Giants head coach Joe Judge doesn’t care about what the oddsmakers, the media, or the fans have to say about his team’s chances this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals.
He also isn’t overly concerned right now with the NFC East standings, how a win on Sunday combined with an Eagles loss to Seattle will put the Giants into first place in the NFC East and extend their winning streak to three games for the first time since it won six in a row in 2016.
The only chatter he wants the team to be concerned with is what's coming from inside of 1925 Giants Drive, as the coaching staff continues to get the team ready for the next game on its schedule with an eye toward going 1-0 following (hopefully) another week of improvement.
“The message I always have for the players is. 'Look, if you start reading headlines and you want to believe the good, then you better be ready to believe the bad because a lot of the same people are writing two different stories about you weeks apart,'" Judge said earlier this week.
“Just because we’ve had some games go a different way than maybe earlier in the season these last couple weeks, that does not change how we prepare, it does not change our mindset," he continued.
"Every week, we truly work to be 1-0. That’s the only important thing on a weekly basis. Our players, I believe, understand that everything we do adds up. But ultimately, it only matters what you do for those 60 minutes or those three-hour windows on Sundays when it really matters.”
At the start of the season, very few, if any, people figured the NFC East, which following the Thanksgiving games is a combined 13-28-1, would be this bad. The same could be said about the surprising rise of the Giants after a massive off-season turnover that brought an entirely new coaching staff and several new faces on the defensive side of the ball.
But the team has been patient and realistic in its expectations, aiming to crawl before it walked and walk before it ran. It has taken baby steps toward improvement that weren't necessarily showing up on game day during the earlier part of the season but which have suddenly begun to cluster together to result in a two-game winning streak and three very critical division wins, the latter being the first step toward a potential division title.
The next step for the Giants would be to win a game outside of their division, which would be the next step toward gaining separation from the Cowboys, Eagles, and Washington Football Team.
That’s a big reason why Judge has relatedly dismissed what the Giants have done in the past and is so locked in on the present.
"We’re coming out of Thanksgiving after this weekend, everyone is really on equal ground," Judge said.
"The only thing that matters is what we do from this point forward. We have to show consistent improvement. I think our players have done that throughout the year, but nothing before this game is going to matter. Nothing is going to help us beat the Bengals other than what we do this week to prepare and how we execute for 60 minutes against Cincinnati."
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