The Giants slowly creep up the NFC East standings
JAIME C. HARRIS | 11/19/2020, midnight
The past 10 months have seen unprecedented times in this country and beyond. Sports has mirrored these doubtful days. Uncertainty has become the new norm. So the Giants being perhaps the best team in the NFC East division of the NFL and in second place with a 3-7 record is paradoxically aligned with the climate.
Defeating the Philadelphia Eagles by 27-17 this past Sunday at MetLife Stadium could signal the Giants altering the fragile balance in the league’s weakest division. The Eagles, at 3-5-1, have a tenuous lead over the Giants, with the Washington Football Team and Dallas Cowboys lumped with them with records of 2-7.
Over the past month, the eye test has revealed the Giants are steadily improving while the Eagles, particularly their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, are conclusively regressing. Conversely, Wentz’s counterpart, Giants’ second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, who has been detrimentally turnover prone early in his career, has now gone back-to-back games without an interception or fumble after having nine and four respectively in his first eight this season.
The Giants began their bye week Monday and won’t play again until Nov. 29, when they face the Cincinnati Bengals, who are currently 2-6-1, on the road. However, after the Giants take on the Bengals, they have four straight games against opponents—the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in succession—who are all 6-3 heading into Week 11. They end the regular season Jan. 3 versus the Cowboys.
Giants head coach Joe Judge understands his team being energized by consecutive victories over Washington in Week 9, followed by a win over the Eagles, but recognizes the hurdles in front of his players. “We have to get ready and go ahead and improve ourselves internally. Turn the page and move on to Cincinnati and get ready for a tough game out there,” said Judge on Monday.
“We have a tough stretch of games coming up. We can’t go ahead and start looking at rankings and division races and all that type of stuff. We just have to focus on getting better each week. That’s what will ultimately help us in the long run.”
With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, the Giants, like every other team, have concerns about players contracting COVID-19 at social events such as family gatherings. Public health experts have recommended that functions be limited to those residing in the same household and exclude anyone traveling from states with high COVID-19 positivity rates.
On Tuesday, the Giants placed kicker Graham Gano on the reserve/COVID-19 list after announcing on Monday that an unnamed player had tested positive. “… I just let them know that hey listen, if there’s someone coming in town, obviously, we want to control who’s coming in,” related Judge.
“We want to make sure they’re smart about the number of people we expose ourselves to. We want to make sure that on the front end, we make sure that we test and that we make sure we’re putting ourselves in the safest environment possible.”