By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
A month ago, the Giants’ focus was directed toward 2021 to try and discover who could play an integral part of the bigger picture next season. It was a matter of playing out the string.
They even entertained the thought of the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes.
Four weeks later, they have reversed their course.
They have been re-energized and refocused toward the postseason even with a 4-7 record, one that is good enough to keep the current first-place team in the running for the division title in the inept NFC East.
They continue to be the club that has a timely hero(s) fill the gaps every week. It has been a matter of whom is the latest Giant to play his role in this season’s Renaissance period toward respectability and contention.
They head to Seattle for a late Sunday afternoon clash with the Seahawks to try and clear another hurdle to these recent high-stepping Giants, who have found solid ground with grind-it-out character victories the past three weeks.
However, they may have reached their Napoleonic-version of Waterloo.
This is the first of four battle-ground games that will test their mettle and character and reveal whether they have enough juice to withstand the anticipated onslaught.
Seattle (8-3) is coming off a 23-17 victory over Philadelphia in which punishing wide receiver DK Metcalf had his way over Eagles’ corner Darius Slay with 10 catches for 177 yards. He dropped a sure touchdown pass.
It has been the Giants’ defense that has led the resurgence, albeit they have sealed wins against teams with losing records. They have held opponents to 25 points or less the past six weeks, Tampa scoring 25 in a victory.
Giants’ corner James Bradberry – having a Pro Bowl season with three interceptions — likely will draw Metcalf as an assignment, and he’ll need all of his 6-5 frame draped over him.
Defensive end Leonard Williams – another potential Pro Bowler with six sacks – will need his unit to keep Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson corralled all afternoon.
On offense, all eyes will be on back quarterback Colt McCoy, who will need to be a good game manager for injured starter Daniel Jones and continue to get a consistent effort from reborn running back Wayne Gallman.
McCoy relieved Jones last week against Cincinnati and helped the Giants’ offense to three pivotal field goals that pushed them past Cincinnati. He was a respectable 6 of 10 for 31 yards.
As of Friday afternoon, Jones had not hit the practice field. All indications pointed to McCoy, who had been injury-plagued with the Browns and Redskins since 2011.
McCoy will need to manage the Giants’ methodical offense and help to move down the field behind a controlled passing game and Gallman’s running.
Gradually move the ball down the field and let Graham Gano continue his machine-like production with field goals if you can’t get the ball into the end zone.
The Giants have to be in the game until halftime unless it will be some sleepless nights from Seattle.
This Giants’ revival is real, but they’ll have to deal with the prospect of a stark reality. Arizona, Cleveland, and Baltimore follow and are all in the playoff hunt.
This team has defied the Bill Parcells phrase, “you are what your record says you are.”
We’ll find out early Sunday night if they truly are.