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NFL New York Giants

New York Giants: To Panic Or Not To Panic?

Tom Coughlin

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Trying to figure out the New York Giants is like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube on the world’s fastest roller coaster. It’s an impossible feat and you might lose your lunch somewhere along the way.

The Giants have started the 2013 campaign 0-2, falling at the hands of a solid Dallas Cowboys team in Week 1 and a Super Bowl contender in the Denver Broncos in Week 2. Some Giants fans are sprinting to the nearest panic button while others are kicking back on their La-Z-Boys, proclaiming it’s simply “the Giants being the Giants”.

The question is: Who’s right? Should the Giants be panicking? Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.

Yes, the Giants should be panicking like they just found out they were swimming in shark-infested waters.

Apparently, Eli Manning tapes a “For Sale” sign on every football he throws, and seven times this year a defender has been the one with the deepest pockets. The Giants are turning the ball over at a rapid rate. Including Manning’s seven interceptions, New York has chalked up ten turnovers in two games.

Also, both the running game and the pass rush look like ancient cars running on four flat tires. A Giants running back is yet to eclipse 25 yards on the ground in a single game and the team currently ranks 32nd in rushing, compiling an achingly pathetic 36.5 yards per contest. An inability to run the football puts an immense amount of pressure on Manning’s shoulders.

On the defensive side, New York has just two total sacks this season and they came on the same drive against the Cowboys. An elite pass rush has been a crucial ingredient to New York’s past successes. The problem is that Jason Pierre-Paul is still not 100 percent, and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell likes to blitz about as much as people like visiting the dentist.

No, don’t panic. The Giants are simply following their own master plan.

If the NFL was a wedding, the NFC East would be the reject table seated by the kitchen in the very corner of the room. A table that is comprised of people you didn’t really want to invite but would have felt bad leaving them out.

The Cowboys are 1-1, the Philadelphia Eagles are 1-2 (after playing the Thursday night game this week), the Giants are 0-2 and the Washington Redskins are 0-2. Without winning a game, the Giants are still only one game out of being tied for first place.

On offense, Victor Cruz has solidified himself as one of the league’s top receivers, reeling in 13 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns. With a receiving corps of Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle and tight end Brandon Myers, the Giants should continue to put up monster numbers through the air. Never count New York out with Manning under center and Cruz and Nicks lined up on the outside (See 2011).

A team never wants to have to talk about “must-win” games in the regular season, especially during Week 3, but that is the hole that the Giants have dug themselves into. Losing to the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 would be devastating for New York. For those of you who don’ think it’s time to panic yet, an 0-3 start might be a different story.

Daniel Brennan covers the New York Giants for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DBrennan30 and add him to your network on Google.

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