Too Early For Super Dreams?

The Giants are getting it done on both sides of the ball, and there's no reason to shy away from playoff talk at the season's midpoint. But it's too early to consider them a true Super Bowl contender. An Insiders column.

Tom Coughlin would probably wring one of his players necks if he ever caught them saying this.

But others can.

This 2010 Giants team is starting to look like, dare anyone even utter the concept, a Super Bowl contender.

At 6-2 as the season hit its halfway point, the Giants are showing much more than the 2007 edition that beat the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Whether they wind up in Dallas in XLV will involve a lot of health, a lot of luck, and a lot of perseverance. But if they continue to play the way they're playing, Coughlin's bunch will certainly put themselves in position to make a run at it.

Of course, this scene was played out in 2008 – a great start and a great regular season followed by a one-and-out in the postseason. But if they do get to the Super Bowl, it will not be as much as a surprise as their 2007 jaunt.

That year's run happened solely in the postseason. Some are still trying to figure out how the Giants won 10 games that year. The defense was certainly good enough, but oh, that offense. Problems in the Red Zone, Eli Manning under fire much of the season as he threw 20 interceptions. An 0-2 start that was only broken by a heroic goal-line stand in Washington -- "We were 0-2 and a half," said executive vice president Steve Tisch, looking back at it as the postseason began. A couple of bad bounces would have made the difference between the playoffs and an early vacation that year.

So far, these Giants look nothing like those Giants. Sure, there was the 1-2 start. But they have since pulled things together with a five-game winning streak that easily could turn into six next week against imploded, 1-7 Dallas. In the process, the Giants have put up 82 points in their last two games, 144 over their last four. That's an average of 36 points per game, and all of that has come without a defensive or special teams touchdown. In fact, they haven't had one of those this year.

As for the competition, it hasn't been the best. But it's certainly not as bad as the five cupcakes the Giants beat before they self-destructed last season. Houston remains a formidable running team, and the Giants shut that game down. In what seems a million years ago, Dallas drew more than one preseason nod as host of its own Super Bowl. Hard to believe that same team could lose its coach before today is out.

Seattle was banged up Sunday. But the Giants have played down to the injured and infirm before. This time, they took the Seahawks by the throat and throttled them. And yes, they did struggle against Detroit three games ago, but the Lions are improving.

The Giants won't truly reveal their true selves until they face the 5-3 Eagles in two weeks. So it's still too early to proclaim them Super Bowl worthy. But it's certainly not out of line to start thinking about the postseason.

They have played that well.


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