History is not on the Giants’ side if they lose this one

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When you are a Super Bowl contender, when the expectations are XLVI miles high, when you play in New York, when you are embarrassed by the Cowboys on Opening Night, disaster trumps euphoria in a Big Apple minute, and it is never too early to face The Must-Win Game.

The Giants Must Win on Monday night.

And they know it.

“That first one, it hurt because it was a division game against a rivalry team, it’s also in the NFC, so this is a Must-Win Game,” Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie told The Post, “[to] keep you in where you want to be at the end of the season, that’s in the playoffs.

“So it’s definitely a game that we have to win.

“And it’s at home. You don’t want to lose your home game.”

Landon Collins called the Cowboys game a tone-setter.

The tone had better change, and it had better change now.

An 0-1 start doesn’t mean it’s time to panic.

An 0-2 start is an entirely different story.

Two straight losses would ignite and invite a crisis of confidence.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie pursues Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley during the Giants’ Week 1 loss.

“We don’t see that … we don’t see that happening,” Collins said.

Must-Win Game, though, right?

“Must-Win Game, yeah,” Collins said.

The Elias Sports Bureau reminds us that since 2002, the first year of eight divisions, only 13 of 124 teams have advanced to the playoffs following an 0-2 start. The 2007 Giants, who were one of those teams, will be celebrated Monday.

The Real Giants must stand up, with or without Odell Beckham Jr. and The World’s Most Famous Ankle.

You cannot lose your home opener to the Matthew Stafford Lions — on a night when those Super Bowl XLII champion Giants are being honored — and fall to 0-2 when the only alternative is redemption following Doomsday at Dallas.

You cannot roll into Philadelphia in Week 3 with the Eagles and their bloodthirsty fans at the Linc smelling blood.

This is supposed to be a Super Bowl contender.

Let’s see that team Monday night.

Let’s see Ben McAdoo fix the offense and let’s see how the players respond to him.

Let’s see Eli Manning take charge as a battlefield commander and inspire his team.

Let’s see the embattled offensive line show some pride and stop being a comedy of errors.

Let’s see enough of a running game to give Manning some balance.

Let’s see that heavy-handed team McAdoo keeps talking about.

Let’s see Brandon Marshall involved, and let’s not see an offense on the defensive.

Let’s see Manning’s Giants reach 20 points for the first time since Nov. 27, 2016.

Let’s see the Big Blue defense help the offense with a takeaway or two and get off the field on third down.

Let’s see Big Blue refuse to allow one of Stafford’s patented fourth-quarter comebacks and close out the game.

“We’re not sneaking up on nobody, expectations should be to go out there and to dominate,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.

Don’t be 0-2.

“We’re at the basement right now,” Pugh said. “We did not play well first game of the season, so the only way to go is up. I think we’re definitely gonna come away with some confidence because we can’t play worse than we played before.”

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo recalled being unable to find his wife Maria during the postgame Super Bowl XLII euphoria.

“I never got to hold the Lombardi Trophy,” Spagnuolo said.

The odds will be against him holding it again if the Giants fall to 0-2.



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