Michael Strahan: Giants Don't Know How to Finish

Former Giants adds his voice to those slamming team for Eagles loss

The Giants got a bit of a reprieve on Tuesday when Rex Ryan's extracurriculars grabbed the attention of a city that wasn't quite over figuring out just how a team can blow a 21-point lead in eight minutes.

We'll see just how long this distraction remains afoot (sorry), but the Giants are going to find themselves back in the spotlight pretty soon. And when it does, the team is going to have to be prepared to answer a lot of questions about themselves and their fitness as a football team. 

The biggest question of all is going to be one that Michael Strahan brought up when talking about his old team this week. After pointing out the way that the team got "soft and relaxed" against the Eagles, Strahan brought up something that's been troubling about the Giants for a healthy portion of Tom Coughlin's reign as their coach.

"The Giants have not finished," he said. "I don’t know if they know how to finish and they need to learn how, if they expect to do anything this year. You have to have a killer instinct. You have to finish teams."

Call him Tiki Barber-esque, if you like, but there are differences. The biggest one is that Strahan isn't trying to make his opinions masquerade as facts. The Giants did not finish on Sunday and they haven't finished in plenty of other games this season. Wins against Detroit, Houston and Dallas all featured lackadaisacal efforts that allowed the opposition to hang around well into the second half. That's just the start of their issues when it comes to closing things out.

Under Coughlin, the Giants have gone 15-17 in December and January. They've also won at least one playoff game just once in the Coughlin era. That year wound up with a Super Bowl title, but three years is a long time to dine out on one good postseason run.

That doesn't mean they can't prove Strahan wrong. Beat the Packers on Sunday and the Giants will go a long way toward making Strahan look as bad as they made Barber look in 2007 and earlier this season. The only problem with that lies in the fact that this game is exactly the kind of game the Giants have made a habit of losing over the last three seasons.

They're playing a winning team in a game that means an awful lot to both sides. The Giants haven't won a game like that since David Tyree wrote his name into NFL lore. And they won't have a backup quarterback to push around. Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to play, a pretty big addition for a team that pushed the Patriots to the brink in New England last week.

It's a steep hill they've built for themselves, but the bright side is that it will be a lot harder to question their fortitude if they find a way to win the game.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us