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Can the Giants overcome another November-December slump?

JAIME C. HARRIS Special to the AmNews | 12/7/2012, 12:41 p.m.
Can the Giants overcome another November-December slump?

Here they go again!

Prosperity is a state of being that the Giants just haven't seemed to embrace in the latter stages of the regular season during head coach Tom Coughlin's nine-year tenure. They continue an inexplicable pattern of going astray in the months of November and December after losing to Washington 17-16, led by the exceptionally gifted rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III on Monday at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

In a subpar performance defensively, they allowed 202 rushing yards, while the offense was held to three points in the second half. Now 7-5, they find themselves only one game ahead of Washington and Dallas, both 6-6, in the mad dash for the NFC East division title.

Three of the Giants' remaining four games are against teams that will be hard to handle, beginning this Sunday at home against the New Orleans Saints. Then comes the 11-1 Atlanta Falcons and the 9-3 Baltimore Ravens on the road before closing out their regular season schedule against the hapless Philadelphia Eagles at home in New Jersey.

In a nutshell, the Giants have been inconsistent, undisciplined and lacking urgency, which began with a 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 4. Prior to losing to the Steelers, the Giants were 6-2. They are now 1-3 and finding themselves in a desperation mode. While some members of the Giants present a veneer of calmness and control, it does not represent the dire fact that they are trending in the wrong direction and cannot easily reverse course in the face of a perilous remaining schedule.

"It is what it is," said Giants QB Eli Manning after falling to the Redskins. "We still got a great opportunity ahead of us. We got some tough teams to face, but that's going to make it exciting. ... We gotta play better football and find ways to win games."

While Manning offered his customarily pragmatic and vanilla assessment of the Giants' status, his words won't easily be translated into execution after thoroughly wrecking the Green Bay Packers by 38-10 nearly two weeks ago.