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

Jamarca SanfordMar 6 01:33p

New Orleans Saints SS Jamarca Sanford re-signed to a one-year contract Friday, March 6. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Brandon MarshallMar 6 01:23p

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall was traded to the New York Jets in exchange for a fifth-round pick, pending a physical, per a league source.

Niles PaulMar 6 12:33p

Washington Redskins TE Niles Paul re-signed Friday, March 6. Paul could earn up to a little under $10 million with the new contract.

Matt PraterMar 6 12:13p

Detroit Lions PK Matt Prater signed a three-year, $9 million contract extension Friday, March 6.

Marques ColstonMar 6 10:43a

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston restructured his contract Friday, March 6, and will return in 2015.

Reggie WayneMar 6 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne will not be re-signed for 2015, the team announced Friday, March 6.

Jerome SimpsonMar 5 05:33p

Free-agent WR Jerome Simpson (Vikings) signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, March 5.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 5 05:13p

Oakland Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley was officially released Thursday, March 5.

Vince WilforkMar 5 01:23p

Free-agent DT Vince Wilfork (Patriots) said he still plans to play in 2015, and he could return to the New England Patriots. 'Can I still play football? Hell yea! [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 5 01:03p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's meeting with head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman Wednesday, March 4, went well after the parties spent more than four hours [ More ]

Peyton ManningMar 5 12:53p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning officially passed his physical and will return for the 2015 season.

Dwayne BoweMar 5 11:53a

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe my be cut if the team can not trade him.

Vince WilforkMar 5 09:53a

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork announced that the Patriots will not pick up his option for the 2015 season, which makes him a free agent.

Darnell DockettMar 5 09:53a

Free-agent DE Darnell Dockett (Cardinals) agreed with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, March 5, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Keith RiversMar 4 08:23p

Free-agent LB Keith Rivers (Bills) signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys Wednesday, March 4. Rivers will add depth to the team's linebacking group. He has plenty of [ More ]

Matt CasselMar 4 07:53p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel was traded to the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, March 4. The Bills swapped their 2015 fifth-round pick for the Vikings 2015 sixth-round draft pick. Minnesota [ More ]

Pierre ThomasMar 4 07:53p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas was released Wednesday, March 4.

Trent ColeMar 4 04:13p

Philadelphia Eagles LB Trent Cole was officially cut Wednesday, March 4.

DeMeco RyansMar 4 01:03p

Philadelphia Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans (Achilles'), who tore his Achilles' halfway through the 2014 season, probably won't be back with the team after they acquired LB Kiko Alonso from [ More ]

Andre JohnsonMar 4 11:23a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has asked the team to release him this offseason.

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

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