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Giants' first game post-bye could be biggest of the season

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of the New York Giants

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of the New York Giants looks on during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 11, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Tom Pennington

The Giants have played seven games, but they know that their season really starts on Nov. 6.

That’s when they return to action after their bye week this weekend and face the Eagles.

“We understand that we have an opponent coming here, a division game, with a winning record,” cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. “If you beat them we’re right there in it where you want to be.”

Where they are now, despite a 4-3 record and the jolly vibes of a two-game winning streak, is still in last place. That could change quickly, though. The NFC East is the only division without a team with a losing record and the first-place Cowboys (5-1) face the second-place Eagles (4-2) on Sunday night.

That could set up the most meaningful game of the season for the Giants when they return.

“Any division game is always a big one for us,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “Obviously it’s against the Eagles who are doing some pretty good things so far in this young season. It’s going to be a test for us and I think coming off a bye week is perfect for us to kind of get all our legs up under us and attack this game head on.”

Darian runs

Rookie safety Darian Thompson did some linear running on Tuesday, the first time he’s been able to do so since injuring his foot in Week 2. Thompson has not played since that injury, but said he expects to return to practice when the team reconvenes on Monday after the bye.

“I feel like the bye week couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me,” Thompson said. “Just looking to get healthy and get back out there once we get back.”

Giant steps

Landon Collins returned an interception 44 yards for a TD last Sunday, but the NFL said he actually covered 111.7 total yards while zigzagging through would-be tacklers. The league said it was the most distance traveled on an interception returned for a touchdown this season . . . Rookie RB Paul Perkins could see his role expand as part of the post-bye changes to the offense. “Not making little mistakes, that’s the biggest thing,” he said. The Giants have not rushed for more than 80 yards in any of their last four games, the first time that’s happened since Nov. 24-Dec. 15, 1991.

New York Sports