The New York Giants are finally on the board. Perhaps the most disappointing team in the NFL this season, the Giants finally picked up their first win last night, a painful to watch 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Eli Manning finally played a game without turning the ball over, and the defense played their best game of the season, holding Adrian Peterson to just 28 yards on 13 carries.
Given the fact that the Giants play in arguably the worst division in football, the NFC East, some are saying that the Giants might have revived their playoff chances. After all, the Dallas Cowboys lead the division with 4 wins, and the Giants still have four divisional games remaining. However, while their first win was a step in the right direction, the Giants are no contender.
Looking at the Giants’ schedule, there is very little reason to believe they can get on one of their famous hot streaks. They only have one game in the final nine in which they would be favored at this point in time, a Week 10 home game against the Oakland Raiders. Other than that, they still have four divisional games against opponents with better records, and they have four other games against legitimate playoff contenders, including the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
It is also important to remember that the Giants only beat the Vikings, one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Vikings are trying to quickly break in new quarterback Josh Freeman, and learning a new offense in two weeks is a nearly impossible task. The Vikings are also one of only four teams allowing 30 or points per game, so it’s not like the Giants picked apart a high level defense. In fact, last night was the first time the Vikings didn’t give up 30 points.
Manning will not play as badly as he did in the first six weeks, but he has always been a turnover prone quarterback, and there will be more to come. The Giants don’t have anything that resembles an effective run game, and the defense has been horrible in 6 of 7 games. A first win is nice, but the Giants still have too much to overcome to rebound to a winning season.
Unfortunately for Giants fans, this win is likely going to be the exception, not the rule for the rest of the season. The Giants will probably play about .500 football for the rest of the year, leaving them well out of playoff contention.