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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was just three weeks ago that Antrel Rolle made the New York Giants' locker room sound as inviting as a penitentiary.
Guys weren't having fun and the safety felt the environment was too controlled after the Giants lost 38-14 in Indianapolis.
These days, every day spent with Big Blue is like going to Chuck E. Cheese's, except the slogan should be, "Where an adult Giant can be a kid."
Riding a two-game winning streak, the Giants, who proudly owned the top-ranked defense in the NFL through Sunday's games, are having fun in everything they are doing -- and it is showing.
|Antrel Rolle's Giants rebounded from two straight losses with two big victories.|
"Guys in the locker room jelling with each other, joking with each other, just trying to do whatever you can do to make sure you never work a day in your life right now," Rolle said a day after the Giants dismantled the Texans. "That is what it feels like right now coming to work. It feels like we are not actually coming here to work."
The opposite can be said for any offense facing the Giants now. Just ask the Bears and Texans.
"If I was an offensive player, I'd be scared," Rolle said when asked what opposing teams must be thinking when looking at tape on the Giants' defense.
After holding the Bears and Texans to a combined total of 305 net yards the past two weeks, the Giants now set their sights on the Detroit Lions (1-4).
Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been out since the opening game with a shoulder injury and star wide receiver Calvin Johnson injured his shoulder during the Lions' 44-6 win over the Rams on Sunday. Rookie running back Jahvid Best also has been dealing with a toe injury.
Still, the Giants are dealing with an offense that has playmakers. But Perry Fewell's defense has done a better job than any other unit in the past two weeks of smothering offenses.
The numbers the Giants have put up are staggering. They have collected 13 sacks, forced five turnovers and surrendered a total of 83 yards rushing in the past two wins.
Chicago and Houston went a combined 2-for-24 on third downs against the Giants (3-2).
It's no wonder the Giants ranked first in total defense and pass defense going into the Monday night's game between the Jets and Vikings.
The Giants are becoming more comfortable with Fewell's schemes and they trust each other to do their jobs and handle their respective responsibilities, such as filling gaps and containment.
Players are learning what each other's strengths and weaknesses are. And five games into the season, the Giants are getting better.
"The thing I honestly felt that we were missing back then was guys were not having fun," Rolle said of his critical comments made three weeks ago when he questioned the team's leadership and fire, as well. "I can't say that now because we are having the time of our lives out there. It's like being a little kid. We might be adults, but at the same time when we go out and do something we want to have fun doing it."
Now Rolle can't wait to come to work every day, even if it is on the team's off day on Tuesday. It's as if the Giants' practice facility was filled with arcade games and pizza.
"I think that as our team comes together, I did notice the support, the enthusiasm, the outstanding play, people taking pride and great joy in the success of others," head coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. "I thought that that was very strong yesterday, as well."
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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