Coughlin calls effort by Giants offense pathetic

Tom Coughlin has had enough with the New York Giants’ offense,

and he didn’t pull any punches.

”Pathetic” was the word Coughlin used after the Giants (5-9)

were limited to 181 total yards by the NFL’s top-ranked defense in

a 23-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks (12-2) Sunday.

Eli Manning threw a career-high five interceptions in pushing

his pick total to 25 – tying his career high -and New York didn’t

cross into Seattle territory until midway the fourth quarter.

What made the loss so bitter for the 67-year-old Coughlin was

that he wanted his team to bounce back after being eliminated from

playoff contention last weekend for the fourth time in five

years.

His defense and special teams were outstanding. The offense

struggled in guaranteeing the Giants’ first losing season since

2004, Coughlin’s first season.

”Offensively, there is no way to sugarcoat it, it was a

pathetic offensive performance,” Coughlin said. ”We didn’t block

anybody. We didn’t make any plays. We didn’t create any opportunity

for ourselves. I told the players that prepared that I appreciated

what they did. I told those that are obvious that they had not, and

I felt sorry for them because they are missing the whole

thing.”

Coughlin apologized to his players after the game in taking the

blame, but they interrupted him and told him it was their

fault.

Manning and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride will take the

heat, but they had plenty of help from the line and the

receivers.

The play that summed up the day for New York was a

fourth-quarter interception by Earl Thomas. Manning threw a fade to

Hakeem Nicks and he was out jumped by Richard Sherman and Thomas

caught the tipped ball.

It was a chance for an offensive player to go up and make a play

and he failed. That’s been the case the past two weeks as New York

has scored 14 points.

”It’s not fun when you get down like that and you get beat and

you can’t get anything going on offense, and you have interceptions

and bad plays,” said Manning, who finished 18 of 31 for 156 yards

and 31.9 quarterback rating. ”That’s not enjoyable and tough to

deal with.”

Making the day even worse, the Giants lost top receiver Victor

Cruz to a concussion in the fourth quarter. Cruz is 2 yards short

of his third straight 1,000-yard season.

Seattle dominated this one.

Sherman and Byron Maxwell had two interceptions apiece, Marshawn

Lynch scored on a twisting, triple-effort 2-yard run, and Steven

Hauschka kicked three field goals.

Russell Wilson toyed with New York’s defense, running for 50

yards and throwing for 206 and a touchdown before sitting out the

last few minutes.

The Seahawks are closing in on the NFC West title and their best

overall record; they went 13-3 in 2005 before losing to Pittsburgh

in the Super Bowl.

This season’s Super Bowl will be played at MetLife Stadium and

unless they collapse in their final two games at home, where they

are undefeated, the Seahawks will be the NFC favorite to reach the

first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather city.

It was Seattle’s first shutout since a 58-0 romp over Arizona on

Dec. 9 last year. The Giants lost 38-0 to Carolina in Week 3.

”It’s great to have a win and a shutout,” Thomas said. ”It’s

our best game all year. Now, we’ll keep this tunnel-vision that we

have, keep this chip on our shoulder, keep this feeling like we

lost.”

Hauschka, who is clutch from long distance (14 for 15 from

beyond 40 yards), made 49- and 44-yarders, plus a 24-yard field

goal.

Sherman’s first pick led to Lynch’s brilliant short run for a

10-0 lead. Lynch seemed to be going down several times, but went

into full Beast Mode to power into the end zone.

Hauschka’s 44-yarder made it 13-0 at halftime, then Sherman got

his sixth interception of the season.

Maxwell’s second pick led to Wilson’s 12-yard TD pass to Doug

Baldwin, the 17th touchdown New York has yielded off a

turnover.

Lynch actually was most effective as a receiver with six catches

for 73 yards. He rushed for 47.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org