In final stretch, Giants need to play like world champions

Victor Cruz of the New York Giants celebrates Victor Cruz of the New York Giants celebrates after he scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. (October 21, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty

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A new mural was added to the Timex Performance Center this past week. It's on a wall outside the Giants' weight room and celebrates the Super Bowl XLVI championship, complete with images of key plays, key players and a team photo right in the middle. It will serve as a reminder to future Giants of what the 2011 squad accomplished.

It comes at a pretty good time to remind the current Giants, too. After going almost a month without a win and about five weeks without playing good football, and after spending the last two football-less weeks answering questions -- self-imposed or otherwise -- about what is wrong with the team, the plan Sunday is to rekindle those championship embers and go back to what's right.

It was less than 10 months ago that the Giants hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis. Slapping the pictures of that day on the wall couldn't come at a better time.

"We need to prove that we are still world champions and play like it at some point," Osi Umenyiora said, challenging the Giants to snap out of whatever midseason snooze they are in the midst of and return to the type of football that results in victories, trophies, murals, immortality. "Hopefully this will be the game."

It's not a must-win for the Giants. They aren't at that point yet. A loss to the Packers Sunday night at MetLife Stadium would be disheartening, but the Giants still would be a game in front of their two closest opponents in the NFC East. But that's not the way the Giants want to begin their second season, a new start with a six-game stretch.