Good morning, New York Giants' fans! The Giants got what really amounted to a season-saving victory over the Washington Redskins Thursday, so no matter what else you think of Thursday's game or the 1-2 take coach Tom Coughlin's advice today.
"We won, so SMILE."
Now, let's look at what others are saying about the victory.
Manning knows how to salvage lost causes, and it's his second-best trait, right behind his staggering durability (170 consecutive regular season starts and counting). The 2015 Giants might finish out of the money, again, because they have no Victor Cruz (so far), no pass rush and no good reason to believe the badly injured Jason Pierre-Paul will return with the power to restore that pass rush.
But Manning's history gives fans at least some reason to hope. And outside of winning, nothing is easier to sell in sports than hope.
It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t perfect, but it was enough to bring a smile to the face of Tom Coughlin and a sigh of relief to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The defense bent, but didn’t break - at least it didn’t break much - and it allowed the Giants to escape it’s must-win game vs. Washington with a 32-21 victory. And no matter how imperfect it was, it was still something considering the Giants were playing without their best defensive end (Robert Ayers) and their best cornerback (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) — and of course still without Jason Pierre-Paul.
They shut down a Washington rushing attack that averaged 171.5 yards through the first two games, holding them to just 88 yards on the ground. And even though they only sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins once, they still got more pressure in the fourth quarter than they had gotten in the first 2¾ games combined.
"I wanted teammates to know that we could win these games, we could win the fourth quarter," Manning said. "Be excited about those opportunities. You can’t dread them just because you have some downs, you some bad plays, bad games when you don’t have success in those situations. You can’t start dreading them or it’s going to get worse."