31-13. And this loss wasn't even that close. The lone Giants TD came in garbage time. So what happened? The Giants did not come out with energy, and lacked crispness/focus/execution all game. Dropped balls, Eli turnovers, Bradshaw turnover, 75 yard special teams swing on a penalty, special teams returners bumping into one another when both tried to catch the ball, more red zone failures (0-2 when it mattered), 0 sacks by the DL, yada yada.
Antrel Rolle: "It doesn't seem like we came ready to play ball today, for whatever reason."
Coughlin to his players: "We certainly got into this mess together and we are going to have find a way out of it together."
Coughlin: "It starts with me. I am not pleased with the way that I prepared them and certainly with the way that they played.... I am concerned with the way we played.. particularly the last couple of weeks, and that is going to have to change if we're going to have any chance."
Jimmy Johnson and Howie Long called the Giants lethargic. Terry Bradshaw inferred that there was too much talent for this to happen.
EVERY YEAR WE HAVE THIS DISCUSSION. Isn't it proof that there is more than enough talent that the Giants can play with the best when it counts? You don't win 2 Super Bowls without the requisite talent. So why is it then that the Giants during the last number of regular seasons seem to have these ugly lapses? And do these lapses matter? Last year, if not for both the Eagles AND the Cowboys shooting themselves in the foot, the lapses vs teams like the Seahawks and Redskins surely would have mattered. And the prior year, when a 31-10 lead vs the Eagles was blown, the lapses certainly mattered.
Energy. People are looking at the Giants being tired, limping into the bye. Where have we heard this "November tired" thing before? Oh, ya, Tiki Barber, way back in 2006. "Coach Coughlin is very hard-nosed, and I didn't get a lot of time off, couldn't sit down and rest myself, and so it was a constant grind - a physical grind on me that started to take its toll," said Barber. "There'd be days where I couldn't move on Tuesday or Wednesday at practice, and he'd get mad at me for going half-speed. And I told him, 'Coach, I can't do it. I'm gonna be out here, I'm never gonna miss a practice, but I can't give you what you want all the time.' Every year the Giants get off to these nice starts, then they hit the midseason wall and start dropping games.
Everybody knows the numbers. I am frankly tired of tracking the tired Giants. When I watch other teams like the Steelers, I never see them flat. You have to have the pulse of your team and see when they need a break so that they are fresh/ready for Sunday. The Giants simply were flat and lacked energy. When you lack energy, you make mistakes and do not execute well. I tweeted that the only player on Offense who looked good was Andre Brown. Well, that fits, because Brown has not gotten a lot of carries this year. So his legs were fresh and he was ready to go.
If Coughlin gets the team to the playoffs, none of this will matter. Yes, the bye is finally here, and we would all like to think that the Giants will get the bounce in their step to play well in their last 6 games so that they are peaking for the playoffs. But even Coughlin himself acknowledges that a lot needs to get done to get (back) to that level. Hasn't Tom learned that players are not machines and that they can use a break in the dog days of November when you are playing your 10th straight? We know now that the Leadership Council back in 2007 told him that players needed more rest, that Coughlin gave them that rest, and that the players responded by rewarding that trust with "Super" effort. It is not who you play but when you play them. The Bengals had lost 4 straight, played a tired team and got an easy win. This loss is on the head coach of the Giants for not having his team ready to play. His words, not mine.