Eli Manning (163799)
Credit: Bill Moore photo

Seize the moment. In the 16-game NFL regular season schedule, every win is precious and every loss is consequential.

For the second consecutive week, the Giants snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. As they did in their season opener, the Giants squandered a 10-point lead.

In week one it was against the Dallas Cowboys, dropping a distressing 27-26 NFC East division game on the road. This past Sunday, playing at home in MetLife Stadium, the Giants allowed the Atlanta Falcons to devise a late fourth quarter comeback, losing by 24-20, with their record falling to 0-2.

Thus far, the Giants’ season has been characterized by mental miscues and a failure to close out games. The most obvious culprit of the team’s repeated self-inflicted wounds is quarterback Eli Manning, whose clock management shortcomings against the Cowboys and costly fourth quarter fumble versus the Falcons were direct causes of the Giants’ collapses.

“I think you’ve just got to understand that games are going to come down to the fourth quarter,” said Manning in a moment of self-assessment. “You just have to believe you’re going to get it done … You can’t let the demeanor or mood get down.”

Coughlin’s viewpoint of the Giants’ collective game mismanagement was much more succinct. “We talk about, ‘Don’t keep score, I’ll keep score and let you know when the game is over.’”

Having a higher score when the game is over versus the Washington Redskins tonight (Thursday) at the Meadowlands is paramount for the Giants. Another loss to a division opponent and a 0-3 record would almost certainly present a doomsday scenario. If the aforementioned possibility comes to fruition, the Giants would have to go 8-5 in their remaining 13 games just to conclude the season at .500, which would likely result in their fourth consecutive season missing the playoffs.