All the media could express over the division-leading Giants Week 6 victory over the 49ers was shock. But I'm betting the coaching staff viewed it with something else: relief. The Giants stand at 0-2 in the NFC East with losses to the Cowboys and the Eagles. The last thing the team needed going into a game facing an explosive Redskins offense and the possibility of holding ZERO tiebreakers in a possibly tight divisional race was to be dragging a losing conference record behind them.
I asked @hogshaven on Twitter if this game was a must-win and was rightly shot down. Don't call it a must-win, but if the Redskins win on Sunday and the East race is tight as it certainly could be, fingers will point to Week 7. If the Giants drop that game, they'll be sitting at 0-3 in the division with a 3-3 conference record. The Cowboys are at 2-2, the Redskins would be 4-2. And NY would have GB, NO, ATL and CHI left to make up the difference.
Of course, climbing out of early-season holes seems to be a hallmark of this franchise so maybe it's no big deal. They may play up to the competition and down to the competition, but they're always up to the big picture challenge. There may not be much chatter from New York (that doesn't involve Tim Tebow), but make no mistake that this is a game the Giants should have circled in red.