What The Giants Have Learned During Their Two Game Win Streak That Can Carry Them The Rest of The Season In a Suddenly Open Division (Video)Read Now
The New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday. That’s two consecutive wins for the Giants and they sit at 3-7 in a chaotic NFC east, more on that in a moment. This is the team’s first winning streak since December 2016. That’s a very long time. It’s no wonder there is an air of optimism around the locker room. Coming off their bye week star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said their goal was to “win out” and “make the playoffs.” A bold proclamation no doubt, but with two wins, it’s looking slightly more attainable. OBJ remained steadfast in his claim following the game, saying:
The goal is to win every game. So six games left, it’s really only crazy until you do it.
In order for the Giants to have a chance to pull off this miracle, they will need their stars like OBJ, who finished with 85 total yards and a touchdown, and Saquon Barkley – 152 total yards and three touchdowns – to play like stars. Veteran quarterback Eli Manning will have to be very good and limit the mistakes, as he did on Sunday (17-18, 231 yards and two touchdowns), and an improving offensive line will need to continue to execute.
Football players and coaches often speak of “one play at a time,” and “just needing to execute” when discussing what needs to happen or continue to happen to have success in the NFL. In his postgame press conference on Sunday, head coach Pat Shurmur talked about the team executing and getting into a rhythm offensively and how that allowed for more variety in the play calling. It’s true that when a team “remains on schedule” in terms of down and distance and getting positive yards on first down it opens things up and the whole playbook becomes available. Coaches are often reluctant to be aggressive when simple plays don’t work. Shurmur knows the Giants have a lot of areas to clean up but hopes the team can continue to execute in their remaining games and who knows where they’ll end up. The NFC East race is chaotic and he wants his team to keep believing, saying:
Crazy, isn’t it. That’s why I said through the first eight weeks, ‘You just have to keep playing. You never know. If we let the [outside] noise get to us and get us all dark and stormy and weird about things, then you’re not set up to do anything at the end of the season. … If we can keep battling and fighting, who knows? Who knows? That’ll be a fun thing for everybody to write.
It’s only two wins and the 49ers and Bucs are among the worst teams in the league, but you can only play who is on the schedule. The Giants travel to Philadelphia next week to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles, who sit at 4-6 and beat the Giants earlier in the season. Saquon and his teammates want to continue the win streak and keep hopes alive, so it’s a must-win game. In his postgame press conference, Saquon was asked if he was looking forward to going back to Pennsylvania – where he was a collegiate star for Penn State. The mature beyond his year’s rookie said:
You know, I’m not really excited about going back to play in Pennsylvania. I did that in college, and the past is in the past. I’m just excited to get back out there against those guys, we owe them one. They got us up here last time.
For the miracle run to continue, the Giants must continue to do the little things they’ve done over the last two weeks. Execute the basic elements of the game, win their individual battles, and build momentum. It’s a tall task, but with Alex Smith lost for the season for Washington, and the inconsistent play of Dallas and Philadelphia, everyone is still alive in a haphazard NFC east.
Check out Saquon Barkley’s full postgame press conference where I ask him about execution and specifically what the Giants have done to get on this streak.