If the Giants were going to fall into a slump at some point this season, they just picked the perfect time to do it: while the Yankees were off winning the World Series, when few people were paying attention. They picked the right time to do it as long as that’s the only slump of the year. Because now that people are paying attention, they might notice that the Giants have lost three in a row and are entering their toughest stretch of the season.
It begins with the Chargers, which brings up the inevitable remembrances of Draft Day 2004, when Eli Manning (and, more specifically, his father) decided that he’d rather spend his days in East Rutherford, New Jersey, than San Diego. He forced the trade to the Giants, assuring that he and Philip Rivers would be compared to each other their entire careers. Both sides have strong cases: Manning has won a Super Bowl, but Rivers has put up better stats and, all told, generally looks like the better player. This season has done little to solve the case: Neither quarterback has been at his best.
The time for the Giants to solve their problems — and as frustrating as Manning has been, you could hardly blame him for the barrage of big plays the Eagles put up on the Giants last week — is now, because the schedule is about to tighten up, fast. They have a week off after this game and then it gets brutal: four potential playoff teams in a row, Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Denver. (They also end the season in Minnesota to play the Favres.) The Giants are a listless team right now, in disarray. They do not have much time to get it together. In fact, they have to start right now.