Most players use past successes to drive themselves, particularly when the outlook is bleak and times are tough. So it would seem only natural for the Giants, needing two wins in two weeks to guarantee a playoff berth just as they did last year during their Super Bowl run, to reflect on that run in 2011.
Instead, they're trying their best to ignore it.
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"To me that's all bull crap, know what I mean?" Jason Pierre-Paul said Wednesday when asked about the parallels between last year's predicament and this year's. "Yeah, we have done it before but this is a whole other year. Each year is a totally different year. You don't have the same guys on the team as last year, who knows who is going to be here next year. Right now we can do it for now and that is what we have to do."
That seems to be the prevailing thought process for the Giants, walking a fine line between drawing inspiration from last year and counting on it to happen again.
"You can't get caught up in the fact that there's a very, very strong possibility it's going to happen this year because it did happen last year," Antrel Rolle cautioned. "Every year presents a different year. We can use that as motivation, as saying that we know it's possible that it can be done. But it doesn't mean that anything is going to be a given."
And if some Giants do believe that history will repeat itself?
"If that's the case," Rolle said, "we're going to find ourselves in a bad situation."
Worse than they're in now. The Giants can clinch a playoff spot with a win and some help on Sunday. They can also be eliminated from contention with a loss and some less-than-fortuitous outcomes. The Giants often say they play their best with their back against the wall, and there have been several low points this season when they've pulled out that cliche and waved it around. If they lose on Sunday, the only thing they may be waving is a white flag.
"We're not consistent until I guess somebody is going to get fired or our backs are against the wall or it is either all or nothing," Pierre-Paul said. "That's where we are at right now. It is either all or nothing, or we are going to pack our stuff and get out of here. And I am not trying to go home early. I want to make that run and at least get into the playoffs and show that we can do it."
Do it -- as much as it would pain him to say it -- again.