Giants fading fast and playoffs hopes almost gone
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Tom Coughlin isn’t giving up on the New York Giants. No way.
With their playoff hopes dimmed by four straight lopsided losses, the 68-year-old Coughlin said Monday that the Giants (3-6) are close to winning and they just need one to get things going.
”It doesn’t feel good.” Coughlin said in looking back on the run that put the Giants in danger of missing the playoffs for the third straight year. ”There is progress for me. There are a lot of things that you can point to that are good, but we are not finishing the job so that dominates all our thinking. We all know what this league is about. You have to win.”
The Giants have not won a game since beating Atlanta on Oct. 5 to improve to 3-2.
Since then they have lost to Philadelphia, Dallas, Indianapolis and Seattle by a combined score of 136-62. New York was competitive for at least a half in the last three games before falling apart.
The latest example was a 38-17 loss to the Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle. New York led 17-14 at halftime, went into the fourth quarter tied and then got run off the field on a day that the Seahawks ran for an amazing 350 yards, 26 more yards than the Giants had in total offense.
The Seahawks gained 510 yards, the highest total allowed by the Giants since Baltimore had 533 yards on Dec. 23, 2012. It is the fourth-highest yardage total given up in Tom Coughlin’s 11 years as the Giants’ coach.
It’s also two straight years that the Giants are 3-6 heading into the final seven games.
”I’m disappointed. I expect more and continue to expect more,” Coughlin said. ”My concern is for my team. You can blame it all on me.”
The Giants had a first and 10 at the Seattle 39 late in the third quarter when Eli Manning went for the lead with a deep toss to Odell Beckham Jr. The rookie tipped the ball and it was intercepted by safety Earl Thomas, who returned it to the Seahawks 42. Seven plays later, Seattle had the lead and never looked back.
Manning, who had not thrown an interceptions in 177 passes covering five games, said the Giants have shown flashes of good football, but not for four quarters.
”Everybody knows we need to get a win,” the two-time Super Bowl MVP said. ”Let’s get that positive feeling back in the locker room and I think we know we can do it. We just have to put it together.”
Middle linebacker Jameel McClain said the Giants are not playing sound football. He said defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and his staff have the team prepared, but players are missing assignments. The most basic one on Sunday was not containing the edge, allowing Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson to run for 107 yards on 14 carries.
McClain said the players’ disappointment hasn’t changed their approach to games.
”Everybody believes in the journey. Everybody believes in the destination,” he said. ”We know that we still have games to fight and go out there and play. That is what I get from the team. Right now people are disappointed with the performance that we put out there, and we should be.”
The Giants should get some help this week heading into a game against the San Francisco 49ers at home.
Running back Rashad Jennings, who has missed the last four games with a knee injury, is likely to return to the starting lineup, Coughlin said. There is also a chance that guard Geoff Schwartz may make his Giants’ debut after missing the first nine games with a toe injury sustained in a preseason game.
Coughlin has no doubt his team is upset.
”I think there is a lot of pride in them being Giants,” Coughlin said. ”We all feel the same way about the losing aspect of it. Somehow, some way you have to you have to gather strength and stick together and understand that every aspect of improvement starts with me. If I want my team to improve, I have to improve first. I think we do have that attitude and they will hang in there and battle, scrape and scratch until we do get a win.”
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