The Giants' 16-10 loss to the 49ers on Nov. 16 may have been one of their most disheartening of the season, given the opportunities that they had to win the game and the stakes that were involved.
Looking back, it also may have been a turning point.
At least that's what Ben McAdoo seems to think.
"I feel that since the San Francisco game that we learned a lot about each other," he said of the offense as he reflected briefly on his first year as the unit's coordinator. "We have taken steps in the right direction since that game. We haven't been perfect, but we have been fairly balanced and working to get that way, and I think we have made some progress since then."
The Giants have averaged nearly 30 points in the five games since then (29.8). Before that, they averaged 20.5 points and were held to 14 or fewer points in four of the 10 games. The 49ers game was the one that included the first-and-goal from the 4 in which the Giants failed to score a critical touchdown, throwing three fade passes before Eli Manning was intercepted on fourth down.
While most expected it to take some time before the offense started clicking, McAdoo said he hoped the Giants would come out blazing.
"That's your goal," he said. "You want to come out and put your team in a position to win games and execute at a high level. That wasn't the case early. We didn't do that as quickly as we would have liked to. We didn't execute at a high enough level early in the season. [We] got better as the year went on."
The next step will be maintaining that during the offseason.
"We're excited about the future, but we are focused on this week," McAdoo said when asked about 2015. "That is a better question next week [after the season officially ends]. We are excited about the challenge we have this week. We didn't execute the way we were capable of the first time we played [the Eagles]. We're ready for the challenge."
More ready, it seems, than they were earlier in the season.