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Manning, Barkley convinced Giants are close and record is deceiving



The Giants' record be deceiving.

The Giants have reported that they may as well be as good as they may appear. 10 but so specialize in losing in close and agonizing fashion. They were beaten 33-31 in the last second by the Panthers on a 63-yard field goal. Indianapolis on the wrong end of a 28-27 loss to the Colts after allowing a touchdown with 55 seconds remaining , That is four losses by a combined nine points.

"We're super close," receiver Sterling Shepard said. "We're there.

Is it little things holding the Giants back? Their defense engenders little or no confidence with the game on the line. Their offense line, although improved, needs further revamping. The running game, the second half of the season, is too reliant on waiting for Saquon Barkley to turn into nothing big. It is fair to question Eli Manning's ability to play a game together after the game.

After going 1

-7 in the first half of the season, the Giants are 4-3 after their bye week heading into their final Sunday against the already -clinched, NFC East-champion Cowboys. Better, yes. But hardly good enough.

"There are definitely positive and, hey, it's tough circumstances," Manning said. "No one wants to be in a position where you're not in the playoffs, but there's a lot of heart."

There's never been a hint of the players not giving the effort or quitting after seven of their first eight games. It's all about talent. The roster was overhauled aggressively, and the Giants underwent the most extensive makeover of any team in the league. Some of what coach Pat Shurmur, in his first year with the Giants, has installed, but the foundation is not yet laid down. Barkley maintains someday soon, when winning kicks in The Giants will look back on this losing and all the growing pains and laugh.

"I believe the future's bright, but we've got better start executing," Barkley said. [19659002] The Giants were 3-13 last season, meaning they are 8-23 since the start of the 2017 season. The last time the Giants lost 23 games in back-to-back seasons was 1973-74, truly the bad old days. With the 1978 advent of the NFL's 16-game schedule, bad teams have the indignity of losing more games. The Giants have never lost 24 games in consecutive seasons, but that was a reality that could play out at Sunday's MetLife Stadium.

"You've seen the second half of the season has been different than the first," Shepard said. "When you really look at the season, we've just lost a couple of games, we only have one game away from us. That shows you this team is fighting, we're pretty close. We just got to figure out what it is to get over that hump. "

More that came out of loss no. 10 for the Giants:

 B.W. Webb tackles Eric Ebron.
B.W. Webb tackles Eric Ebron. AP

– B.W. Webb started 10 games in his first five years in the NFL, playing for the Cowboys, Steelers, Titans, Saints and Browns, bouncing from team to team. An undersized cornerback from William & Mary, Webb is best suited as a cornerback corner, but after the Giants traded away Eli Apple, Webb became a starter on the outside. He has started more games (12) for the Giants than he did in his first five seasons.

Webb might or might not be back in 2019, but he is a feisty player who competes hard on every play and takes a serious approach to everything he does, which has impressed the coaching staff.

"It hurts a lot," Webb said. "I've lost, I'm sure everybody else in this loose room has lost, too. It sucks. It's just not fun. We know each other, we're playing for each other here, we're playing for each other next year, everybody is playing for their families. It hurts. "

– Remember when Manning was renowned for his fourth-quarter comebacks? They are few and far between nowadays. Andrew Luck certainly qualifies as a quarterback a defense does not want to see the ball late in a game. Manning sensed that down the stretch in Indianapolis.

"You know they're a good team and they have a good quarterback who can score late on teams," Manning said. "So I knew we were going to need to score more points."

Luck's expertise can be put on an opponent. Manning and his offense have also been infrequently applied to defenses.

– Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. usually breaks down the huddle with some loud words of inspiration after the pregame warmups. Alec Ogletree replaced Beckham as a motivational sparkplug.

Evan Engram, the second-year tight end, volunteered.

"I've always been a vocal guy and I just had something on my mind, "Engram said. "We have other leaders who could have done the same thing. I was in the moment and tried to get the guys going.

Engram then went out and had an impressive game, catching all six passes thrown his way, for 87 yards.

– This has not happened in more than a calendar year. For the first time this season, the Giants did not allow a sack of Manning, who helped himself by moving crisply out of the pocket on bootlegs after play-fakes to Barkley. The last time Manning was not sacked in a game was Dec. 10, 2017, Against the Cowboys.

– Will Manning ever get another shot at beating the Colts? He is now 0-4 against the franchise that his older brother, Peyton, spent 14 years in fashioning a Hall of Fame career. The only other team Eli Manning has never beaten the Chargers, the team that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2004 draft.


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