EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) After playing its worst game of the season, the New York Giants offensive line has something to prove against the Dallas Cowboys.
The line’s performance against the Eagles on Sunday night was embarrassing. Philadelphia had eight sacks and seven quarterback hits and limited what had been an improving offense to 253 yards in recording a shutout.
Across the line, the performances were bad.
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Right tackle Justin Pugh, who was beaten repeatedly, issued an apology on Twitter. Right guard John Jerry was called for three penalties and refused to talk to the media on Wednesday. Center J.D. Walton was overwhelmed and outnumbered time and again. Left guard Weston Richburg got a costly unnecessary roughness penalty and left tackle Will Beatty had a holding call that cost the Giants a touchdown.
A first-round pick a year ago, Pugh might have had his worst game. He seemingly allowed three of the eight sacks, including one of the first series that led to an Eli Manning fumble that Pugh recovered.
That one play seemed to take him out of his game the rest of the night. When he got home, he didn’t sleep and felt sick to his stomach.
Pugh used social media to apologize.
”Definitely owe everyone an apology for how I played yesterday,” he wrote on Twitter. ”I’m going to fight my (butt) off and will be better. Back to work.”
Pugh said his mistakes were very uncharacteristic of him.
”I always say football is a humbling game,” Pugh said. ”All the sudden everyone is saying you guys are blocking well and doing things right, and all the sudden you have a bad game. You have to be able to bounce back.”
Beatty said the Giants (3-3) came out flat.
”They came out ready to go and their intensity level was high and we did not match that as a team,” Beatty said after practice. ”Their intensity level was higher than ours on Sunday night and it showed. We have to make sure we have that high intensity level, that edge this week.”
What will help the Giants would be running the ball against Dallas (5-1). New York had rushed for 193, 154 and 124 yards in winning their three previous games. The ground game never got going against the Eagles, finishing with 85 yards on 23 carries.
New York also has to get into more manageable third-down plays. In falling behind 20-0 against Philadelphia in the first half, the Giants had five series end after falling to convert a third-down play where they needed at least 10 yards.
Walton didn’t want to talk about the Eagles’ game.
"We’re worried about Dallas right now,” he said. ”Like I said, we don’t worry about last week. We can’t control last week. It’s over with so we’re moving on to Dallas.”
Manning, who was sacked six times before being replaced by Ryan Nassib, took some of the blame for the sacks.
” Sometimes you have those games where it’s tough,” Manning said. ”Then again, some are on me. I held the ball too long a couple of times. That first sack was all on me for holding it too long and getting their team fired up. That’s going to happen some. Sacks will happen. It’s a team effort to eliminate those and make some plays.”
The most memorable play for the line might have been Richburg’s personal foul for spearing Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox in the second quarter. While a stupid penalty, it showed the rookie was not going to be pushed around on a night where the line was pushed around.
”I am not trying to break laws, or get penalties or put my team in a bad field position, but since I was a kid I have been taught to play football through the whistle and offense line is a physical position and that’s my personality on the field,” Richburg said. ”I put my team in a bad spot and that was not my intention, but that’s how I play.”
Richburg believes the line can turn things around.
”It’s time for Dallas and we are ready for it.”
NOTES: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back-hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. Coach Tom Coughlin had said earlier in the day he thought he would. …Halfback Rashad Jennings will miss his second straight game with a knee injury. …CB Jayron Hosley will get the first shot at replacing Trumaine McBride (broken thumb) as the nickel back. …Spencer Paysinger, who missed the last game with a hamstring injury, practiced on a limited basis. …Rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will get some plays in the slot with Victor Cruz now sidelined for the season with a knee injury. …
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