Friday Morning Report: Fork in the Road Time for Jints

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

This season can turn out one of three ways right now: the Giants can win the majority or all of their remaining games, win the NFC East and proceed to the NFC playoffs. They can wallow, split their games, and fight for a playoff spot. Or they can just fade away.

The first and last of those options seem unlikely given this team’s recent history. They have not had a losing season since 2004 and have qualified for the playoffs five of the past seven seasons. The two seasons they missed the playoffs (2009-10) saw them squander their postseason chances by playing unspeakably horrific football during the last quadrant of the season.

In 2009, back-to-back blowout losses to Minnesota and Carolina drove CEO John Mara practically to tears. The next year, an implosion vs Philadelphia at home cost them the division, a playoff bye and eventually the postseason altogether.

They enter that quadrant this week, their official fork in the road. The New Orleans Saints bring their powerful offense and improving defense to MetLife this Sunday. We shall find out which road the Giants choose to travel this season come Sunday at dusk.

That road never gets any easier. Yesterday, it was revealed that WR Hakeem Nicks’ troublesome knee has flared up again. Tom Coughlin called it “sore” and expressed hope that Nicks would be available Sunday. By the tone of his voice, he did not sound optimistic.

S Kenny Phillips (knee) did not practice again yesterday, prompting questions whether regarding his availability this week. Coughlin confirmed he did not have a setback. “It’s just something he’s dealing with,” the coach said.

Some good news: WR Domenik Hixon (ankle) practiced in full and LB Jacquain Williams (knee) did more and could be ready this week.

RB David Wilson is gradually snapping into the pro game. The coaches have told him he is coming around and he is ready to take more of the load on his shoulders. This is his first stretch run, and things are getting exciting for him:

We’re just taking it one game at a time, treating it like a four-game season. Just getting prepared each week and taking it one game at a time.”

A four-game season that will determine how many of us will be talking Giants come mid-January.

The Giants are looking to stay focused down the stretch to keep their playoff hopes alive.