One of the New York Giants' most prevalent qualities under head coach Tom Coughlin has been the team's ability to get the season off to a fast start. Since Coughlin was hired as head coach prior to the 2004 season, the Giants have tended to play their best football in September, October, and January. It's those last two months of the regular season that have proven the trickiest for Big Blue.
This season seems to be different, though, as the Giants have gotten off to an 0-3 start and have looked awful doing it. Is New York doomed to miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons, or will it reverse the Coughlin era trend and overcome the slow start? Middle linebacker Mark Herzlich is confident that the team can bounce back.
"We are falling behind," said Herzlich. "We dug ourselves a nice little hole but it's not too late. If this is our little bad streak and then we're solid through the rest of the season."
It's not as though the Giants haven't been able to get past losing streaks in the past. In 2011, the team lost four straight games in November and December before recovering to win three of its last four and win the division.
"November has been our slump," said Herzlich. "We get that out of the way now and play hard and physical and don't let down, then we can still have a good, productive playoff season. We have made it harder for ourselves, definitely, so we need to be sharp and we need to be perfect."
Perfect sounds nice, but most Giants fans would settle for "competent" considering the way the team is playing right now. New York is worst in the NFL in rushing offense, turnovers, and points allowed. While swoons in previous years have come on the tail ends of strong starts, this current slump is more troubling, if only because we haven't yet seen the Giants play well this season.
A win over Kansas City this weekend could do a lot to convince fans that the Giants still have the potential we've seen them unleash in January's past.
"It's got to be energy and fire and we're not having that as much as we should and we have to get better at that," added Herzlich.
If that energy and fire comes with a running game on the side, that would be great.