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5 questions for after the bye week

1. Which Giants team will show up?


> Fact or Fiction: Toughest game after bye?
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> Best photos from first half of season
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> Mid-Season Review: Offense
> Mid-Season Review: Defense

Starting 0-2 for the second straight season, the Giants then went on a three-game winning streak only to fall back below .500 before the bye week with consecutive road losses to NFC East opponents.

Speaking to the media before the break, coach Tom Coughlin was asked a simple question: "Where is this team right now?" He responded, "We are probably somewhere between the kind of night we had in Washington and how we were [on Sunday in Dallas]. I am not going to comment on the Eagles game. We have nine games to play. Hopefully we will be able to talk about this team being a lot better than you see it right now." The Washington game he referred to was a 45-14 victory. The Dallas and Philadelphia ones, on the other hand, were both losses by a combined score of 58-21, dropping the Giants to 3-4 on the season.

2. What will the injury report look like?

Unfortunately, injuries play a large role in football, and the Giants are dealing with their own at the bye week. The number of players on the injured reserve list hit double digits when wide receiver Victor Cruz and cornerback Trumaine McBride suffered season-ending injuries against the Eagles.

Meanwhile, the bye week buys some time for injured players like running back Rashad Jennings (missed last two games with a knee injuries), cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (dealing with back and hamstring issues), linebacker Jon Beason (left the Dallas game with a lingering toe injury) and guard Geoff Schwartz (currently on injured reserve/designated to return but is expected to return to practice after the bye). We'll see what their timetables are coming off the week of rest.

3. Can the receiver corps fill the void?

Check out all 19 touchdowns that the Giants have scored this season presented by Taco Bell

In the first full game without their most productive receiver, quarterback Eli Manning and the Giants generated 248 yards and three touchdowns through the air against the Cowboys. Two of those scores went to rookie first-round draft choice Odell Beckham Jr., who now has three touchdowns in three games. His production is certain to keep climbing the rest of the way, but others will need to contribute as well.

Preston Parker has shown he can step up in averaging 13.6 yards per catch this season, while the Giants can also look at veteran Kevin Ogletree, whom they signed in the wake of Cruz's injury, and rookie Corey Washington.

4. Will the lines lead the way?

As complex and specialized as football has become, one thing never changes: teams can't go anywhere without winning the line of scrimmage. The Giants, who have started the same five offensive linemen in every game this season, were excelling up front during their three-game winning streak but had a rude wakeup call in the 27-0 loss in Philadelphia where they allowed eight sacks. The unit responded well enough to not allow a sack one week later against Dallas, but as offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said this week, the group isn't where it needs to be.

Meanwhile, the defensive front has given up 359 yards on the ground over the last two games, albeit against two of the best rushers in the league, LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray. But the good news is that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is coming off one of his best performances in recent memory. Is that a sign of things to come in the second leg of the season? We'll see.

5. Can they keep pace?

Looking for their first playoff berth since the 2011 Super Bowl run, the Giants dug themselves into a hole in the NFC East race, sitting three games back on their idle week. And it's not helping that the division-leading Cowboys (6-1) are the hottest team in the NFL, owning the league's longest win streak at six games. Behind them are the Eagles (5-1), who went into their Week 6 bye with two straight wins.

The Giants also have to contend with Green Bay (5-2), San Francisco (4-3), Seattle (3-3), and Chicago (3-4), who are all ahead of Big Blue for a Wild Card spot.

Check out some of the best photos from the first half of the season

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