is a tired act. Although Cruz and his teammates can't really say anything different at this point I understand the annoyed reaction to "we've been in this position before." Or when Antrel Rolle calls out his teammates for a perceived lack of emotion. Or when Rolle, Justin Tuck or any other Giant says they are a great team that just isn't playing like one. Or when Eli Manning shrugs away questions about interceptions by saying he needs to be smarter with the football or make better decisions.

We've heard all of this before. It's like the Giants are reading from the script they used last season. In fact, it seems like the script they have used for several seasons now.

I know you're sick of hearing it. I know I'm sick of hearing it. Maybe somebody needs to remind the Giants that script led to their show being cancelled.

The Giants have not been a great team. Maybe they could have, or even should have, been great. But, they haven't been. They have been a good team that got hot at the right time in 2011. That team magically over-achieved. In all of the years that surrounded that one -- 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 -- you can make the argument that the Giants under-achieved. They definitely didn't amount to what they told us they were.

Even after last season's disappointment you wonder sometimes if there are players waiting for the magic of that 2011 title run to re-appear. It won't -- unless they earn it.

Can the Giants' ship be righted? Sure it can. I'm not convinced it's listing all that badly, despite the 0-2 record.

In all honesty, it can't be that stunning that the Giants are 0-2. They weren't going to go to Dallas and win every game they ever played there -- they did win the first four. They went to Jerry's World with several players -- like Jason Pierre-Paul and Henry Hynoski -- clearly not at their best. Facing the Denver Broncos in Week 2 the Giants were -- truthfully -- playing a team that outclasses them right now.

The story of the Giants' season will be told in what happens during the next 14 games. I have thought all along that this team has a chance to be better -- much better -- at the end than it is at the beginning. For that to matter, though, the Giants have to win Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Period.

To do that, they have serious issues they need to begin to address. They need to begin to find some way to run the football. They need to stop handing out footballs to the opposition like firefighters tossing candy to the crowd at a parade. Forget sacking the opposing quarterback. They need to find some way to actually get pass rushers in the same area code as the guy throwing the ball. Maybe they have the pieces to get those things done, maybe they don't. We'll see.

Words won't fix what ails the Giants. Talking about how good they believe they are, or what they think their issues are, isn't going to prove anything. There is a sign on the wall in the Giants locker room that reminds of one of Tom Coughlin's favorite sayings, "Talk is cheap, play the game."

It is time for the Giants to show us what they really are. If they are what they think they are this season can still end well.

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