From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
This is the NFL, when you are only as good as your last game. It’s so typical to shine one Sunday and then lick your wounds the following week.
Take the case of the Giants, who nine days ago were 10 1/2-point underdogs to the NFC West Division-leading Seahawks and posted an inspiring 17-12 win in the Pacific Northwest.
In the interim, there was a long plane flight to the East Coast, a well-deserved day off to have friends of Giants’ players compliment them on the rousing victory with a backup quarterback, and family matters at home for the players.
Then, it’s back to football. The Cardinals, who were coming their own beat down at home the previous Sunday against the Rams, whipped the Giants, 26-7, on Sunday, sacking N.Y. QBs a whopping eight times.
The Giants were held to 10 first downs and 159 total yards. The game was more than 37 minutes old when the Giants, who entered as 3-point underdogs, finally crossed midfield for the first time on a 16-yard running play.
The Giants’ four-game winning streak was snapped, falling to 5-8, and they are a game behind the Washington Football Team (6-7) for the NFC East lead and a playoff spot.
n Super Bowl Pick-Six: With three weeks left in the regular season and teams positioning themselves into and out of playoff spots, I have come up with my exclusive list of only six teams capable of winning Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 7.
The favorites are, in no particular order, are the Chiefs, Bills, Saints, Packers, Rams and Seahawks.
n Kansas City has the best array of weapons, the best coach, but lacks urgency and can be sloppy at times;
n Buffalo has one the best young QBs in the game, is extremely well-coached, and poised to make a deep playoff run;
n New Orleans is well run by its head coach and QBs appear to be interchangeable, but offense isn’t very vertical;
n Green Bay may have the league MVP and plays great with the lead, but has problems stopping the run when it trails;
n Seattle has the savvy QB, and a couple of athletic specimens, but has the worst offensive line among the 14 playoff qualifiers.
n Los Angeles features the best defense, especially the secondary, in the NFC and is probably the healthiest team in the league.
n Looking to crack into the Pick-Six over the next month — Steelers (have faded since 11-0 start), Bucs (Tom Brady presence), and Titans and Browns (both with potent running games).
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at email@example.com