Giants Own the Patriots Until Further Notice

The Giants face the Patriots in the fourth and final preseason game on Thursday, a meaningless game that will nevertheless offer the opportunity to remind the Patriots and their fans that the Giants own their souls.

Living in the northeast, I have the pleasure of seeing a lot of interactions between Patriots and Giants fans. In Patriots fans, you essentially have cornered, rabid dogs who are frothing at the mouth and ready to attack anyone who is Other, thanks to a decade-long campaign to undermine the team’s greatness by pointing out supposed red herrings -- Spygate, the alleged serial killer they once employed at tight end, the ball boy who just needed to take the footballs to the bathroom with him on the way to the field for the AFC Championship game.

In Giants fans, you essentially have self-satisfied smirkers, who privately lament the inconsistency of the team in the Tom Coughlin era, but who light up like dog wardens with stun guns when they’re in the presence of rabid Patriots fans -- who not only know that no one outside the Patriots fan base respects the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era, but who have to live with the fact they’re 0-2 against the Giants in the Super Bowl.

“A Football Life: Patriots fans confront Giants fans in the wild.”

Tom Brady and Roger Goodell were in New York City this week trying to come to some resolution about those underinflated footballs, and who was there trying to act as mediator? None other than Giants owner John Mara. The Patriots can’t get away from the Giants even when they’re accused of cheating in the AFC title game. How humiliating. If Brady and Gisele Bundchen ever hit a rough patch in their relationship, we should expect that Mara will be called in as a marriage counselor.

Focusing on the Giants’ past successes against the Patriots and New England’s current conundrum vis a vis the stupidest scandal in major sports history is a good way for Giants fans to ignore the obvious -- this Giants team could use another four preseason games in preparation for the season.

The first-team offense has been terrible, the defense looks like it’s often fielding eight players, and two of the team’s most important players (Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul) don’t seem in line to play in the regular-season opener against the Cowboys.

After Thursday’s game, the Giants won’t play for 10 days, which will give fans plenty of time to ruminate about the team’s prospects against Dallas in the season opener. But what could happen against the Patriots that would engender a whirlwind of confidence? Maybe a couple 14-play scoring drives from the first-team offense, including a no-handed catch by Odell Beckham Jr. (he’s due for one of those), a few 10 to 15 yard runs by Rashad Jennings and a pinpoint throw or two by Manning.

And maybe a few defensive stands against Tom Brady and the Patriots’ first-team offense, including a sack from the likes or Cullen Jenkins (who said this week the Giants aren’t playing with enough fire) or an interception from the likes of Prince Amukamara (who said this week that nothing he has seen from the team makes him confident to begin the regular season).

The preseason is always a cluster bomb of season-ending injuries, false flags, low confidence and weird expectations. Thank heavens it’s almost over, and Giants and Patriots fans can go back to focusing on what’s important -- namely, that the Patriots can’t beat the Giants when it really matters.

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