Last time out, the battered Giants had their hats handed to them in New Jersey the week before by Carolina, 41-7, and were looking at a long off-season. The Vikings were priming the pump to make a run at the Super Bowl.
The Vikings scored the first 44 points before the Giants got on the scoreboard in the 4th quarter on a 1-yard Danny Ware TD run. The final was 44-7.
That loss, combined with the lifeless performance against the Panthers, prompted CEO John Mara to speak his mind:
"When you perform the way we performed over the second half of the season, it hurts, period, regardless of what you did prior. I've been around a long time and I thought I had seen everything, but I certainly didn't see this coming and I certainly didn't see the last two weeks coming........Probably as disappointed as I’ve ever been in my life at this team, given the expectations we had this year, given the roster I thought we had, given the way we started out and given the embarrassment of the last two weeks.”
The Giants' players and coaches remember that. They remember the anger and hurt in Mara's voice. They will not be bailing on this season the way they did last year. They want to smash the Vikings.
Standing in their way, it appears, will be the William Wallace of the NFL - Brett Favre.
It it obvious Favre wants to die on the field - and perhaps be given a Viking funeral. His body is broken from top to bottom, yet he comes out of the tunnel each week. He will not surrender.
He has started an NFL record 297 games. He intends to extend that streak to 298, regardless if his body agrees or not.
Favre does not have the word quit in his vocabulary. He has not faced the Giants' new defense. This may be his undoing....
Stationary quarterbacks do not fare well against the Giants. Offensive coordinators have tried everything to protect their quarterbacks, from max-protect schemes to three-step drops. They still get hit.
If you are a quarterback with poor escape-ability skills, you will get hit early and often and get separated from the football multiple times. May we add that Favre is the NFL's all-time leader in both fumbles and interceptions.
The Giants are saying nothing thus far about how Favre embarrassed them last year in a virually meaningless game. But they want him. If he's cleared by doctors to play this week (an MRI is scheduled for today on his shoulder), the Giants will show little mercy.
"Let's just say we haven't forgotten what happened there. I'll just leave it at that," said Giants guard Chris Snee. "We know what the final score was and we know what happened in there. It's already been talked about. Let's leave it at that."
If Favre cannot play - and he hasn't missed a start since Bill Clinton's first term as president - Tavaris Jackson will finally get to start.