The season started with a stifling defensive performance in a 23-17 victory over the visiting Redskins.
The wisest thing Rosie Perez, or more precisely a character she portrayed in a movie, ever said was that "sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose."
The Giants added an addendum to that on Sunday. Sometimes when you don't play at all, you win bigger than you have in more than a month. There wasn't a single thing that didn't go according to plan for a Giants team that's hoping to wash four straight losses out of their hair when they take on the Falcons at the Meadowlands on Sunday.
Those Falcons, potential competition for a Wild Card spot, flopped during their trip to Charlotte for a game with the Panthers. Matt Ryan, last year's wunderkind, threw two interceptions, giving him six in the last three weeks and placing him fully into the throes of a sophomore slump. His top receiver, Roddy White, is ailing and he lost running back Michael Turner nine carries into what looked like a huge day because of a high ankle sprain. If Turner can't go or is limited against the Giants, Ryan might not be able to beat them all by himself.
Four days after they play the Falcons, the Giants will head to Denver for a Thanksgiving tilt with the Broncos. The bloom is off their rose after three straight losses, and quarterback Kyle Orton went down with a sprained ankle of his own en route to their latest loss. Chris Simms replaced him and looked nothing like his father, which has a trip that was scaring the Giants looking a little easier.
Those two games were in the early slate of Sunday action, while the late games featured results from the Cowboys and Eagles that had to make Tom Coughlin smile, assuming he's actually capable of such things in the middle of the regular season. The Cowboys, with a chance to move two games clear of the Giants, flopped completely in Green Bay, perhaps because Tony Romo realized that December is right around the corner. Marc Colombo, their right tackle, broke his leg, an injury that should make it more difficult for the team to protect Romo when they visit the Giants in the first week of December.
The Eagles, meanwhile, looked no better against the Chargers than the Giants did the previous week and made it clear that they weren't one to learn from another team's mistakes. Andy Reid settled for field goals twice on fourth downs with short yardage, calls that were both cowardly and ineffective as the team lost 31-23 despite 450 passing yards from Donovan McNabb. Another loss or two before they meet the Giants could have them in a crisis mode rivaling anything seen in Giants camp, and Brian Westbrook's second concussion in three weeks means they're dealing with injury issues as well.
All of that means nothing if the Giants can't play better than they have over the past month but, as Rosie would be the first to tell you, sometimes there's more to winning or losing than meets the eye.