The Giants are all banged up at receiver and offensive line, but the schedule doesn’t stop. Next up, Philadelphia.
Yes, that Philadelphia: the 6-3 team that shredded Washington and their just-extended, $78 million quarterback Donovan McNabb 59-28 on Monday night.
The winner gets to stand alone atop the NFC East. But if the Giants (6-3) are not that team, they’ll be looking at their second straight division loss and a potential repeat of second-half swoons that have plagued four of coach Tom Coughlin’s six previous seasons.
The Giants, who added 26-year-old Derek Hagan to their banged-up receiving corps Tuesday, face the dual challenge of cleaning up the eight penalties — one of which took a touchdown off the board with seven minutes remaining in the game — and continued turnover issues against Dallas in time to keep pace with Michael Vick. The Eagles quarterback threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more against the Redskins.
“We’ve got to re-establish who we are, sink our feet into the sand a little bit and come out swinging,” Coughlin said. “We‘ve got to clean up these penalties, the missed assignments ... That’s all got to get cleaned up, and cleaned up fast.”
But Eli Manning, despite five interceptions in his last three games, didn’t seem worried about this team falling off the cliff like last year, when it followed a 5-0 start with a 3-8, non-playoff finish.
“Why would I be worried about it?” Manning said. “The only thing I’m worried about is Philly’s defense and their scheme and us getting ready for them.”