Because it feels like a lifetime ago, it’s difficult for many of the Giants to remember exactly what the vibe in the home locker room was like on Sept. 29 at MetLife Stadium.
They had just defeated the Redskins 24-3, were riding a two-game winning streak to erase an 0-2 start to get to 2-2 at the schedule’s quarter pole and there was an overwhelming sense of hope and excitement for what was ahead.
The week before, after all, was when rookie quarterback Daniel Jones made his debut and played hero in a scintillating 32-31 comeback victory over the Buccaneers in Tampa.
Fast forward to Monday. The 2-10 Giants will play the 5-7 Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, and 70 days will have passed since their last win. That’s enough to turn even the most optimistic of optimists into a pessimist, wondering if another win ever will come.
And now an unsightly franchise record that no one wants to be any part of looms in the darkness Monday night.
A loss to the Eagles and the Giants would tie the franchise record for the longest losing streak in club history (nine).
“You don’t want to be a part of any record that’s bad,’’ safety Michael Thomas told The Post on Friday.
“Right now, everybody’s uptight,’’ safety Antoine Bethea said. “You can say whatever you want to say, but everybody’s uptight because we’re 2-10 and on this losing streak. A win — even though it would only be our third — it would help some people take a deep breath.’’
Oxygen has been at a premium these days around the Giants as speculation about the job security of head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman has gained momentum with each loss.
This is, indeed, rarified air in which the Giants have been living for the past 70 days. For all the wrong reasons. It has left every player in the locker room perplexed about what has gone wrong since the record was 2-2 and hope permeated the same room in which desperation and defeat now reside.
“At 2-2, we wanted to build off of it, get some momentum,’’ Bethea said. “Obviously, we went the other way. No one thought we’d go on the losing streak that we did.’’
Eight in a row, with a record-tying ninth looming.
The Giants’ first nine-game skid — from Sept. 9, 1976 to Nov. 7, 1976 — cost head coach Bill Arnsparger his job. He was fired after an 0-7 start to the 1976 season.
The second one — Nov. 9, 2003 and Sept. 12, 2004 — cost Jim Fassel his job, after the Giants lost their final eight games following a 4-4 start.
Is Shurmur next?
Is a milestone still a milestone if it’s a dubious distinction?
“I can honestly tell you that hasn’t been a conversation any of us has had,’’ Thomas said of being associated with the losing-streak record. “The only thing on our minds is to get a win this week. It sucks, but you lose track after a minute how many in a row you’ve lost. We’re just trying to figure out what it’s going to take for us to get one win.’’
Nine in a row. No one wants to be a part of that. Not after the 2-2 start. It’s been numbing.
“It was a good feeling being 2-2,’’ receiver Sterling Shepard said. “But you’ve got to move on pretty quick in this league, trying to be better than the previous week. So that was probably the focus at that time. Nobody plans to go on a whatever-game losing streak.
“I don’t think anybody’s paying attention to [the losing streak record]. It’s more about what we have to do to get a W. I don’t think anyone’s putting any extra pressure on themselves not to be a part of that conversation. If we take care of business, we shouldn’t have to worry about being a part of that conversation.’’
Tight end Evan Engram recalled being 2-2.
“Winning two in a row boosts your confidence and raises your expectations even more,’’ Engram said.
“We were confident at 2-2 that we could make a run, stack the wins,’’ center Jon Halapio told The Post. “We definitely didn’t think we’d be on a losing streak like we are now. Yeah, that 2-2 feeling was definitely a different feeling than we have now. We were right there, in the division, had everything working for us.’’
Since then, nothing has worked as the Giants’ season has resembled one of those amusement-park rides on which the floor collapses and disappears. The only thing about this ride the Giants have been on: There has been nothing amusing about it at all.
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