By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
The Giants are in first place.
Yes, enjoy the moment. Better yet, believe the moment. And it is still 2020.
There is still some way to go, but the excitement is back.
With their 19-17 win at Cincinnati, the 4-7 G-Men slipped into the top spot of the NFC Least (East) for the time being with 3-6-1 Philadelphia hosting Seattle tomorrow night.
A consistent, methodical offense, a stingy, roaming defense, and a field goal kicker that doesn’t miss.
It adds up to a Giants’ team that has it all together for the first time since 2016. A first place one that has won three straight in their own style.
Just don’t tell head coach Joe Judge or safety/cornerback Logan Ryan.
“I did not,” replied Judge when asked if he told his players they were in first place. “We still have five more games to play.”
“Who cares,” spouted Ryan. “Who honestly cares.”
Both responses typified the play and attitude of this Giants’ team. Keep it buttoned up tight and do your job. Keep the blinders on and move forward. Stay confident and don’t make mistakes.
Yet. Ryan also took his cue.
“We’re starting to believe we can win every game,” he added.
With how they play, they have a shot.
The only drawback is they may have to do it with veteran backup quarterback Colt McCoy if starting quarterback Daniel Jones has something more severe than a hamstring pull that took him out of the game in the third quarter.
Like everyone else, McCoy simply did his job and helped Graham Gano kick three second-half field goals (four on the day) to seal the deal. Judge believes Jones will be back next week.
Gano has been the godsend pickup converting 25 of 26 attempts.
They make the big plays in a timely fashion.
Practice squad linebacker recently activated Niko Lalas swiped a batted ball for an interception, Ryan forced and recovered a fumble, and defensive end Leonard Williams recovered defensive lineman Jabaal Sherad’s forced fumble.
All three ended potential game-winning drives for a 2-8-1 Cincinnati team the Giants had to beat. They did enough, but they didn’t blow them out. They aren’t there yet.
While the defense is solid, the offense is building. Running back Wayne Gallman did have a grind-it-out, 94-yard effort.
Now, it gets fun.
The Giants will venture to Seattle next Sunday that begins a challenging four-game stretch with Arizona and Cleveland (home) and Baltimore (away).
The Giants need to win at least one — really two — of those four to validate their stance.
Remember this isn’t a dominant offensive team –they haven’t scored over 30 points once in a 37-34 loss to Dallas — but it that has the making of the one that formally employed Judge in New England.