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Giants Try to Stop Their Swoon

The Giants try to avoid going 0-for-November

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Nov 23, 2012  |  Updated 4:30 PM EDT
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Giants Try to Stop Their Swoon

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The Giants hope to avoid seeing any more of this.

It's not often that the Giants find themselves in bed with the Redskins, but Robert Griffin III and company did Big Blue a solid on Sunday. 

Had the Cowboys won, they would have been in position to take over first place in the NFC East if the Giants continued their November swoon against the Packers on Sunday night. That's not much breathing room and there would have been a lot of pressure on the team when they took the field. 

Now, though, things are little looser for Tom Coughlin's team. No one's saying that a loss is okay, but it does give the team a chance to go out and play without much fear of what the downside means. 

For a team that has been struggling so much over the last four games, that's a very good thing. It is much easier to fix problems without the sense that the whole world will collapse if you lose, especially in a case like the Giants' where there are multiple areas in need of attention. 

Eli Manning is at the top of the list. He hasn't thrown a touchdown in three games and he's battled whispers that he has a tired arm that's limiting his effectiveness during games. 

Manning denied it and then returned from the bye saying that his arm had more pop while Coughlin said he was sharp during practice after saying pretty much the same thing before the last three games. While there have been some moments when Manning's arm was underwhelming, but his decision making has seemed like a much bigger issue. 

It would be easier for Manning to make smart decisions if Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks both got closer to full speed during the bye week. The run game has not forced defenses to take attention away from stopping the pass and Nicks, who looked better in Week 10, hasn't been able to force defenses to lighten up coverage that's basically eliminated Victor Cruz. 

Throw in a leaky offensive line (which gets a break with Clay Matthews out for Green Bay), a front four that's been about as fearsome as a hamster this season (which doesn't with Aaron Rodgers doing his thing) and a toast-prone secondary to complete a recipe for this year's downturn. It sounds more dire then it really is when you put it out there like that, but the Giants were a team in need of recharged batteries when we last saw them. 

We'll find out Sunday whether a little rest and relaxation did the trick. If it didn't, the Giants will have some work to do if they don't want to keep relying on the kindness of Redskins. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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