While reading Tom Coughlin's "Coughlin Corner" interview on Friday, it struck us as almost unbelievable that the Giants are in control of the NFC East. Coughlin's speech to his team upon returning from the bye week was about a six-game season, and how they could take out what was once believed to be the toughest division in football.
"You talk to the team about where they are at the bye, and the fact that it is a six-game season," Coughlin said, via Giants.com. "And in those six games, it will be determined who is the divisional champion in the NFC East. That's the way we look at it, and this game against Washington (on Sunday) is the most important game of the year for us. The cry for our team has been not only to improve the level of execution, but our concentration.
"It means no split focus. It's the next play, it's the next play. Don't worry about the result; I'll let you know what that is. Get your responsibilities, let your eyes instinctively indicate to you or give you some kind of range about what's next, what's coming, so that you can line up and be your best on that particular play. We've always talked about being the most physical team, always talked about being the team that wins the turnover battle. And, really, what we've done is make a huge, huge drive that hopefully will help us to eliminate the penalties."
Coughlin was crushed for bringing back former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who has turned out to be quite inventive with the pieces presented to him. He was encouraged by a portion of the fan base to part ways with offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who has showed his inexperience but is creative enough to keep Odell Beckham open.
He oversaw the Jason Pierre-Paul debacle and helped the team weather a ridiculous storm. Along the way, he lost Jon Beason, Victor Cruz, Daniel Fells, Johnathan Hankins and Will Beatty -- all contributing starters -- and miraculously this team still has a very good chance of finishing the weekend above .500.
Coughlin's legacy will never be associated with dominance. Quite possibly his best season was derailed by a Plaxico Burress incident that rocked the best Giants team of the last two decades. But it will be associated with moments like these, and really, what traits would you more readily associate with an all-time great head coach?