Giants Can't Gloat Too Long

Giants need to clean up over the next month

It has been a lovefest for the Giants over the last three days.

They earned all that love with their performance against the Eagles. It was the kind of complete, high-quality performance that they needed to end their long nightmare run against that team as well as the kind of win that quieted the doubts raised by a shaky first two weeks of the season.

The only problem came after the victory, when some players and coaches reacted like the Giants won the Super Bowl instead of a Week Three game. It's only natural that there was some gloating in the aftermath of the win, but the Giants seemed to lose sight of just what they accomplished.

No matter how much bad blood there was with the Eagles or how big of a monkey they removed from their back, the Giants didn't do anything more than put themselves into good shape after the third week of a very long season. There wouldn't be much reason to worry about this if it wasn't for the way history has played out during Tom Coughlin's tenure with the Giants.

It's doubtful anyone needs a reminder of this, but since Coughlin took over as coach the Giants have a nasty habit of collapsing once they reach the halfway line of the season. There have been plenty of reasons for these collapses over the years, but one common thread has been a team that spent more time telling you how good they were than they spent showing it on the field.

Based on the reaction after the game, it was hard to feel too sure that the Giants learned anything about the perils of employing that strategy. Maybe they've learned something from a more recent turn of events. 

When the Giants lost their first game of the season, the reaction was akin to the final loss of a winless season. Everyone went a bit too far in burying them and that didn't change much after their listless victory over the Rams in Week Two.

The Giants proved in Philly that those obituaries were quite premature. If they can remember back a couple of weeks, they'll see that you're never as bad as you look at your worst and that the opposite is usually true as well.

Keeping that focus and not believing their own hype will be crucial over the next four weeks. After going to Arizona this weekend, the Giants are home for three games with the Seahawks, Bills and Dolphins.

Buffalo's looked very good, but the other three teams have been pretty bad to this point in the season. Taking care of business right now is crucial because the final nine games are enough to make anyone weak in the knees.

We'll see the Patriots, 49ers, Eagles, Saints, Packers, Redskins, Jets and Cowboys twice. The only team there with a losing record is the Eagles and you can imagine they'll be primed for a bit of revenge. That's about as tough a schedule as you could ever hope to not see in front of you, even if you weren't a team with a history of stopping well short of the finish line.

The Giants need to stop thinking about the Eagles game and focus on the business in front of them right now. Anything less could lead to the kind of loss they simply can't afford and that would really make all the hoopla about last Sunday seem pretty ridiculous.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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