By PAUL SCHWARTZ
The bridge has been torn down, forcing the Giants to create their own identity, no longer tethered to the Super Bowl glory of a year ago. There is no way to say anything that happened last season has anything to do with this season, not after the Giants went down to Georgia and were bedeviled by the Falcons in a historically bad loss yesterday.
Seven days after a joyride 52-27 pounding of the Saints, the Giants believed they were a team on the rise but indeed found out the folly of that thought. They did nothing on either side of the ball and were thoroughly and completely humbled and embarrassed by the Falcons 34-0 inside the Georgia Dome in a statement game for both teams.
(12-2) showed they are for real. The Giants (8-6), leaving themselves with no playoff-entry margin for error, showed they are capable of anything, anywhere, good, bad or indifferent, which is no way for a true contender to operate.
“I’m tired of that ‘We’ve been here before.’ Forget all that,’’ Jason Pierre-Paul said. “I’m tired of hearing it. There’s no ‘We’ve been here before.’ ’’
He’s right. These Giants — now the third-place Giants — have not been here before, not after absorbing the worst shutout loss by a defending Super Bowl champion in NFL history. It was the first time under Tom Coughlin the Giants have been shut out in the regular season — the only other shutout was a playoff loss to the Panthers in 2005.