The 2015 Giants lost six games by a combined 11 points in their second consecutive 6-10 season that ended Tom Coughlin’s tenure as head coach, including one-point defeats to Dallas and New England.
So the 2016 Giants (6-3) understandably are encouraged that their six wins by a combined 21 points — including one-point wins over Dallas and Cincinnati — show character and an ability to close games.
But you know what else these nail-biters add to the Giants’ psyche?
“Stress,” Odell Beckham Jr. said honestly on Friday. “We’d love to come out and beat a team 45-14. Why not?”
Why not, indeed?
The Giants have earned their wins over the Cowboys (20-19), Saints (16-13), Ravens (27-23), Rams (17-10), Eagles (28-23) and Bengals (21-20), and they all count the same regardless of how tight the score. But if these Giants want to get better every week, as coach Ben McAdoo keeps saying, here is what they must do Sunday to the 2-7 Chicago Bears:
Blow them out.
Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and Ben McAdoo have turned around fortunes of Big Blue, but one thing they’ve not done this year is trounce an opponent.
(Al Bello/Getty Images)
It’s not about the final score, either. The Giants can win this game 10-0. They simply have yet to play a game in which from start to finish they have looked like the better team.
They have kept opponents in games with turnovers or penalties or lapses at inopportune times. The offense has turned the ball over in every game this season. They’ve made comebacks to escape narrowly with victories.
It’s time for the 2016 Giants to assert themselves as the clearly superior team on a football field, and their Week 12 visit to the winless Cleveland Browns should not qualify.
Monday night’s 21-20 win over the Bengals was a perfect example of their incomplete efforts: Manning’s offense came out and went 80 yards on eight plays for a 7-0 lead on a Jerell Adams touchdown catch — a welcome change from fumbles on Big Blue’s first drives against both Baltimore and Los Angeles in Weeks 6 and 7, for example.
But then the Giants’ defense, the superior unit so far, gave up a 71-yard Tyler Eifert reception and allowed Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to tie the game at seven apiece on a three-play, 80-yard drive.
Both the offense and defense have to click from the get-go.
(Al Bello/Getty Images)
“From what I see, we’ve just got to come out running,” second-year strong safety Landon Collins, the defense’s biggest standout, said Thursday. “How the offense came out last week, it was unexpected from the defensive point of view, marching the ball downfield. But that was a fantastic thing, and that’s what we expect from now on, that they could do that. If they do that and march the ball downfield and go get points, now it’s up to the defense to get three-and-outs and make sure we get the ball back to our offense because we’re on a hot streak.”
McAdoo seemingly knows the Giants have the talent level to dominate a game. In his own way, when asked Friday if his team was close to putting a complete effort together, the rookie head coach expressed confidence in his players to make game-changing and game-winning plays on every snap.
“The one thing that’s important is we all recognize that … it doesn’t matter how the game unfolds, all three phases are capable of making a play to win the game,” McAdoo said. “And we have those type of players in the locker room, and we expect them to play that way on Sunday, with that edge and that confidence, one play at a time.”
Beckham, who pined earlier in the season for the Giants to thump an opponent, again on Friday said he is eager after all his preparation to see everything come together on Sunday.
“I’m a firm believer in — think about it — you work all week for 60 minutes of football, and as an offense you’re not gonna be on the field for 60 minutes,” Beckham said. “Why not make the most of the opportunity you have now? Instead, you have to wait a whole ’nother Sunday — live in the moment and take advantage of the opportunity in front of you.”
When Beckham said Monday that the Giants have a “Super Bowl defense,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo clarified: “To me, there’s no such thing as perfection, but we chase perfection.”
And that should be the Giants’ goal on Sunday: Not to be perfect, but to come darn close, for once.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News