The Giants are hoping for leftovers on Thanksgiving.
After their overtime win against the Chiefs, they’re counting on reheating the energy, enthusiasm and success they were able to conjure for Thursday night’s game at Washington. There have not been many instances this season in which the Giants have found themselves with anything approaching positive momentum, so they’d like to hold onto this feeling as long as possible.
Using that spirit to springboard into a short week is helpful, too.
“There will probably be some carryover from this past week, and you would like to hope that it will be all of the positives,” defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. “It’ll help, but at the same time, you’ll just have to be able to perform at that high level again.”
“You just got a win and you kind of still got that hype behind you,” safety Landon Collins said. “(We’re) behind each other and that good feeling that we can do this again. We want to just showcase it right then and there, and we’ve got the opportunity to do so.”
Ben McAdoo said he’s been pleased with the team’s attitude this week. Had the Giants lost Sunday, they would have understandably been sluggish, maybe even pouty, and disconsolate about their season. The win — and the way it came together with the defense playing well — has given the players some pep.
“The guys were excited,” McAdoo said. “A short week sometimes guys can get lackadaisical, look tired. But they were positive (Tuesday), had a lot of energy in the team meeting and we’re bouncing around out here a little bit.”
“When you have a short week, it can be easier after a win just because guys come in here Monday with a little energy already,” Eli Manning said. “Whereas you come in after a loss and it can be tough to get everything going and be excited about the opportunities.”
After the Giants got their first win of the season in Week 6 against Denver, they still were reeling emotionally and schematically from the loss of their top wide receivers. They were struggling to find their new identity. This time, they feel like they were able to capture something special against the Chiefs.
“We just kept fighting, kept fighting and sticking to the simple things and it worked out for us,” defensive end Olivier Vernon said. “All we can do is to go out there fighting. We know how good it feels to get a W and we don’t want to lose that feeling. So we’ll see how it goes on Thursday.”
There are still plenty of issues. A 12-9 win is not exactly a statement game for the offense. And there is no escaping how bad things have been for the Giants.
It’s too late to salvage much of this season. Though there still is a mathematical possibility, the playoffs are an afterthought for the 2-8 Giants. Even winning out and finishing at .500 would seem monumental. Instead they’re playing for something as simple as respectability.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but we keep working at it every day,” Collins said. “Day by day, week by week, game by game, we’re going to keep on improving.”
They have fewer day by days this week, but are embracing the challenge.
Said McAdoo: “Any time you have a chance to get two wins in five days, it’s exciting.”
For this team this season, after it took 2 1⁄2 months just to win twice, it would be triumphant.