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New York Giants’ Mathias Kiwanuka: “The Playoffs Start Now”

September 6th, 2013 at 11:21 AM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants have not yet taken so much as a single meaningful snap this season, but already they're looking at Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys as a must win. And after missing the playoffs in three of the past four season, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka says that sort of mentality is exactly what the team needs to avoid another heartbreaking collapse.

“You never know which game is going to be the one that you needed when you look back. And we don’t want to be in that position [again],” Kiwanuka said on Thursday. "The playoffs start now. If you want to make it there, you got to get there there starting Day One.”

Kiwanuka's statement is in stark contrast to that of defensive back Terrell Thomas, who said earlier this week that the team isn't so much worried about week one as they are about the Super Bowl being played at MetLife Stadium. He later added that it doesn't matter if they win or lose on Sunday, so long as they make it to the playoffs.

“We’re not worrying about week one,” Thomas said. “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.”

The reality is that Kiwi has the correct mindset of the two. Sometimes the difference between making the playoffs and missing out is as much as a single game. The game, of course, is doubly important because it's a divisional game and losing will only make things more difficult down the line.

Ultimately, the most important game of the year is the next one. So for Terrell Thomas and the rest of Big Blue, they should heed Kiwanuka's advice and play like their playoff hopes are on the line because, ultimately, they very well may be.

Photo credit: MacaMoney77 / Photobucket / CC BY-NC-SA


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Tags: Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, Football, Mathias Kiwanuka, MetLife Stadium, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Terrell Thomas

28 Responses to “New York Giants’ Mathias Kiwanuka: “The Playoffs Start Now””

  1.  GOAT56 says:


    SouthernYank says:
    September 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM
    Trying to look at the two rosters objectively; where do the cowboys really have an advantage?


    Best receiver in Dez. ok, but if nicks is healthy thats pretty much a wash. Overall, I think our skill position players are better

    A lot of people would argue CB, but IF webster returns to form I’d give us the nod there. Especially since claiborne has been hurt all preseason

    Their O-line is certainly no juggernaut.

    The only position, IMO, that is superior to ours is the LB group

    BigBlueGiant says:
    September 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM
    All 3 of our TE’s don’t equal up to what Witten is.


    •  GOAT56 says:

      So the the Cowboys are clearly better at LB and TE. I just don’t see what people see it the Cowboys. They have some very good front line players but continue to have extremely shaky depth.

      •  Jackhajb says:

        This isn’t going to be popular, but the fact is Eli is unpredictable.

        Eli has a tendency to take 3 quarters off and then show up in the 4th.
        When people are talking about the O not being in sync, I think it falls on his shoulders.

        Eli wants the deep pass over the guaranteed dump-off every time, that mentality sets us up for very up and down performances.

        So maybe at most positions we’re better, but who knows when our offense will show-up…

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        ‘Boys also are better at CB.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          If you just count 2 CB then yes. But as a group with the 3rd and 4th CB I believe it’s a push.

          Across the board they have questionable depth.

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        we too have shaky depth in the line my friend. Mainly O-line.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          I like our depth way more than there’s. Our depth on the OL is better. We have 2 starters out and are fine. They just signed a 36 year old off his couch to start for them.

  2.  Andiamo P says:

    i was gonna mention the TT comment when I read the title but I realize now I don’t have to.

  3.  Andiamo P says:

    When discussing team’s strengths and weaknesses the first thing that should be on top of each list is Coaching and Play Calling.

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    The common belief is that Kiffin is an upgrade for Ryan at DC. I just don’t think that’s the case anymore. I think the players are a better fit for the 3-4 plus I think Kiffin has lost it. USC and Tenn had more than enough talent to perform better defensively that last several years. Plus the defense relies on the DL and right now they definitely don’t have the DL.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      Just dont get too excited my friend.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I won’t. Betting Dallas is expected and if we don’t it’s a disappointment because they are just an average team. A talked about average team but no different than a team like Tampa.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    Here’s my NFL thoughts:

    NFC EAST 1 New York Giants 10-6 Division Champ 3 Conf Final
    NFC EAST 2 Washington Redskins 9-7
    NFC EAST 3 Dallas Cowboys 8-8
    NFC EAST 4 Philadelphia Eagles 5-11

    NFC NORTH 1 Detroit Lions 10-6 Division Champ 4 2nd Rd
    NFC NORTH 2 Green Bay Packers 9-7
    NFC NORTH 3 Chicago Bears 9-7
    NFC NORTH 4 Minnesota Vikings 6-10

    NFC SOUTH 1 Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Division Champ 2 2nd Rd
    NFC SOUTH 2 Carolina Panthers 9-7 Wild Card 6 1st Rd
    NFC SOUTH 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-8
    NFC SOUTH 4 New Orleans Saints 7-9

    NFC WEST 1 Seattle Seahawks 11-5 Division Champ 1 SB Winner
    NFC WEST 2 St. Louis Rams 10-6 Wild Card 5 1st Rd
    NFC WEST 3 San Francisco 49ers 9-7
    NFC WEST 4 Arizona Cardinals 5-11

    AFC EAST 1 New England Patriots 10-6 Division Champ 4 1st Rd
    AFC EAST 2 Miami Dolphins 8-8
    AFC EAST 3 Buffalo Bills 6-10
    AFC EAST 4 New York Jets 5-11

    AFC NORTH 1 Cincinnati Bengals 11-5 Division Champ 3 2nd Rd
    AFC NORTH 2 Baltimore Ravens 9-7
    AFC NORTH 3 Cleveland Browns 8-8
    AFC NORTH 4 Pittsburgh Steelers 6-10

    AFC SOUTH 1 Houston Texans 11-5 Division Champ 1 Conf Final
    AFC SOUTH 2 Indianapolis Colts 9-7 Wild Card 5 2nd Rd
    AFC SOUTH 3 Tennessee Titans 9-7 Wild Card 6 1st Rd
    AFC SOUTH 4 Jacksonville Jaguars 2-14

    AFC WEST 1 Denver Broncos 11-5 Division Champ 2 SB Loser
    AFC WEST 2 Kansas City Chiefs 9-7
    AFC WEST 3 San Diego Chargers 5-11
    AFC WEST 4 Oakland Raiders 2-14

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      Lol. Homerism at it’s finest!

      Shocked you dont have us winning the whole thing.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        10-6 is Homerism? That’s a very fair record if you saw Dallas for what they are. I could see the Redskins way more than Dallas. They Redskins have decent depth. Even without RG3 for some games they can survive.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Kevin Page says:
    September 6, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    The NFL is a WEEK TO WEEK GAME. No team goes out and steamrolls team after team after team. The margin for error is just too thin these days that almost anything within reason can happen.

    fanfor55years says:
    September 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    I find myself, again, really psyched about this season, in part because I have NO idea what to expect. I think a reasonable argument can be made that we are two or three injuries away (excluding Eli) from a really poor season. I also think a reasonable argument can be made for a great run to the playoffs and a genuine shot at winning it all based upon a great offense and a great front line of defense (we won in 2007 and 2011 with a good offense, not great, a great front four in 2007 and a very good one in 2011…in neither year were our back seven on defense anything special).

    I think the NFL has reached the point they sought: almost any fan of any team can enter the season hopeful while no fan with any judgment can enter it highly confident that their team will make it to the Super Bowl. The fans in San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta and Denver would probably disagree, but they’re wrong. Each of those teams has its vulnerabilities. Each could slip along the way.

  7.  Kevin Page says:

    The day the media gives the NY GIANTS credit and respect is the day we should be worried.

  8.  BigBlueGiant says:


    Denver’s offense is borderline unfair with Welker and Julius Thomas as mismatches exploiting single coverage. Not to mention Decker and DThomas on the outside.The Ravens’ secondary won’t be the only one embarrassed as Peyton Manning chases the 2007 New England Patriots’ record of 589 points.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Yeah, and they’ll soon have to write the same stuff about the Giants. Don’t have blinders on. The Giants’ offense can be every bit as good as the one the Broncos field.

      Thomas may be better than Myers, but Myers is also going to be a load for linebackers and safeties to handle. Cruz cannot be covered by one man, but he’ll have to be if Nicks is healthy and Randle steps up at all (if he doesn’t then we’ll see plenty of Murphy, who probably gives the Giants a stronger five receivers than the five best of the Broncos).

      And who do they have coming out of the backfield who is the equal of Wilson?

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        oh man.. here we go….

        We scored ONE TD inside the Red Zone in 9 trips this preseason. And that came against a 2nd team defense. Our offense has struggled tremendously and until we prove otherwise, the jury will be out. Sorry, but for all the “weapons” we have on offense, Denver went out there and kicked the $hit out of B’more putting up near record numbers.

        Let’s play Sunday night. If our Offense is the Juggarnaut and every bit as good as Denver’s is that you and GOAT expect it to be, we should EASILY put up 40 pts against this “bad” ” NEW LOOK”, ” NO SPENCER, NO RATLIFF”, “Monte Kiffen Tampa 2″ defense.

        I dont think you realize how good Denver was on offense last night. What they did was impressive. And I’m pretty convinced that same offense will make our suspect LB’s and DBacks look dreadful.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      You have to pressure the Peyton. Plain and simple. If you don’t he will beat you.

  9.  Krow says:

    It’s not how you start the season, but how you finish. But with Denver looking like a meat grinder we could easily be 0-2 in 10 days.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Let’s first worry about Dallas. IF we win there then the Denver game is a “freebie”. Non-conference. Home. No one will figure we have much of a chance. House money. Worst that happens is we wind up 1-1 with the one win in the division. Sounds like a perfect setup for the team to play loose and smack the Broncos in the head.

      I’d happily take 1-1, but think we could as easily go 2-0 as 0-2. I readily admit I don’t know what we’ll see in Dallas. All depends upon the offense’s timing and the play of our defensive front. If both are good I think the Cowboys are in trouble. If both are absent we are dead. It will probably be something in-between. Frankly, I don’t care about Denver. Give me a win on Sunday and while I’ll root like hell for another the next week, I will be very calm about a loss, even a beating.

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        A lot of IF’s my man.

        I could care about Denver too. But you’ll see the blueprint on how to expose our defense the next two weeks…

  10.  JimStoll says:

    I for one don’t know how to handicap Sunday night.
    All I’ve watched is our team and we of course have not looked very good, but we know it was preseason and so hard to take anything away.
    The things that scare right now is that we will start with a somewhat make-shift O-Line with 1 rookie starting, our starting guard (a journeyman to begin with) playing center, and our LG a unknown 3d year project.
    We don’t know how far awy from 100% is Nicks; was he going easy in preseason, or is he that much less due to last season’s injuries? we don’t know how healthy Cruz will be. we don’t know yet if Randal will be reliable.
    we have 1 Rb who we know can take it to the house on any given play, but who has never proven he can grind it out, especially behind a finesse o-line.
    and we have our perennial red zone problems which the preseason only punctuated.

    on D we have no LBs worth spit; we are starting a career JAG at safety; we are hoping Webster plays other than he did in 2012; we are hoping Tuck is the Tuck of 2010, not 2011 and 2012; we likely won’t have JPP and if he does play we have no idea what we’ll get; and perry fewell controls the show.

    all that said, every year we hear how Dallas is the most talented team in the league and yet they somehow end up worse than us. Jerry Jones is still running the show and thus it will continue to be a circus in Big D. Garrett appears to have been neutered with the hirings of Callahan and Kiffen so who knows how that will play out.

    we could easily get laughed out of Texas on the order of 35-17; or just as easily beat them for the 5th straight time in their house.

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