As October turns to November, Jason Pierre-Paul is feeling a little January.
"This is like the playoffs for us," the defensive end said of the remaining nine regular-season games 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.
JPP said he is taking a one-game-at-a-time philosophy the rest of the way. Others are looking at the entirety of what remains on the slate.
"Nine weeks of focus, nine weeks for a season, nine weeks of passion, all of those things," linebacker Jameel McClain said. "We get a chance to show the world who we are, how we finish, and it's a great opportunity for this team to prevail. My mentality is nine weeks to win."
Coughlin calls on fans
The Giants haven't played at MetLife Stadium in nearly a month. They're looking forward to being the home team . . . and imploring the fans to make that an advantage.
"Looking forward to Monday night and really looking forward to being at home and sharing the experience with our fans, looking for our fans," Tom Coughlin said. "The 12th man, I think, will make a big difference here in the remaining nine games of our schedule, and it starts Monday night right here at home."
The Giants also hope to get a spark from the ceremony that will honor Michael Strahan for his Hall of Fame induction earlier this year. Strahan will receive his Hall of Fame ring at halftime and the festivities will include fellow Giants Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson and Frank Gifford, among others. Several dozen other former Giants will take part in a pregame ceremony. The team even will hand out towels to try to whip the crowd into a frenzy.
"It's back home," Coughlin said, "back with the home fans, back in an environment that is a positive thing for our football team to be able to play in front of our fans, to be able to count on our fans to help us as we play some of these outstanding teams down through the stretch."
RB Rashad Jennings (knee) already has been ruled out for the Colts . . . CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) was limited in practice. . . . G Geoff Schwartz (toe) practiced with the team in full pads for the first time since going on short-term injured reserve. He is eligible to return to the active roster, but Coughlin said the team will "spoon-feed" the veteran practice snaps first.