Fans of the New York Giants are used to dealing with doubt. In their 2007 and 2011 runs to the Lombardi Trophy, Big Blue was, on many occasions, declared lucky.They didn’t have to play the Saints. Fumbles bounced in their favor. Eli just tossed it up. Kyle Williams fumbled. The Packers were rusty and had an off day.
These represent just a small sampling from the detractors. In most cases, analysts picked the Giants to miss the post-season this year in favor of Dallas and Philadelphia. And now that the Giants dropped a game to the Cowboys, at home, in the season opener, many would have you believe that the defending champs are already damaged goods.
Yet hope remains. As a fan base, Giants fans do not panic. They do not overreact. A macrocosm of the organization they love, they keep calm in the midst of the storm. They stay positive and keep grinding. Talk is cheap.
Despite a poor showing in the opener, the Giants remained within striking distance until the very end. Eli did not throw a pick. The secondary was down two starters. The defensive line did not disrupt Tony Romo as they have in the past. Victor Cruz uncharacteristically dropped three balls. The referees missed many important calls that altered the games score and changed momentum. David Wilson fumbled during a crucial drive.
The Giants still were never out of it. Imagine if they could solve just a few of these issues. Would Dallas have won without two of their top three corners? What if Ogletree dropped three of his passes? What if Miles Austin was pulled away from his touchdown catch and no call was made? What if Murray fumbled during a momentum-shifting drive?
My point is this: take the loss with a grain of salt. The Giants had beaten Dallas 8 of the last 9 meetings. The odds were in favor of the Giants turning in a poor performance against their division rival.
The reasons for optimism are many. Eli looked like the same late-game quarterback from last season. Had he gotten one more possession, things may have been different. Prince Amukamara should return to the lineup this week, and we should see more of rookies Jayron Hosley and Will Hill. Coughlin does not like relying on rookies, but may have no choice. The secondary should have a different look versus the Buccaneers. Victor Cruz and David Wilson will correct their mistakes.
And in the end, the Giants will do what they always do – come alive when it counts. Win in the big spots. Prove the detractors wrong. Business as usual.