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GIANT CROSSROAD

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November 30, 2015, Queens, NY  The New York Giants are at a crossroads, not just for this season, but as a franchise. It wasn’t too long ago that they were winning Super Bowls (2007 and 2011 champs). The following year (2012), they were 9-7. In 2013, they were under .500 for the first time since 2004, with a 7-9 record. Last year they finished the season at 6-10. This year, they are 5-6 with five games to go, (Jets, at Dolphins, Panthers, at Vikings, and Eagles). It’s likely that they (Giants) will go 3-2 or 2-3 based on how they have performed all season.

Eli Manning has cut down on his interceptions over the past two seasons; however, he has a penchant for throwing the “big” interception. Another telling sign is that when the Giants have been successful throughout their history, they always had a strong running attack. That certainly is not the case. And then there is the head coach, Tom Coughlin. He’ll be 70 next August and has the distinction of being the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl (he was 65 years old when he won Super Bowl XLVI. He should be allowed to coach for as long as he wants (two Super Bowl victories affords you that right; you don’t believe me? how many active coaches have two Super Bowl victories?).

At 5-6, they are in a first-place tie with Washington; however, Washington gets the nod because even though the Giants and Washington split their two  regular season games,  Washington is 2-1 in the division while the Giants are 2-3.

Nine wins will probably win the division, but it is highly unlikely the Giants would go 4-1. If they go 3-2 (and one of their wins is against the Eagles, making them 3-3 in the division), 8-8 may get them the division, but that’s somewhat dicey. If they go 2-3, 7-9 probably puts them in second place in the division and makes them an unlikely wildcard team.

These next five weeks not only affect the Giants this season but signals whether they have playoff pedigree or have become a fledgling pretender going forward. The Giants are definitely at a crossroads.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

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