"Too soon or too late? The timing of a bye week is always the subject of that debate.
For the New York Giants, this is the reality: a three-week homestand, which may serve as the remedy for a team climbing back into a division race after a 0-6 start that no one saw coming.
The truth is the team started eyeing this portion of the schedule weeks ago, beginning with the Minnesota Vikings at home before a short road trip to play the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants won both games to move within two games of the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (4-4).
“We’re looking forward to that stretch,” quarterback Eli Manning told WFAN host Mike Francesa this week. “It’s nice to have these home games, and we were kind of excited about it two weeks ago. We said, all right, hey, we’ve got Minnesota at home. Then we have a short trip to Philly. It’s kind of nice – one o’clock, a bus ride away and then a bye week and then three home games. We have a nice little stretch. We’ve got to take advantage of this.”
They still want to take it one game at a time, but not recording a win until late October has a way of making a team grasp for any psychological edge.
They found one.
After players return from the bye on Monday, the Giants and MetLife Stadium will host Oakland, Green Bay, and Dallas to round out the month of November.
“We realize, hey, we’re still in this thing,” Manning said. “As bad as it started off, we can make it right. We can fix this, and it’s just going to come down to how we finish this season. It’s the second half of the season. We’ve got to get hot and we’ve got to start playing to our ability and find ways to win games. The next game is the only one that you can worry about, and that’s Oakland. But we know we have three home games in a row.”
It would have been a different tune had the Giants lost either of the last two weeks or if the division wasn’t controlled by a .500 team.
“You kind of look forward to getting away for a little bit,” Manning said coming off the Giants’ 15-7 win over the Eagles. “Coaches are in a good mood, and you just kind of leave that facility for a few days on a good note. And that’s big. You kind of get to enjoy these next days to feel good about what you were able to accomplish the week before. You’re not thinking about the past loss for two weeks. That’s good, and hopefully guys take this opportunity to kind of get rested up and get away from football for a little bit and come back knowing, hey, we’ve got an eight-week schedule. It’s going to take everything we’ve got to make this right.”