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New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins answers a question during a postgame press conference after an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo)

The New York Giants’ 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday dropped their record to 0-5 for the NFL’s 2017 season. History says the Giants will spend the rest of the season playing out the string. All-Pro strong safety Landon Collins says otherwise.

“We’re still playing for the Super Bowl,” Collins said after the loss. “We still have a chance. It’s not over yet. We still have division games. We still can win. I remember a 9-7 team winning it all, so we’ve still got a chance.”

Only one team in NFL history has opened a season with an 0-4 record and gone to the playoffs that year — the 1992 San Diego Chargers. No team that started a season with five straight losses has reached the postseason.

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Let’s see what Giants players were talking about on Wednesday

What are New York Giants players saying as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers? Let’s look at some of it.

Justin Pugh Will Play “Wherever The Wind Takes Me”

Offensive lineman Justin Pugh will be ready regardless of whether the Giants ask him to play right tackle or left guard on Sunday.

“I’m feeling comfortable at both spots right now. So, wherever they need me. Last week, I was getting ready if I had to go play center, I was going to go play center. So, it’s just wherever the wind takes me,” Pugh said.

Pugh admitted that changing sides of the line can be difficult, but said he finds moving around to be “fun.”

“It’s like a new challenge. A lot of times going in and getting some center reps this week, too, it was like alright something totally different, something totally new. So, it’s kind of interesting. It kind of keeps me on my toes,” he said. “It helps me be a better guard eventually when I go back to my natural position because I know the struggle as a tackle and I know how to better communicate with Ereck (Flowers) and work with Ereck because I know the stresses in the protections and where he needs help. So, it’s something that I think is going to make me a better player overall and then hopefully I’ll be able to show it.”

Eli Apple Remains Confident

Cornerback Eli Apple has given up six touchdown passes over the last 34 times he has been targeted, but the 2016 first-round pick says he has not lost confidence.

“Any time you’re lined up against great receivers, like [Tampa Bay wide receiver] Mike Evans, he’s going to get the best of you sometimes and it happens. I just wish I was able to stay on him more in the game, they kind of took me off of him and put me on DeSean Jackson. But, this is a learning curve, it’s a learning lesson and that’s how I take everything,” Apple said. “I know anytime something does happen, I take the approach that I didn’t really give it up, kind of. It was just something that I did, that I made a mistake. It wasn’t, the dude was just better than me. I never think that on the football field. I always think like, ‘Dang, if I would’ve done this differently, I would’ve made the play.’ So, anytime I line up on the football field, I have 100 percent confidence, no matter what.”

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants running back carousel goes round and round. It never seems to stop. It goes through backs at an alarming rate, without any making a substantial impact.

It has been five years since any Giants running back topped 1,000 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw was the last to do it in 2012. (Note: An average of 12 running backs top 1K yards over the past five years.) Since then, the Giants have started Andre Brown, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Jacobs (in his second time around), David Wilson, Michael Cox, Andre Williams, Rashad Jennings, Orleans Darkwa, Shane Vereen and Paul Perkins.

Rookie Wayne Gallman could be next. He’s the latest addition to perhaps the most unpredictable running back rotation in the league.

Gallman had 11 carries for 43 yards in his first career game on Sunday in Tampa Bay. That workload was the result of Perkins suffering a rib injury in the second half and Darkwa being inactive after being slowed by a back problem.

The state of the Giants running game is scary. They’re 31st in the NFL, averaging 59.3 yards per game, and no Giants running back has topped 11 carries in a contest this season. That was Gallman on Sunday. It’s not a desirable way for a running back or fantasy owner to live.

So where do the Giants go from here, beginning Sunday when they host the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium? The running back picture is again loaded with uncertainty. Nothing appears set.

“We have very capable backs we have a lot of confidence in,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “Perkins is obviously nicked up. He’s a good back. We still believe in him, have a lot of confidence in him. You saw the energy that Gallman brought to the game. Orleans is a guy we can throw in and be a big, productive runner for us. And Shane is going to play his role.”

It’s difficult for a running back to play with a rib injury. There is a distinct possibility that Perkins, who was limited at practice on Wednesday, will be held out of Sunday’s games. That leaves Gallman and Darkwa (for now) as the primary ball carriers with Vereen remaining the passing-down back.

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5 reasons the winless New York Giants (0-4) will knock off the winless Los Angeles Chargers * (0-4) on Sunday in New Jersey.

Ground control: L.A. ranks near the bottom at running the ball and stopping the run. This is a rough way to win games, be it football or rugby.

Lack of faith: Habitual losing saps confidence and trust. Though both teams are winless, the Giants can draw from a deeper confidence bank, having reached the playoffs last winter. Most of L.A.’s starters and key backups are riding an 0-9 losing streak. Go back nearly a year – Nov. 27, at Houston – for the last time the lightning-bolt players reaped the positive reinforcement that an NFL victory provides.

Fake-grass challenge: This will be L.A.’s first game on synthetic turf after having played all eight games (including the four preseason exhibitions) on grass. “Walk-through” sessions were on synthetic turf at Orange Coast College two months ago — but practices were limited to the grass field at the team’s complex in Costa Mesa. Ideally, the team would acclimate itself to the Giants stadium surface on Saturday, but the workout will be at local high school facility. Pregame warmups will help.

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Let’s see what NFL analysts think of the 0-4 Giants

The New York Giants fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, 25-23. New York is now 0-4, with an extremely long road to make the postseason. With the NFL Power Rankings coming out on various platforms this morning, let’s see where the Giants fall.

We went through 10 different site’s power rankings and the Giants came out at No. 28 when you aggregate the various lists. They are as high as No. 27 on Yahoo and as low at No. 31 on SB Nation. Here is an aggregation of all of the rankings and the explanations.

SB Nation (No. 31)

The Giants were last in the SB Nation rankings a week ago. That ‘dishonor’ now goes to the Cleveland Browns.

Yahoo (No. 27)

I’ll admit, I was totally wrong on the Giants. I thought the defense would be great again and the offense would be good enough. The defense has been OK, and the offense has been spotty. Now we have to start wondering if Ben McAdoo can save his job. (But it’s still tough to rank them and the Chargers this low, because to be honest, we all know neither team is this bad.) (No. 27)

Last Week’s Rank: 21

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 104

Highest-Place Vote: 17th

Lowest-Place Vote: 31st

Last Week’s Result: Loss at Tampa Bay, 25-23

Week 5 Opponent: vs. L.A. Chargers (No. 27)

Watching Nick Folk‘s game-winning kick sail through the uprights, the Giants might have felt like the ship was sailing on their season. According to the beat writers who cover Big Blue on the regular, several prominent players wouldn’t talk after the game, either. At least Snacks Harrison responded to his critics via Twitter, owning up to his subpar play to this point. So is it over for the 2017 Giants? I’ve been in this business too long to go that far. Yet, with the Broncos and Seahawks coming up before the Week 8 bye …

Bleacher Report/Simms (No. 28)

Last Week’s Ranking: 22

The first thing we have to address—and this has been a recurring theme with the New York Giants—is the poor game management of Ben McAdoo. This is a team that has a lackluster running game and should want to rely on an efficient short-passing game and stout defense. Some of McAdoo’s decisions are making that plan difficult.

His decision to go for it on fourth down early in the game in field-goal position cost the team points. His decision to challenge what he thought was a Mike Evans catch/fumble in the second half cost his team a much-needed timeout. Anyone who has watched football over the last three years knew that wasn’t a catch. Calling a timeout before a two-point play is also inexcusable.

The Giants are not built to score loads of points, and they’re not good enough to overcome McAdoo’s questionable decision-making.

What’s also alarming is how inefficient the defensive line has been, albeit without highly paid pass-rusher Olivier Vernon. New York is getting run on, and it’s struggling to pressure opposing quarterbacks. Yes, Vernon was out, but this has been a trend.

The secondary is still terrific, Odell Beckham Jr. is great as always, and the Giants may have found their running back in Wayne Gallman. However, the Giants keep beating themselves and have a winless record because of it.

USA Today (No. 29)

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Human nature is a force more powerful than the NFL’s strongest player.

Human nature has been fracturing losing locker rooms and pulling players apart since the inception of team sports.

The 0-4 Giants, one of the league’s four winless teams, are the most vulnerable to a fractured locker room because, unlike the other three, they were supposed to be a Super Bowl contender this year.

The 0-4 49ers, with a rookie general manager and head coach, are in a long-term rebuild. The 0-4 Browns, well, they stink every year. And the 0-4 Chargers, with a rookie head coach in tow, are bitter about their hasty move from San Diego to L.A., where nobody cares about them.

So it’s possible that the Giants’ greatest savior at the moment is the fact that they play the Chargers on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. It’s possible the nomadic Chargers could be just the elixir the Giants so desperately need as they try to find themselves — and their first win.

To borrow from the great Tom Petty, who died suddenly at age 66 on Monday: “Even the losers get lucky sometimes.’’

But what if the Giants don’t capitalize on that luck? What if they don’t defeat a Chargers team they’re supposed to beat at home?

Then what? Then their locker room, already a place occupied by confused players who are wondering how this has all gone so wrong so quickly, could be ready to crack.

That is human nature, after all.

Because of that, the veteran leaders inside the Giants locker room are on high alert for any signs of internal fracturing, and they should be.

“It’s definitely something that we’re concerned about,’’ linebacker Jonathan Casillas told The Post on Tuesday. “No one wants to be where we’re at right now, and it’s really hard to have 53 guys motivated when you haven’t won since last December [Jan. 1 actually].’’

The Giants, indeed, haven’t had a lot in the way of positive reinforcement in too long. By the time they take the field against the Chargers Sunday, it will have been 282 days since they won a game — their New Year’s Day win over the Redskins in the 2016 regular-season finale.

Four players remain on the Giants roster who were a part of the 2013 team that started the season 0-6, won five of the next six and finished 7-9 — Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Pugh and Zak DeOssie. That team, remarkably, avoided fracturing from within and remained close.

Asked on Tuesday if has any concern about this locker room fracturing, Manning told The Post, “I haven’t seen any symptoms of that.’’

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Brandon Marshall leaves the field after the Giants lost to the Buccaneers on Sunday.

When Brandon Marshall signed with the Giants in March, it was a move aimed at winning, not reeling in the dollars.

“They definitely didn’t offer me the most money — it was probably the least amount of money,’’ Marshall said at the time. “It was all about championships, to get straight to the point. They presented the best opportunity to be in a championship organization.’’

Fast forward to October, and Marshall is losing out on both counts.

Through four weeks it’s been a disappointing start to the season for both team and player, with the Giants still searching for a first win and Marshall still searching for a way to make an impact, never mind finding the end zone.

“I haven’t played the way I wanted to play,” Marshall said Tuesday. “I hold myself to a high standard, the guys around me hold me to a high standard. There’s high expectations on all of us. Looking at myself in the mirror, I want to pick up my play and I will do that. But I’m not going to waste too much time thinking about the past. If I do that, then the future’s going to be really ugly.”

After four games with his new team, Marshall has recorded just 16 receptions (on 30 targets) for 139 yards. One of his most memorable moments in a Giants uniform happened for all the wrong reasons: dropping a deep pass from Eli Manning late in the Week 2 loss to the Lions.

Marshall, 33, has been traded around in his career, from the Broncos to the Dolphins to the Bears and then to the Jets, without ever making the playoffs. When he finally had a chance to pick his own destination, with his career winding down, he chose the Giants.

The six-time Pro Bowler said he wanted a championship owner, which he saw in John Mara, a championship quarterback like two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, a great defense — the Giants had the league’s No. 2-ranked defense in 2016 and was bringing back most of its talent on that side of the ball — and a No. 1 receiver on the other side, a role that Odell Beckham Jr. clearly owned.

The match that appeared to be made in heaven has quickly come crashing down.

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Fullback Shane Smith was signed to the Giants’ practice squad. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

EAST RUTHERFORD — The Giants have a fullback again. Sort of.

One day after waiving Shane Smith from the active roster, the Giants will re-sign the fullback to their practice squad, a person familiar with the situation confirmed to NJ Advance media. Smith’s signing was first reported by The Record.

Smith got caught in the numbers crunch, as the Giants promoted defensive Cap Capi from the practice squad and re-signed linebacker Deontae Skinner on Thursday to provide depth due to injuries on defense. The Giants also placed linebacker J.T. Thomas (groin) on injured reserve on Thursday.

“We felt we were nicked up at a couple different spots and that’s what we felt we had to do for the team,” coach Ben McAdoo said of the decision to cut Smith.

Smith will take the open spot on the practice squad created by Capi’s promotion. The Giants clearly liked the 6-foot-1, 241-pound Smith, who made the team as an undrafted free agent out of San Jose State.

Smith played just 12 offensive snaps in the first three games of the season. He didn’t play a single offensive snap in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Eagles, as the Giants deployed a pass-happy up-tempo offense.

Smith played 37 special teams snaps on the punt, punt return and kickoff return units in the first three games.

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The Giants face the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, Sunday at 4:05 PM ET:


Irritated is the way coach Ben McAdoo described the mood of the Giants coming off a heartbreaking loss in Philadelphia, their third in a row to start a season that began with high expectations. Meanwhile, their three NFC East rivals all improved to 2-1 as Big Blue fell to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the division. Now the Giants head to Tampa Bay, where they will take on a 1-1 Buccaneers team that is looking to rebound from a 34-17 loss to the Vikings.

“We need to keep fighting through,” McAdoo said this week. “I believe in this team. I believe in the potential of this team. It starts with me, and we need to keep fighting to get better and we need to keep fighting to get the win. Got to get that first one.”


Big Blue looks to extend a five-game winning streak over the Buccaneers this week. In their most recent matchup, the Giants defeated the Bucs, 32-18, at Raymond James Stadium in 2015. The streak also includes a 24-14 wild card win in their Super Bowl XLII run. The Giants have outscored the Buccaneers, 138-69, in that span.


Questionable: DE Olivier Vernon (ankle), LB Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist), RB Orleans Darkwa (back), OL Brett Jones (hip)


Out: LB Kwon Alexander (hamstring)
Doubtful: LB Lavonte Davis (ankle), S T.J. Ward (hip)
Questionable: DE Robert Ayers (knee), CB Brent Grimes (shoulder), DT Gerald McCoy (ankle), DE Noah Spence (shoulder), G J.R. Sweezy (back)

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was fined $12,154 for his touchdown celebration in which he simulated a dog urinating during a loss Sunday to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Beckham’s actions drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, which was assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

It also left owner John Mara “very unhappy” with his star receiver. The two had a meeting this week in which Beckham said he regretted the penalty but not necessarily his actions.

“I’m a dog, so I acted like a dog,” Beckham told reporters after the game. “I don’t know if the rulebook said you can’t hike your leg. He said I peed on somebody, so I was trying to find the imaginary ghost that I peed on. But I didn’t see him.”

Beckham also said Sunday he didn’t think there was anything wrong with the celebration. He later added there was uncertainty with the new celebration rules.

Giants rookie tight end Evan Engram was also fined $12,154 for his celebration the preceding week. Engram grabbed his crotch after his first career touchdown.

Coach Ben McAdoo said this week that the celebration penalties reflected poorly on him and that the team has put a plan in place to handle the situation.

Beckham hinted on social media on Monday that his celebration was in response to President Donald Trump’s recent comments about NFL players. He declined to address that topic during his weekly news conference on Wednesday.

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