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Blowout or Bust: No Other Option for Giants

Tom Coughlin is the only one who thinks the Dolphins have a chance

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011  |  Updated 5:17 PM EDT
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Blowout or Bust: No Other Option for Giants

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Give Tom Coughlin credit for trying.

He spent a good bit of time during Wednesday's press conference trying to sell everybody on the charms of the winless Miami Dolphins, who just became the first team since 1983 to blow a 15-point lead with less than three minutes to play. That they blew that lead to a one-win Broncos team quarterbacked by Tim Tebow should really be all you need to know about where the Dolphins rank in the NFL.

But Coughlin worked it like Lou Holtz in the week before his old Notre Dame team would fly some patsy into South Bend for a whipping. The Dolphins don't commit many penalties, they have sort of been in every game for a while before they got blown out and they have a lot of veterans on defense.

He even came up with a slogan that might appear on a t-shirt one day. "Respect all and fear none" is the Giants' motto, according to Coughlin, and it's certainly catchy.

It's also a lot of singing and dancing to do if you aren't a little bit afraid of what your own team might do when they take the field on Sunday. It's the NFL and you can't overlook anybody, so there's no problem there but is there really any question that the result of this game is up to the Giants and only the Giants? 

If they execute, the game will turn into something off of a placard at the Occupy Wall Street protests. The Dolphins' chances of winning will be the 1 percent, because there's just no reasonable argument to make in Miami's favor that doesn't include the Giants falling flat on their face.

Despite all that, Coughlin's fears are probably justified.

We're not big fans of the idea that the Giants (or anyone else, for that matter) are a good team that plays down to their opposition, because it seems that a big part of being a good team is being as consistent as possible regardless of the opposition. What the Giants have been this season is a team that is wildly inconsistent, usually within 60 minutes of one game.

If they played down to the level of the Redskins, Cardinals and Seahawks, how in the world can playing a very similar game against the Bills be used as a sign of the team's internal strength? It can't and attempts to say otherwise are fraudulent on their face.

No matter how you slice it, the Giants are better than the Dolphins at everything that decides who wins a football game. That means this isn't a trap game for the Giants in terms of looking ahead to the hard schedule that follows.

Not winning isn't an option, so the worst thing that can happen is that they play the same kind of mindless football they've played all season and winning by anything less than two touchdowns. The trap is allowing themselves to be revealed as something other than a good football team before their schedule has a chance to do it.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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