The Giants emerge from the bye with a poor (for them, and pretty much for anyone) 2-6 record but an unusual amount of realistic hope to make it to the playoffs.
That’s one of the benefits of playing in the worst division in the league.
Receiver Victor Cruz joined Pro Football Talk on NBCSN to talk about a wide variety of topics, including Cruz’s assessment of what it will take to win the NFC East.
“I think it’s going to be nine,” Cruz told Erik Kuselias. “Anywhere between eight and nine, maybe even 10. It’s going to be a tight race, especially with ourselves and obviously Dallas and Washington. This entire division, it can swing with one win, swing from one team to another. It’s going to come down to the wire. . . .
“I think it’s the race to nine. Who ever gets to nine first and maybe it’s going to come down to one of those games between ourselves and Washington, later on in the season. We’ll see where it goes.”
If Cruz is right, the Giants will have to go 7-1 down the stretch. If he’s wrong — if only eight wins will secure the divison — the Giants still have to go 6-2.
Still, New York can move to 3-6 with a win over the Raiders on Sunday. Then comes Washington, followed by a rematch with the Cowboys.
“We’re excited,” Cruz said. “We’re on a two-game win streak, playing some really good football, especially defensively. Really doing some good things. Once we put two together, we feel like we can string more together. We’re coming off the bye where we get Andre Brown back after his setback earlier this season so we’re excited for that. We’re excited for what our team has in store and we look forward to doing some good things in the upcoming weeks.”
It’s rare to hear anyone from a 2-6 team talk like that. Then again, it’s rare for the NFC East to be this weak.
Still, the Giants have shown that, no matter what their regular-season record or playoff position, they have the ability to get hot in January. To have a chance to do that in 2013, they’ll need to get hot (and stay hot) in November and December.