The Giants' remarkable turnaround has put the team in an improbable position. After starting the season 0-6, New York has won four games in a row and is just 1.5 games out of first place in the awful NFC East. If the Giants were to make the playoffs, they would become the first team that started 0-6 to do so.
But as remarkable as New York's story is, it has nothing on the implausibility of one of the team's rising stars, cornerback Terrell Thomas.
Thomas, New York's second-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft, has torn his ACL three times in his career -- once in college at USC and twice with the Giants. He tore his ACL in the 2011 preseason and in training camp in 2012, forcing him to sit out each of the past two years. After leading the Giants in tackles in both 2009 and 2010, Thomas' return to the gridiron seemed questionable.
But Thomas refused to quit. He rehabbed diligently over the offseason and came back this season ready to play. In a recent interview, Thomas opened up to Fox Sports about his emotional roller coaster of a career.
After entering training camp without a guaranteed spot on the roster, Thomas proved himself to coaches and has worked his way into the secondary rotation. He's been particularly important to a suddenly-ferocious New York defense that has limited its last four opponents to a combined two offensive touchdowns.
Thomas' 11 tackles, sack and forced fumble against Philadelphia on Oct. 27 earned him NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
In the Giants' next game, Thomas recorded a game-changing interception of Terrelle Pryor. On Sunday against the Packers, Thomas led all Giants defenders with seven tackles.
“As the weeks go by, so on and so on, I start feeling better,” Thomas said this week. “I just feel I’m getting back to my old self. Physically, I feel like a healthy offseason will be needed for me to regain my old form. But mentally, I feel like the game is finally slowing down for me.”
While the Giants' four-game winning streak has inspired hope in the team and its fans, New York hasn't faced an elite quarterback in any of those contests. That changes this weekend when Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys roll into MetLife Stadium. Romo is having a typically solid season, and the Cowboys' six interceptions are the second fewest in the NFL.
The schedule doesn't get much easier for the Giants, who have the hardest remaining schedule in their division. But with the way Thomas and the Giants' defense have been playing, it would be foolish to count them out of the playoff hunt. After all, Thomas has overcome larger hurdles before.
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