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Now 0-6, will the Giants now play for pride?

Jamie C. Harris | 10/17/2013, 4:08 p.m.

There comes a time when reality stems idealism. For the Giants, who two weekends ago still held a glimmer of hope that they could somehow fight their way back into contention for the NFC East title, the truth unforgivingly visited them last Thursday night in Chicago.

After a late fourth quarter drive by the Giants ended on an errant pass from quarterback Eli Manning to tight end Brandon Myers, cementing a 27-21 loss and 0-6 record, the voice of truth authoritatively informed the dispirited team that their postseason ambitions had just died.

It was a difficult moment for a proud group of competitors, many who had experienced the exhilaration of winning a Super Bowl and some, like Manning, having won two.

It must have felt like a Shakespearean tragedy for Manning, the MVP of both Super Bowl XLII and XLVI. Individually, by his own admission, Manning’s play has been awful, the Giants’ fate mirroring that of its offensive leader. Although Manning is fourth in the league in passing yardage with 1,721, he has thrown an NFL high 15 interceptions and only nine touchdowns, wallowing behind a compromising offensive line and 28th-ranked running game.

But Manning’s faulty performance is hardly the primary or even secondary cause of the Giants’ hardship. As they prepare to host the 1-4 Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium on Monday night, an assessment of each offensive and defensive unit will reveal glaring flaws and underachievement. In the fishbowl that is the New York metropolitan area, there is no escaping the incessant criticism that comes with such disastrous results.

“Is it repetitive? Yeah,” answered safety Antrel Rolle earlier this week when asked about the superfluous questions directed at players and coaches. “The losing has also been repetitive. We’re not happy with ourselves at all … but right now we have 10 games left to go.

“Are we still playoff bound?” pondered Rolle. “Who knows! That’s not the most important thing right now. The most important thing right now is coming together as a team, going out there and playing together as a team and focusing on getting a win. Everything else at this point is just going to take care of itself.”

Unfortunately for the Giants, nothing has taken care of itself thus far.