As October turns to November, Jason Pierre-Paul is feeling like a little January.
"This is like the playoffs for us," the defensive end said of the nine regular-season games remaining on the schedule for the Giants. "We gotta win, basically. We gotta win ... [The playoffs] have started."
Those thoughts speak to the urgency of the upcoming games, particularly Monday night's clash with the Colts. At 3-4, the Giants cannot afford to fall further behind the pack in the race for the playoffs. The actual playoffs. The next four games likely will determine whether the Giants are in that scrum or not.
Pierre-Paul thinks they can be.
Even though he and the Giants are facing the league's top-ranked offense and best young quarterback while sporting a league-worst 6.1 yards allowed per play on defense.
"I think it gives us a great shot to prove to the world what our defense is capable of," Pierre-Paul said. "When Atlanta came in they were number one [on offense] and we rose to the challenge ... Everybody's going to be surprised when we win, but at the end of the day we know what we're capable of. That's a good thing. We're going to rise to the expectation that everybody wants us to be at. I'm going to be ready so I know my teammates are going to be ready for sure."
It starts with the Colts. In a way, it re-starts with the Colts.
"We have to take one game at a time and we can't look ahead," Pierre-Paul said. "There may have been games we should have won, but hey, that's all in the past. The second half of the season, anything can happen."