The New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins Thursday night by the score of 32-21. After many analysts have been referring to the difficulty of climbing out of an 0-2 hole, the Giants claimed their first victory, moving them to 1-2 on the early season.
Although tough, an 0-2 start is in no way a death sentence, especially for this Giants team with the duo of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning leading the way. Back in 2007-2008, the Giants started 0-2 before eventually winning the Super Bowl while handing the New England Patriots their first and only loss of the season.
Manning has grown accustomed to poor starts over the past few years, but he understands the importance of overcoming early hurdles since the season isn’t won or lost in September.
"I felt bad," noted Manning. "I felt bad for the first two games, we were right there. Games we could’ve easily won. Had leads in the fourth quarter and did not hold on to those and were not at our best in the final minutes of the game. It’s frustrating. We had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of it. So you never know. So I think just keep working and I think I want our teammates to know we can win this game. We can win this fourth quarter, be excited about these opportunities, we can’t dredge on it. We have some downs, we have some bad plays, we have some bad games, we don’t have success in those situations. If you start dredging them, it’s going to get worst. You’ve just got to get back in that moment, get back in that situation, have some success and feel good about yourself.
Manning makes a valid point. The Giants could very easily be 3-0, had it not been for blowing two fourth quarter leads against the Cowboys and Falcons. This time around the team was well aware that they needed to close out this win.
“Just to keep going. Coach kind of said, ‘hey, we’re going to elevate our play,’ noted Manning. "Everybody kind of put a finger up and said let’s talk about elevating our play, raising the intensity and to go in the fourth quarter. That was the mental approach and we challenged that and I thought the guys accepted the challenge.”
Manning also had some praise for coach Tom Coughlin whose steady presence is important to this team.
“He challenges the team and I think that’s what great coaches do," noted Manning. " I thought he did a good job on a short week getting us ready to play this game, making sure the spirits are up and the guys are ready. I thought we came out fired up from the get-go and had a great game offense, defense, special teams and obviously Rashad getting it started with the block punt to start it.”
Against a very formidable Redskins defense, the Giants offense had a very strong game. Special teams made some key plays, and the defense forced three crucial turnovers, including a fumble out of the endzone resulting in a touchback with Big Blue getting the ball back. Overall, it was a very strong team effort. After collecting their first win, the team must re-focus for their road bout against former MetLife Stadium rival Rex Ryan, and the Buffalo Bills next weekend.