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Giants at the quarter pole of the season

10/04/2012 12:29 PM ET
By Ed Valentine

Eli Manning and the Giants are still seeking consistency early in the season.(AP)
Entering the 2012 season New York Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin made ‘Build the Bridge’ the theme for the defending Super Bowl champions. Coughlin wanted to see his team build on the six straight end-of-the-season victories it used to win the 2012 Super Bowl, rather than show the frustrating inconsistency that left them 7-7 heading into the final two games of the 2011 season.

Things have not exactly gone according to Coughlin’s script so far in 2012.

At the quarter-pole of the NFL season the Giants are 2-2, having suffered losses to the NFC East rivals Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles while defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.

The beginning of the 2012 season has been marked not by the consistent championship-caliber football Coughlin wanted to see. It has, instead, been marked by frustrating, inconsistent football the Giants so often displayed in 2010, when they went 10-6 and missed the playoffs, and again last season before going on their title run.

"We're 2-2 right now. It's not the ideal situation, but you could be a lot worse. Philadelphia is 3-1, we're not far out. There's a lot of football to be played. We've still got four more divisional games. It's a lot of football left,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “Everybody knows we're going to see Philadelphia again the last game of the regular season. I have a feeling that's going to be a big game for us."

Here are some quarter-pole Giants awards:

MVP: Eli Manning -- Still the team’s best and most important player. He is on pace to throw for 5,280 yards and has the best passer rating of his career at 94.3.

Defensive MVP: Jason Pierre-Paul -- This is the guy everyone who plays the Giants game plans for, and everyone looks for. This guy is not Lawrence Taylor, but he is the best defensive player the Giants have had since LT.

Most Disappointing Player: That would have to be veteran cornerback Corey Webster. With injuries and inexperience making the corner opposite Webster a question mark the giants counted on Webster to be a rock in their secondary. He has been anything but. Pro Football Focus, which uses a +/- system to grade individual player performance, grades Webster No. 99 out of the 100 cornerbacks who have played at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps thus far.

By the Numbers
Offense:
7th overall (411 yards per game); Passing -- 2nd (321.5 yards per game); Running -- 23rd (92 yards per game, 3.9 yards per carry).

Defense: Yards per game -- 22nd (372.2); Rushing -- 21st (118.2 yards per game); Passing -- 19th (254 yards per game); Sacks -- 18th (8).

Special Teams: Kickoff returns -- 6th (27.2 yards per return); Punt returns -- 19th (9.0 yards per return).

Individual Leaders
Passing: Eli Manning (103-of-160, 1,320 yards, 330 yards per game, 7 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, passer rating 94.3)

Receiving: Victor Cruz (32 catches, 388 yards, 12.1 yards per catch, 2 touchdowns);Martellus Bennett (16 catches, 187 yards, 11.7 yards per catch, 3 touchdowns)

Rushing: Andre Brown (38 carries, 198 yards, 5.2 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns); Ahmad Bradshaw (35 carries, 133 yards, 3.8 yards per carry, 1 touchdown).

Kickoff returns: David Wilson (13 returns, 393 yards, 30.2 yards per return).

Punt returns: Reuben Randle (6 returns, 9.7 yards per return).

Ed Valentine is founder and editor of BigBlueView.com, SB Nation's New York Giants website. Follow him on Twitter: @bigblueview

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