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Something to prove (cont.)

Posted: Thursday November 15, 2007 3:21PM; Updated: Friday November 16, 2007 12:42AM
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The Giants had won six straight games before falling apart in the second half against Dallas and re-opening all of the concerns about late-season collapses. Two years ago, facing a crucial road game in Seattle, the Giants fell to the Seahawks and, ultimately, were shut out in a home wild-card loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Last year, the Giants hosted the Chicago Bears in the midseason, outplayed them for much of the first half, and then imploded and lost the game. The Giants ended up squeaking into the playoffs and losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in another wild-card playoff.

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Fairly or not, the bulk of the criticism has been focused on Manning, namely because of the position he plays. He faces it because he grew up in a house where football was a common language. He faces it because the Giants sacrificed three draft picks to trade up for him in the 2004 draft. He faces it because he is a Manning.

Coughlin said, "We know the environment that we are in here and, obviously, you would like it to be different, but it's not. That is basically the approach we have taken all along. There is no need to have any extensive eloquent conversations about it. It is what it is. And we need to move on."

That is the way of the NFL, always press on, always look forward, don't get tangled up in the past.

When the big games have presented themselves to the Giants in recent years, they have often failed to deliver. On Sunday, against a Detroit team that is undefeated at home, another opportunity awaits, maybe a defining moment for a quarterback in need of one.

"You are going to lose games -- that's part of football," Manning said. "It's just about learning from the mistakes, seeing what you are doing well and going into the next week with a good attitude that, if you win that one, you are back in a good spot and everything will be fine again."

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