Ben McAdoo was right. I was wrong.
The beleaguered Giants’ head coach called for the fans to come out and support them this past Sunday against Kansas City, and he also predicted a win.
Like most of my colleagues, I honestly didn’t think the G-Men had much of a chance. Their defense resembled a carved Turkey carcass on Thanksgiving, and the offense hasn’t properly functioned being half-mast.
As possibly several holiday, the Giants came to play and pulled out a much-needed 12-9 victory over the Chiefs, a 10-plus point favorite at Met Life.
After they gave up gains on their opening plays that signaled another long afternoon, the Giants’ defense stiffened and kept the Chiefs in front of them all afternoon. They allowed only three plays over 20 yards, a stark difference than the previous week and their 20 previous plays allowed over 20 or more yards or more.
The defense swiped a pair of passes and had another one reversed by a replay call.
The offense did enough throughout the game and they saved their best drive until last, highlighted by Roger Lewis’ acrobatic, falling catch.
The Giants willed themselves to win the game. According to several published reports, Eli Manning gave a fiery speech before the game that rattled the clubhouse.
When they took the field, you could see a different sense of purpose and energy level. You had a good feeling about the game when they scored their first touchdown and saw several new wrinkles on the offense despite having Shane Vereen’s halfback option being intercepted inside the 10-yard line.
But we saw the same kind of performance in their previous lone win at Denver. The following week, the Giants’ defense was gassed in 24-7 home loss to Seattle.
So, can the Giants keep it going this time around? Suddenly, the schedule looks more appealing.
The Giants will be back on the national stage on Thanksgiving night in Washington to meet a Redskins that has dropped four of their last five games and has lost plenty of steam from the start of the season.
Left are winnable road games against downtrodden Oakland and Arizona as well as one against deflated Dallas.
They’ll face high-flying Philadelphia at home in three weeks, and it could be a tight one with a likely sell-out raucous crowd.
They will finish with a rematch with Washington on New Year’s Eve.
Can they run the table? With their latest performance, aspirations have been rekindled. Right now, it looks like a slim possibility, but they could win five of their final six.
The playoffs probably are out of the question unless Carolina and Seattle collapse down the stretch.
Instead, the Giants can gain their respect back and perhaps save McAdoo’s and general manager Jerry Reese’s jobs.
The Giants truly looked like the contender there were supposed to be. After the majority of the last nine weeks, they took McAdoo’s message to heart. So, there should be some holiday gifts for fans over the next six weeks, and promise for the future.
I don’t think I’ll be wrong this time.