After all, this hasn't exactly been an ideal season for the New York Giants. In fact, in the 10 years that Tom Coughlin has been patrolling the sidelines and Eli Manning has been under center, this is as bad as it's been. Not only will there be no playoffs for the second straight year, and no postseason football for the fourth time in the last five seasons, but the Giants have been downright awful for a good portion of the 2013 campaign.
Outperformed and outclassed throughout much of the season, New York stands at 5-9 heading into its final two games. As bad as this year has been, there certainly have to be some positives. Right?
Here are the top five moments of the season for Big Blue:
There's Hope: 2013 got off to a bad start with a Week 1 loss at Dallas. It got worse. Long before winter arrived in the tri-state area, the season snowballed out of control. New York lost its first six games. Finally, in their seventh game of the season, in front of a home crowd on a Monday night, the Giants won, beating the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 and bringing at least a little hope to what was a dreadful season up to that point.
The Streak: Hey, it was modest, but the Giants did rebound after losing their first six to win their next four. At the very least, they made something of the season, at least temporarily. In those four wins, the Giants beat the Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, and Green Bay Packers. They were far from perfect, but at least they were winning games.
Big Game vs. Big D: The four-game winning streak set up yet another big meeting with the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately for Big Blue, they got beat by a better team with a better quarterback. As the Giants walked off the field following a 24-21 loss to the Cowboys, their season was effectively over.
Tuck's Revival: You could make the argument that on defense no player symbolized the Giants' fall more than Justin Tuck. Once one of the league's best, Tuck had struggled for some time. In Week 13, Tuck recorded four sacks in a game at the Washington Redskins. He's looked like a different player. After two down years, Tuck has nine sacks. One important note: Tuck is a free agent at the end of this season.
Cruz Controlled: Look, he hasn't had a great year and now he's out with a concussion and knee sprain. But Victor Cruz is one of New York's key players moving forward, and last summer the Giants were able to sign him to a long-term contract ($45.879 million over six years). Before getting hurt, he had 73 catches for 998 yards, two yards short of reaching 1,000 receiving yards for the third year in a row.
Charles Costello has followed the Giants for 30 years and was a beat reporter assigned to cover the team during the 1997 season. He writes about the Giants and New York Yankees on the Yahoo Contributor Network.
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