new york giants
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

It’s been a while since onlookers were generally optimistic about the New York Giants. That positivity is currently present, nonetheless.

This past Monday felt different for those in and around the New York Giants. It wasn’t the first Victory Monday of the 2020 season, but a unique one, to say the least.

The overall importance surrounding the Giants’ win over the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles, of course, was the reason for that unique, optimistic feeling. It was a 27-17 victory in which more aspects looked beneficial for the Giants than detrimental.

So when’s the last time Big Blue and its impatient fans felt this specific emotion?

You may need to go all the way back to Week 3 of the 2019 season, a game in which then-rookie quarterback Daniel Jones scored the game-winning touchdown in his first-ever start. It was a score that gave the Giants their inaugural win of the season and seemingly turned the page to what seemed, at the time, like better days.

But then again, the Giants should’ve indeed lost that game to the Buccaneers. The defense was less-than-stellar in that matchup, if you can recall, and Tampa Bay placekicker Matt Gay missed a chip-shot field goal while time expired.

So if it’s not that game, you would then likely need to look back even further, all the way to the Week 14 win over the Cowboys in 2016. That 10-7 victory not only sealed the sweep of Dallas but solidified the Giants as a legitimate contender in the NFC en route to their first playoff berth since the Super Bowl-winning 2011 season.

For what it’s worth: the Giants haven’t defeated the Cowboys since that very Sunday Night Football meeting.

Sure, three huge wins over the course of five separate seasons is pretty depressing. The fact that the Giants are 3-7 despite sitting in second place in the division is also pretty depressing.

But at this point, fans aren’t focused on that; they’re focused on the present and ultimate future.

And Sunday’s win is surely defining the present — a period of time possessing optimism that maybe the Giants do have something going for them.

Sunday portrayed an improving young quarterback who’s distancing himself from the turnover-related issues, a developing offensive line, a defense that’s definitely stronger than other units in the NFL, and a coaching staff capable of correctly preparing its team.

And that’s what fans were asking for amid the 0-5 start, right?

Fans longed for Jones to efficiently develop, the offensive line to be somewhat competent, and the playcalling (more specifically on the offensive side of the ball) to become more creative and effective.

The Week 10 win portrayed each of those things.

It’s not just about the crucial victory — the Giants’ first over Philly since the 2016 season — but additionally about what happened during the game, and how the on-field actions of the team can carry over to the succeeding weeks en route to a potential division title.

And what occurred is certainly giving fans legitimate optimism — a feeling they haven’t experienced in quite some time.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.