The Giants aren't patting themselves on the back just yet.

Despite winning two in a row and closing to within two games of the division lead, they still are a last-place team with a 2-6 record. There is plenty of work to be done. "It was a very good football game," coach Tom Coughlin said of Sunday's win over the Eagles, "but it certainly leaves us with a lot of stuff we can do better, let's put it that way . . . We're certainly not blind to the issues that we have."

Coughlin pointed out the difficulty of the second-half schedule and did not agree with the idea that the Giants have clawed their way back into the division race. "I'm not to that point yet," he said.

But despite their record, the Giants arein the thick of things. "We do feel like we've dodged some bullets," Justin Tuck said. "But it's still a long road to get to where we need to get."

And that's into January. "We'll be back once we reach the postseason," Antrel Rolle said. "That's when I'll say that we're back. Right now, we're grinding . . . Coaches, players, we're just looking forward to better days."


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Brown ready

Running back Andre Brown is eligible to come off injured reserve in time to play against the Raiders. He said he'll be ready, but Coughlin said he'll have to "wait and see."

"Just getting ready for when they unleash me," said Brown, who will wear a shin guard for the rest of his career to protect the area of his leg that has been broken twice in the last year, once requiring a steel plate to be attached to the bone.

As for the other running back who began the season as a "co-starter" with Brown, Coughlin had no update on the condition of David Wilson (neck) or when he will be re-examined.

Giant steps

Victor Cruz had further tests on the shoulder/neck injury he suffered Sunday and apparently came through fine. "I'm feeling great," he wrote on Twitter. "That body slam did hurt, though." . . . Coughlin said Sunday's game was "probably as well as Jacquian [Williams] has played." . . . Coughlin said the four touchdowns against the punt team "has to cease right there" and added that he doesn't think the problem is schematic.