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    Wednesday, July 24, 2024

    Giants return from their bye week and head into the homestretch

    New York Giants cornerback Deonte Banks (25) pushes New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker (1) out of bounds during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

    East Rutherford, N.J. — The New York Giants are back from their late bye week and are heading into a tough five-game stretch with no room for error if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs for a second straight year.

    Brian Daboll's team has had a week to rest and recover from 12 weeks of nagging injuries, just so they could walk into work on Monday feeling somewhat normal.

    The Giants (4-8) face an near-impossible task. They are two games out of a wild-card spot and probably need to win out, just to finish with a 9-8 record. The final five starts next Monday night with a home game against the Green Bay Packers (6-6), who opened a lot of eyes by knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Sunday night.

    The last four includes two games with the Eagles (10-2) and games at New Orleans (5-7) and home against the Los Angeles Rams (6-6).

    Darius Slayton said his approach to the games will be the same one he had at the start of the season.

    "Everything that we want to accomplish is still out there possible for us and we just have to do a good job of taking it one week at a time, one game at a time, one opponent at a time," he said.

    "If we're able to keep stacking wins, you know, we had two wins before the bye. If we keep stacking wins, we'll end up where we want to be."

    The Giants will have an interesting twist to this week. They are riding their first two-game winning streak of the season behind the play of their defense and the unexpected, mistake-free play of undrafted free agent rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito. The New Jersey product has gone 2-1 as the starter since Daniel Jones was lost for the season with an ACL injury.

    The wrinkle heading into this week is that 34-year-old backup Tyrod Taylor is returning to practice this week after spending a month on injured reserve with a rib injury. He had replaced Jones (neck) at the start of October and started three games before injuring his ribs against the Jets. DeVito finished that game.

    Jones returned the following week at Las Vegas and injured his knee in the first half. Re-enter DeVito.

    Daboll last week refused to discuss whether he would start DeVito or Taylor, when the 13-year veteran was ready to return.

    Slayton said Taylor has the experience and knows the game, while DeVito has done of good job of finding his way.

    Ultimately, Daboll will have to make a decision.

    Inside linebacker Bobby Okereke said he watched a lot of football on Sunday and was impressed by Matt LaFleur's Packers and the performance of quarterback Jordan Love in their 27-19 win over Kansas City.

    "Jordan does a good job of getting the ball down the field and just the efficiency they have from that offense," Okereke said. "I mean obviously, LaFleur and (Jets quarterback) Aaron Rodgers, like that whole rapport that they have and fundamentals of running that offense, I think Jordan has done a good job of picking that up."

    Although he did not watch the Packers' game Sunday night, cornerback Adoree Jackson has watched Love over recent weeks and knows he can play.

    However, his focus is on his Giants teammates.

    "For us, the little picture is just playing for each other and not worrying about tomorrow, focusing on today, and understanding when you do that, good things can and will happen," Jackson said. "So, for us, I think the bye came at a great time."

    He recalled when in college at Southern California, the end of the season was considered 'No Loss November.' If a team did that, if had a chance to play meaningful football games later on.

    "Going into this stretch in December, it's the same way getting ready for playoff football," he said. "So, for us just to go out there and put everything on tape, showcase us and then play for one another."

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