The New York Giants have not yet taken so much as a single meaningful snap this season, but already they're looking at Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys as a must win. And after missing the playoffs in three of the past four season, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka says that sort of mentality is exactly what the team needs to avoid another heartbreaking collapse.
“You never know which game is going to be the one that you needed when you look back. And we don’t want to be in that position [again],” Kiwanuka said on Thursday. "The playoffs start now. If you want to make it there, you got to get there there starting Day One.”
Kiwanuka's statement is in stark contrast to that of defensive back Terrell Thomas, who said earlier this week that the team isn't so much worried about week one as they are about the Super Bowl being played at MetLife Stadium. He later added that it doesn't matter if they win or lose on Sunday, so long as they make it to the playoffs.
“We’re not worrying about week one,” Thomas said. “It’s a buildup. Our biggest goal is the Super Bowl. However we get into the playoffs, it doesn’t matter. … We’ve always kicked and scratched and got in there, anyway. So we’re not worried about if we win or lose the first week.”
The reality is that Kiwi has the correct mindset of the two. Sometimes the difference between making the playoffs and missing out is as much as a single game. The game, of course, is doubly important because it's a divisional game and losing will only make things more difficult down the line.
Ultimately, the most important game of the year is the next one. So for Terrell Thomas and the rest of Big Blue, they should heed Kiwanuka's advice and play like their playoff hopes are on the line because, ultimately, they very well may be.
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