Excerpt: "Nobody took the Giants seriously as Super Bowl contenders last season until their defense made its statement in the first round of the playoffs. The Giants’ beatdown of the Atlanta Falcons in a 24-2 victory showed that they had the muscle to level anyone in the league.

That’s something the defense doesn’t think it has shown yet this year.

“I’d say that’s a ‘no’ still,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “We haven’t played our great football yet.”

“I definitely agree with that statement,” defensive tackle Chris Canty said Monday, one day after the Giants’ 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints. “It wasn’t a signature defensive performance. There were a lot of miscues and things that we have to get cleaned up and corrected.”

So even though the defense let its inner “dog” out on Sunday, getting four turnovers and two big red-zone stops against the high-powered Saints, the Giants (8-5) knew it was far from a championship performance. They gave up a ridiculous 487 yards, including 142 on the ground to one of the worst rushing teams in football.

When the playoffs start, that likely won’t be good enough.

“Hopefully we’re better than that,” Tom Coughlin said Monday. “We certainly gave up a lot of yards (Sunday). We’re constantly trying to improve that area.” Read more...