The New York Giants were trounced by the Atlanta Falcons last weekend 34-0. It was the worst shutout defeat of a defending Super Bowl champion in NFL history, as well as the first time the Giants were shutout since 1996. There were literally zero positives that the team could take from the game. No silver linings, it was just a good, old-fashioned butt whooping. Big Blue was clearly unprepared to play last weekend, but Ahmad Bradshaw and Kenny Phillips hope to change against the Baltimore Ravens.
Bradshaw and Phillips both missed last weekend's contest with knee injuries. Phillips, in particular, has only played in six games this season. However, given the gravity of the situation that the team finds themselves in now, both players have vowed to return to the lineup on the road in Baltimore this Sunday.
Although Phillips hopes he can re-energize the team with his return, he has no explanation as to why the Giants tend to come out flat in games that do not carry a win-or-go-home label.
"It’s not that we’re not practicing hard. It’s not that. It’s not that guys (are) not buying into it, but for some reason, since I’ve been here the last over four or five years, that’s just how it’s been. Up and down, up and down. I hate to say it, (but) I think a lot of the guys have gotten used to it. And we win when we have to. When we don’t have to, we kind of just go out there flat."
The Giants have to win on Sunday. It's the biggest game of the season, and a loss could potentially eliminate Big Blue from playoff contention. If the team wins each of its final two games, it will have reached 10 wins on the season and squeaked into the playoffs as at least a wild card.
We all know the history behind this team. Just when fans begin to count them out, they come back stronger than we ever thought they were. Kenny Phillips and Ahmad Bradshaw are going to be huge additions to a team that has gotten used to playing shorthanded this season. Phillips says that the team must come out with energy on Sunday for Big Blue to keep itself in playoff contention.
"We just have to get back to being passionate about the game," Phillips said. "If a guy makes a play, no one’s congratulating, no one’s jumping around. It just seems like we don’t have no fire, no energy right now."
The Giants clearly play their best football when their backs are to the wall. The talent on this roster is capable of winning a championship. However, Big Blue's mental-makeup may preclude that from happening. This group has mailed it in on the road on more than one occasion this season, which is not exactly the mark of a Super Bowl-caliber team. Phillips, Bradshaw, and even Prince Amukamara will help the Giants play at full strength this weekend. But their biggest contributions may be making sure the team is in the correct state of mind at game time.
Also…Ahmad Bradshaw, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, contest, Football, Kenny Phillips, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Prince Amukamara, Super Bowl