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Giants off the donut after 27-7 win over Vikings

Jamie C. Harris | 10/24/2013, 4:34 p.m.
Victor Cruz fails to haul in a Eli Manning pass in the end zone. Photo by Bill Moore

No one, not even the most idealistic among Giant haters, could have possibly imagined that a team many NFL observers picked to win the NFC East before the season began wouldn’t earn their first victory until Oct. 21.

But that was the unlikely occurrence at MetLife Stadium on Monday night, where the now 1-6 Giants defeated the equally inadequate 1-5 Minnesota Vikings by 23-7. It was more a moment to exhale than celebrate for the Giants, who, despite the palpable joy pumping through their locker room immediately following the victory, cannot reconcile the victory with their disappointment in being near the bottom of the NFL hierarchy.

“I think you see a renewed energy from this team,” said wide receiver Victor Cruz as he was being engulfed by media, “and guys kind of feel that first win and want to continue to feel that.

I think our momentum and our energy is in the right direction, and we just have to keep it going and keep flowing week to week.”

“It’s one game at a time, one practice at a time,” said guard Kevin Boothe, responding to a reporter’s question as to whether the team had been compelled to recalibrate its postseason objectives. “Our goals haven’t changed.”

Yet there is virtually nothing the Giants can do to elevate themselves into playoff contention. Losing their first six games assured them of this reality no matter how many more wins they secure. Scan the standings and then do the math.

The Giants have nine games remaining between now and Dec. 29, on which they are scheduled to play what is certain to be their season finale versus the Washington Redskins, even if they miraculously go 7-2 to finish with a .500 record.

That leaves two months for them to at least give their fans a reason for hope and optimism that this season is simply an aberration, a manifestation of the volatile and unpredictable nature of professional football.

Case in point: Last season, the Kansas Chiefs finished 2-14, tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst record in the League. Today, they are 7-0 and the only undefeated team out of 32. Maybe the reversal of fortune has begun for the Giants too.