The Giants shouldn't assume the worst is behind them

Jaime C. Harris | 4/12/2011, 5:25 p.m.

It wasn't a must win for the Giants, but their imposing 17-3 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night was a conquest that for the moment positively altered the tenor of their locker room. And maybe their entire season.

"There were a lot of good things happening last night," said Tom Coughlin on Monday, whose job security, as it often has during his seven year tenure as the team's head coach, was being questioned a week ago following an undisciplined and alarming 29-10 Giants defeat at home to the Tennessee Titans that lowered their record to an unexpected 1-2.

"I thought our guys had fun playing the game," Coughlin determined. "I thought that in all cases we got better as the game went along. I thought that the sideline was good.

"The defensive guys were cheering for the offense and vice versa, and everyone was helping the special teams...they were excited for people and they enjoyed watching each other perform and perform well, so those are good things they've got to obviously continue."

The Giants did a 180-degree turn seven days after the Titans debacle, thoroughly manhandling the Bears and putting in a defensive effort that was exceptional

The eager and motivated unit amassed 10 sacks of the Bears' quarterbacks and knocked starter Jay Cutler out of the game. Cutler didn't return after halftime, but it wouldn't have mattered if Peyton Manning was under center for the Bears as terribly as their offensive line carried on.

The victory undoubtedly put some distance between the Giants and the firestorm that had been ignited after the loss to the Titans. The scrutiny and finger pointing would have radically intensified had the Giants dropped three straight games, including two in their own stadium.

Instead, in a season that thus far is best characterized by the parity that pervades the NFL landscape, the Giants find themselves at 2-2 and tied for first place in the NFC East going in to their meeting with the AFC South leading Houston Texans (3-1) on the road this Sunday (1:00 P.M.).