It might not be fair to compare this Giants season just starting to the one that ended ignominiously last January, but hey, life's not fair. The mere fact that the Giants were destroyed, 38-14, in their first road game this season at Indianapolis was enough to invite comparisons to what became regular road blowouts last season.
The lost to the Colts marked the fifth blowout loss in the Giants' past six road games. Their only win in that stretch was by a 45-12 count on Dec. 21 in Washington. In the five losses at New Orleans, Philadelphia, Denver, Minnesota and Indy, the Giants were outscored an average of 39.2-14.2, a 25-point margin.
The potential for another blowout loss is there Sunday in Houston if the Giants aren't sharp. The Texans (3-1) have scored at least 30 points in each of their wins this season, they have NFL-leading rusher Arian Foster, and quarterback Matt Schaub is a 4,000-yard passer who might be getting Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson back in the lineup. Johnson is questionable with an ankle injury but practiced on a limited basis Friday.
Asked if improved execution on the road has been a theme this week, coach Tom Coughlin said, "We’ve dealt with execution every week, and we’ve dealt with the idea of playing smart football, not turning the ball over, reducing the penalties. So there’s really no change in that, but playing a good football team, playing them on the road, yeah, all that stuff."
Giants safety Kenny Phillips (knee), who sat out practice yesterday, has his own issues but is hoping to get a chance to reverse the road trend at Houston. "We're trying to be the road warriors we were when we won the Super Bowl," Phillips said of the 2007 team. "But right now, we're just taking it one game at a time home and away. We're just going to win the game."
That 2007 team won 10 straight road games plus the neutral-site Super Bowl game. Right now, the Giants would settle for one straight road win.