2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Giants suddenly can take 2-game lead in NFC East

    2012-11-23 15:21

(Eds: Updates with quotes, details. With AP Photos.)
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Coming off a bye week and despite a two-game losing streak, the New York Giants have a chance to open a two-game lead in the NFC East with a win over the streaking Green Bay Packers.

Thank you, Robert Griffin III.

Washington's phenomenal rookie quarterback opened the door for the defending Super Bowl champions to take command in the division by leading the Redskins to a 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

The outcome left both Washington and Dallas with 5-6 records, and gave the Giants (6-4) the chance to make things a little easier if they can beat the Packers (7-3) and snap their five-game winning streak.

That's a big if.

The Giants have a history in recent years of not taking the easiest path, and a loss on Sunday would turn the division into a three-team race with the young Redskins seemingly having the momentum with New York heading down to FedEx Field a week from Monday.

``Huge game, a lot at stake,'' veteran defensive end Osi Umenyiora said Friday of the Packers game. ``I'm anxious to see how we come out and play because I feel like we need to respond to the two games we lost, and we also need to still prove we are world champions and play like it at some point. Hopefully, this will be the game.''

Tom Coughlin's team limped into the bye week, blowing a fourth-quarter lead in a 24-20 loss to Pittsburgh at the start of the month and then finished their pre-bye schedule with a dismal performance in a 31-13 setback at Cincinnati.

Add in a late win over the Redskins and a skin-of-the-finger win over Dallas, and New York just as easily could have a four-game losing streak.

The positive for the Giants is that they are rested and they have refocused for a tough six-game stretch run that also includes games with New Orleans, Atlanta, Baltimore and Philadelphia. They are also healthier.

Veteran safety Kenny Phillips (knee) seemingly is ready to play for the first time since the end of September and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot-knee) and halfback Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) are feeling better after a week off.

Most of the Giants watched the Cowboys lose Thursday after their Thanksgiving dinner, so they understood what was in front of them.

``Washington is playing pretty well right now,'' Phillips said. ``I think the biggest thing for us is to get this win and go back up two games. We definitely don't want it to be a close race.''

Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka was more concerned with the Giants. He wants to see some good team defense, and not the mental errors and blown assignments that have led to way too many big plays. He was encouraged how the team prepared for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who the Giants beat 37-20 in the NFL semifinal in January.

``In terms of where we are, we still can accomplish all of our goals,'' Kiwanuka said. ``So for us, yeah, we'll pay attention to all that, but it's about us getting the wins we need and making sure that stuff (results) doesn't come into play.''

The Giants, however, have shown a flare for the dramatic.

For those who have forgotten, just remember last year. The Giants opened 6-2, like this year, lost four straight and then split with the Cowboys and Redskins to enter the next-to-last week of the season with a 7-7 record.

The rest is memorable. New York routed the Jets with Victor Cruz scoring on a 99-yard touchdown pass play, and won the division on the final week of the regular season with an impressive win over Dallas. The Giants then steamrolled through the playoffs to win their second title since 2007.

It certainly wasn't the easy road.

``We can't continue to shoot ourselves in the foot,'' defensive tackle Rocky Bernard said. ``We have to take advantage of our opportunity. Things like this don't come along all the time. Hopefully we can get this thing going.''

Safety Antrel Rolle said the Giants controlled their own destiny going into this week and that's not going to change, at least for now.

``We're just trying to win out, taking it one game at a time,'' he said. ``Right now we are just focused on Green Bay and what they present. We're looking forward to Sunday.''

Rolle couldn't help but smile when reminded that this team never takes the easy way.

``That's the way we have done it while I've been here,'' Rolle said. ``I'm not saying we're too fond of that way, but sometimes you have to pick up the slack when needed and push forward and that's what we have done as an organization. Right now it's six games to go and that's what we are looking forward, too.''

Coughlin said Dallas' loss doesn't change anything.

``Take care of your own business, that's what I learned a long, long time ago,'' he said. ``Take care of your own business.''

If the Giants do, they will be a lot closer to getting back to the playoffs.

NOTES: WR Domenik Hixon (ankle) and LB Jacquian Williams (knee) were listed as out for Sunday's game. Phillips and LB Keith Rivers (calf-knee) are questionable. DT Linval Joseph (knee) was listed as probable despite being limited at practice on Friday.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

Joique BellJan 20 11:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell had minor surgery last week to clean up his knee and Achilles' tendon. He is expected to return in time for organized offseason workouts.

Doug MarroneJan 20 05:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said the team is committed to remaining a zone-blocking team. However, new assistant coach and offensive line coach Doug Marrone didn't use a [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 20 05:13p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning remains unsure of his future with the team, but head coach Gary Kubiak said he plans to sit down with Manning and talk about [ More ]

Tyler BrayJan 20 04:23p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Tyler Bray (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Marc TrestmanJan 20 03:43p

Free-agent head coach Marc Trestman (Bears) was hired by the Baltimore Ravens as the team's offensive coordinator Tuesday, Jan. 20. Trestman was previously the head coach of the Chicago Bears.

C.J. AndersonJan 20 01:33p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished the year with 849 rushing yards, 324 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, is looking forward to his role in new head coach [ More ]

Latavius MurrayJan 19 09:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray could benefit from offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who has used a run-heavy style in the past.

Reggie WayneJan 19 07:03p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) is unsure if he will be returning for another season. Wayne was targeted just twice in the loss to the New England Patriots [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group