Now The Giants' Fun Starts

The Giants come off an emotional comeback victory against the Patriots only to face questions about their next eight games. They usually fall flat in the second halves of seasons, but they're looking to write a different story this time around.

Michael Boley said he doesn't even think about the Giants' yearly collapses of the second half.

"I try not to think about it," said Boley after a career-type performance in the 24-20 comeback win over the Patriots that culminated with a raucous locker room scene that included the elevation of Tom Coughlin by one Brandon Jacobs. "In the past, the last couple of years, we've been known to collapse at the end of the year.

"We're just trying to focus on each game and not look too far ahead."

Boley could afford to take a bit of a mental breather Monday after making 10 tackles, tipping a ball that resulted in Mathias Kiwanuka's interception of Tom Brady, and strip-sacking Brady to cause a fumble. But the fact of the matter is, the Giants' domination in the late stages of games this year might or might not help overcome their generosity in the late stages of the season.

The Giants are 41-15 in the first eight games during Coughlin's reign, but only 24-32 in the final halves.

No doubt, 7-1 San Francisco will be a good test this week. But then again, the Giants did follow up the emotional Week 3 win over Philadelphia with a cross-country trip and victory over the Cardinals the next week.

And all those comebacks -- five this year in six wins -- can only help the Giants avoid another collapse. Indeed, Coughlin has made the concept of finishing games, finishing seasons, a constant theme in his daily addresses to his players.

"We've talked about finishing from Day 1," Coughlin said. "We talk about it every night. We've got an eight-game schedule now. The entire concept is keeping both feet on the ground."

The Giants are a confident bunch now. But the object from here on out is not to get too overconfident. Close calls like Sunday's, as the Giants took it 80 yards for Jake Ballard's first career game-winning touchdown catch -- he never had one at Ohio State -- with 15 seconds to go, battle harden a squad. But whether that can generate the momentum to dominate a top opponent from beginning to end, as the Giants could muchly benefit from right now, remains to be seen.

For now, though, Coughlin will take the confidence that comes through the heartstopping endings.

"You put yourself in those positions enough times, people know what you can do and what it takes," Coughlin said. "It all has to do with finishing better than a year ago. The players are well aware of that, and these close games will help going forward.

"There's a feeling on the sideline that we can get it done no matter what. With 1:36 to go last night, there was a feeling that we could do this. It could be a springboard to better things."

The better things are right in front of the 6-2 NFC East leaders' faces right now.

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