With Super Bowl XLVIII being played in MetLife Stadium this coming February, there have been quite a bit of expectations placed upon the New York Giants for the 2013 season and if they can be the first team to play in the biggest game of the year while hosting it in their own building.
Of course, the very first step towards that goal is playing well in the regular season; which will kick off for the Giants this Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on NBC's Sunday Night Football. Heading into that game, the Giants will be coming in a little banged up with some of their key players either recovering from injuries during the preseason or will be out for the season and won't see the field at all.
Jason Pierre-Paul's status for Week 1 is still not known, as he has yet to play in the summer due to recovering from back surgery to repair a herniated disc, Stevie Brown is out for the season with a torn ACL, which has forced the Giants to go with Ryan Mundy as the starting strong safety and only have three safeties on the roster since Will Hill is currently serving a four-game suspension from the NFL for violating the drug policy.
Aside from those injuries, Justin Tucks has had to deal with an achy back in the summer, Corey Webster has dealt with a sore groin which kept him on the sidelines for part of the preseason and Antrel Rolle dealt with a sprained ankle back on August 12, but has since returned to practice and play for the team.
Despite not being at 100 percent for the game in Dallas, veteran cornerback Terrell Thomas isn't worried about the outcome in Dallas on Sunday night, as the one game to him is part of a much bigger picture; one to him that ends with the Giants playing in East Rutherford in the cold in February.
“We’re not worrying about Week 1,” corner Terrell Thomas recently told the Daily News. “It’s a buildup. Our biggest goal is the Super Bowl. However we get into the playoffs, it doesn’t matter. … We’ve always kicked and scratched and got in there, anyway. So we’re not worried about if we win or lose the first week.”
While beating the Cowboys would be a great way to get the season under way, losing the first week isn't the worst thing for the Giants, especially in the seasons in which they have won the Super Bowl; back in 2007 the Giants lost to the Cowboys in Week 1 and in 2011, lost to the Washington Redskins. So if the Giants were to lose to Dallas on Sunday night and end up playing in their own building in the Super Bowl, the memory of losing to the Cowboys would be a forgotten memory.
Thomas also mentioned to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News about how Sunday night's game may be the first time where most of the first team defense will be together on the field for the first time; which is where communication errors can happen and mistakes on the field tend to occur. But Thomas remembers two years ago when the Giants were dealing with those same exact issues, but it didn't stop them from winning Super Bowl XLVI.
“When you haven’t played with somebody, that communication is not as natural as it should be,” Thomas said. “They weren’t used to communicating with each other,” he said. “But once they got it, the defense started clicking. We won the Super Bowl. Obviously, it’d be a great tone for the season. But (a loss) is not the end of the world."
For Thomas, Sunday night will be the first regular season he will playing in for the Giants since the end of the 2010 season, as he has missed the last two seasons recovering from back-to-back torn ACL injuries.
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