Jaime C. Harris
The NFL preseason can be a deceiving barometer of how the regular season will materialize. Yet the long, physically taxing period before the real games begin should not be dismissed as having little reflection of what the future holds.
As the Giants ready themselves for their final preseason run through tonight (Thursday) against the New England Patriots at the Meadowlands, the reviews on their overall performance in their three previous games are mixed.
The Giants are 1-2 but the record is immaterial to what they are attempting to achieve before their September 12 regular season opener against the Carolina Panthers on the road. They are endeavoring to attain consistently positive outcomes from the offensive, defensive and special teams units. At this point, the Giants have not met their objective.
From both a tangible and psychological perspective, it is imperative that the Giants have a strong start after ending last season losing three of their final four games.
“I’m happy with what we’ve shown in practice. Now why it’s not translating on the field as far preseason, it’s not a major concern,” maintained defensive end/linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka.
“Obviously we want to get everything right. We want to do everything perfect, but we understand that preseason is there for a reason… So as long as we come out clicking on all cylinders and everybody is going for the regular season, we’ll be good.”
Maybe not. Kiwanuka’s viewpoint belies what should be a healthy concern from the collective organization that the Giants’ dramatic fall from grace in 2009 was not an abortion. They went from 14-2 in 2008 to a .500 club (8-8) that was watching the playoffs on flat screen TV’s a year later.
Echoing his teammate Kiwanuka, Giants QB Eli Manning says there is no reason for alarm with a record of 0-0 in the games that matter the most.
“No, no concerns,” asserted Manning when asked if there is a need to feel uneasy.
“I can’t tell you what my preseason record is over the last six years. I don’t know if it’s good or bad or what. We know what we’re capable of, and we know we have great talent on this team,” Manning justified.
“We can clearly play better…Plays are there to be made, it’s just a matter of making them work.”