The Giants host the powerful Indianapolis Colts this coming Monday in a game both teams need to win to stay afloat in their respective division races.
Indianapolis is 5-3 and are currently one game ahead of the 4-4 Houston Texans in the AFC South. The Giants are 3-4 and are in third place looking up at the 6-2 Dallas Cowboys and 5-2 Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.
"We can get back in the race. It is not over right now. It is still early," said Giants' GM Jerry Reese at his press conference this week. "There are still a lot of teams that have chance to get back in the picture. We think we are one of the teams that can do that. We have to start right here, right now, on Monday night and get ready to beat a good football team."
"We have experienced our ups and downs and we started off the same way that New York started off, losing a couple of games, found a way to win a couple games here and there, it is difficult," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano told reporters this week. "What I see is a really good football team and a really well-coached football team in all three phases. I’ve got the utmost respect for coach Tom Coughlin and the entire staff there. He does a great job, he has done a great job forever, hold him in the highest regard. You’ve got a defense that’s got a bunch of game-wreckers upfront, the front seven, that is going to be very, very difficult to block. Those guys still can bring it and cause problems from a protection standpoint.
"Got guys at every level that can make plays offensively," continued Pagano. "Eli Manning is playing really good, he is managing things; he is taking care of the football. Running game is going; I know they have a couple of injuries, that is the National Football League, like we do. Those young guys, guys are stepping up and stepping in. Like I said, the play of the tight ends and the young runner is doing a great job. Special teams, I know they are up there in a couple of categories, Josh Brown is doing a great job and Steve Weatherford, their coverage units, their returners are dangerous. All three phases, you see excellent play. We are going to prepare accordingly."
Indianapolis has the top offense in the league, racking up 452.3 YPG. QB Andrew Luck leads the NFL in passing yards (2733) and is tied with Peyton Manning for first in TD passes (22) and has an active streak of six 300-yard passing games, which surpassed Manning (five games in 2009) for the longest streak in franchise history.
WR T.Y Hilton leads the NFL in receiving yards (866) and RB Ahmad Bradshaw has eight total TDs (2 rush, 6 rec) through the first eight games.
Punter Pat McAfee leads the NFL WITH A 47.9 average and PK Adam Vinitieri is second in the NFL in scoring (76). The Colts have a give/take of -1 and are 15th overall in total defense.
The Giants have lost two straight after after a three-game winning streak in which they outscored opponents 105-51. Head coach Tom Coughlin has yet to beat the Colts in six career tries. CB Prince Amukamara and S Antrel Rolle are tied for the NFC lead in INTs (3). RB Andre Williams ranks 2nd among NFC rookies with 280 rushing yards.
Home cookin'...QB Eli Manning is 2-0 at home on MNF. In the past 2 at home, is 2-0 and has completed 40 of 58 (69 pct) for 434 yards with 4 TDs, 0 INTs for 113.7 rating. In 3 games at home in 2014, RB Rashad Jennings has 357 scrimmage yards (119 per game) & TD. WR Rueben Randle has 9 receiving TDs in past 12 games at home. Has recorded 10 of his 11 career rec TDs at home.
The Giants are 7-3 coming off the bye under Tom Coughlin. They 22-33-1 in Monday games since the NFL started the series in 1970. They are 7-5 under Coughlin, who is enthusiastic no matter what day of the week it is.
"I get excited for every game, whether it’s Monday, Sunday, whatever," the coach said. "It’s an honor and a privilege to be in this league and to be able to play on Monday night certainly is, it’s an opportunity for our players to understand the way in which our league operates and obviously an opportunity for them to give their family and all their friends and so on and relatives the chance to see them play.”