Winning three-quarters of your games in the NFL gets up into the playoffs. Winning just three quarters of each individual game, though?

That gets you where the Giants are right now: 0-2.

To get out of it, they have to close.

"Seventy-five percent of the games in the National Football League, 24 out of 32, are seven points or less in the fourth quarter," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "The game is a fourth-quarter game in the National Football League."

Unfortunately for him the Giants have not been a fourth-quarter team, blowing consecutive 10-point leads. If they are lucky enough to be up at the end against Washington on Thursday night (8:30 p.m on CBS and NFL Network), they'll need to deliver or be looked at as chokers.

"We've got to be able to be productive when the game is on the line and the pressure is there to perform," Coughlin said of the team's biggest issue. "That's exactly what it is."

 

THE X-FACTOR

 

Kirk Cousins vs. Brandon Meriweather

Asked to assess the skills of Cousins, a teammate in Washington for three seasons, Meriweather broke into a sustained laugh. Take that as you will. The important thing is who's laughing last at the end of this game. Washington was never happy with Meriweather's coverage ability, but with the Giants, he's more of an enforcer than a cover-man. Cousins is having a good start to the season, completing 75.9 percent of his passes in two games, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Of course, last year Cousins came into an early primetime game against the Giants and wound up throwing four interceptions. Meriweather laughed at that too. "That's a good thing, right?" Meriweather said even though he probably didn't see it as such when it occurred to his teammate a year ago. "I'm a Giant now."

 

WHO'S GOT THE EDGE

 

How the Giants and Washington stack up:

Category: Giants // Washington

Scoring: 23 (16t) // 17 (28t)

Passing: 240.5 (15) // 189.5 (27)

Rushing: 98 (19) // 171.5 (1)

Points allowed: 25.5 (18t) // 13.5 (3)

Passing defense: 351 (32) // 164 (2)

Rushing defense: 68 (3) // 70.5 (4)

 

FUN FACT

 

Perry Fewell, the former Giants defensive coordinator who was fired after last season, is Washington's defensive backs coach this season. He seems to be leaking more psychological information to his new team than football knowledge. "Perry Fewell came from there so he gave us a little bit of an insight on what Tom Coughlin is probably telling those guys," CB DeAngelo Hall told reporters. "It's nothing but more motivation to come out there and really show them what this team is about."