Show, Don't Tell, Is Giants Job Now

Osi Umenyiora promises no collapse this time

The giddiness from Sunday evening is starting to wear off, which means it is time for the Giants to start looking forward.

They should like what they see. They are 6-2 through the first eight games, in first place by two games over the Cowboys and they saw the Eagles fall another game behind in the standings with a miserable performance at home against the Bears on Monday night.

That means that all the Giants have to do is take care of things in their own yard and the playoffs will be there when the end of the regular season rolls around.

Alas, we have reached the halfway point in the season and that means we are reaching the point in the season when Tom Coughlin's teams turn into birds flying south for the winter.

We probably don't need to remind anyone that the Giants reached this point last season in exactly the same position as they are right now and then promptly went 4-4 to miss the playoffs for a second straight season. 

Coughlin's teams have never reached the midway point of the season with a record worse than 5-3 and they've never once put up a record as good in the final eight games as they did in the first eight.

So everyone is obviously waiting with baited breath to see how this year's team is going to manage the back end of the season. Osi Umenyiora thinks we should all find something else to do with our time.

"Not this time, man," Umenyiora said. "We’ve been through that too many times. There’s going to be no collapses."

We heard that at this point in the season last year and we heard it two years ago, but the Giants wound up in the same exact place both seasons. This year has to be about showing everyone that the second half isn't an obstacle that the team can't overcome instead of again telling us a bunch of stuff that gets proven incorrect on the field.

You'll find apologists talking about the schedule and saying that a team can't possibly be accused of collapsing if they have to play the slate that the Giants have over the final eight games. The schedule is tough, no doubt, but a team that starts 6-2 and doesn't make the playoffs is a team that collapses any way you slice it.

You can't argue that winning 10 games and not advancing to the postseason for the second straight season is somehow okay. You have to win however many games as it takes to make it to the playoffs or you have to deal with the fact that you have failed in your appointed task once again.

That's what is in front of the Giants right now, which is why they can't indulge in any muscle flexing or long-term prognosticating like Umenyiora tried to do on Monday. It's about winning each week and nothing more for the Giants because that's the only way they can prove that the final eight won't actually be their final eight for this season.

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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