After nine weeks, the Giants are 5-3 and the emperor is fully clothed in East Rutherford. The Giants and their fans are forgoing all of their shortcomings and enjoying the fact that they have a winning record halfway through the season.
The Giants beat the Eagles with the same formula they've employed all season. They got the lead and the defense made it hold up. Their five wins have been decided by seven points or less. They are walking a thin line, but it sure beats the past few seasons when they were on the losing end of such contests.
Last season, the Giants were 5-4 after nine weeks but would go on to win just one more game the rest of the year. This season has a much different feel, with more confidence and much more talent and depth on defense.
"Last year is in the rearview mirror," head Ben McAdoo said after the game. "You go back, you learn from the past and you work on today. We believe that we are going to win these football games. We believe that we're a physical team. We've just got to hang onto leads and win the games. We know we're going to get better as the game goes on and we're going to win in the end."
And that is how it's been going. Just win, baby. The NFL standings have no column for style points. If the season ended today, the Giants would be the fifth seed in the NFC. They would play the Minensota Vikings in the Wild Card round.
This year has certainly been different than last year, when the Giants blew a half-dozen games in the final minutes, leading to a 6-10 finish. On Sunday, the Giants exorcised their Eagles ghost with a 28-23 win in which the defense once again put the final stamp on. It was the team's third straight victory.
"The win streak has been rolling already. We lost a couple straight in the middle of the season. I think we're rolling right now," said LB Jonathan Casillas. "We have a tough game coming off a tough game. We have an extra day to rest. I think it's in our favor. Everything is still in front of us."
Safety Landon Collins was the leader again, registering 12 total tackles, a sack and an interception. He is en route to a possible All-Pro season after floundering as a rookie.
"All our mindset is, is that defense wins championships," said Collins. "We were called upon again to make a play, make a stop and that is what we strive on...Everybody knows what they're doing. Everybody knows the details, the concepts, where we need help at and where we need to be at on defense and making those plays. We're playing fast and we are not thinking."
The Giants will move on to face the challenge of the powerful Cincinnati Bengals' offense next Monday night, the second game of their three-game homestand.
"We are just taking it one game at a time," said DE Jason Pierre-Paul "That is how we have to do it. We have to move on to the next game now. We have to put this win behind us and move on to the next one. One game at a time and if we do that, we should be good."