“What I talked to our team about this morning was pride, honor, dignity,” Coughlin said. “Play the game the way we’re capable of playing the game. Finish this season with a game we can all be proud of.
“I think they’re a group of outstanding character people who listen to what is said and I think that it does strike them. No one wants to finish the season like we have the last couple of games. I’m sure that will resonate a little on their part.”
The 8-7 Giants are in the unenviable position of needing help from three other teams to make the playoffs and looking to lift themselves up after back-to-back losses to Atlanta and Baltimore by a combined 67-14. But their first order of business is to defeat the 4-11 Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in MetLife Stadium. And they can’t do that if they’re sulking about the two previous games.
“That’s all you can do; you put it behind you,” quarterback
“Every Wednesday you come in and put the last game behind you and it can’t be any different,” guard
The Giants have been in this situation in the recent past, with mixed results.
In 2009, they were shocked and disappointed after losing the Giants Stadium finale to Carolina, 41-9. That defeat dropped them to 8-7. The next week, Coughlin talked about how much better a 9-7 record would be than an 8-8 mark. Then the Giants went to Minnesota and were crushed by the Vikings, 44-7.
Two years ago, the Giants lost back-to-back games to Philadelphia and Green Bay to fall to 9-6. They went to Washington needing a victory and assistance to make the playoffs. They got the win – 17-14 over the Redskins – but not the help and did not qualify for the postseason despite a 10-6 record.
Now here we are again.
“We're going to find out a lot about a lot of guys in this locker room based off this game - their approach, how you go out there and play the game,” safety
“The last couple of weeks we really have played like crap and I don’t think there’s anything for us… I saw some stuff about people saying we quit and things like that,” defensive end and captain
That’s a given. The questions, can the Giants rise above their disappointment? Two weeks ago, they went to Atlanta knowing they could capture the NFC East title by winning out. Instead, they got shut out. They traveled to Baltimore knowing two season-ending victories would put them in the playoffs and they again played poorly. Now their destiny lies in the hands of others, even if they win.
That has to be hard to swallow for any professional athlete.
“The last two weeks have been pretty embarrassing,” kicker
“This isn’t where we saw ourselves a couple of weeks ago,” wide receiver
*The Giants today placed tight end
Beckum’s spot on the roster was filled by defensive back
*Six Giants did not practice today: cornerback
Tuck, who was inactive in Baltimore, said he intends to play against the Eagles.
*To make the playoffs, the Giants must beat Philadelphia and Chicago, Minnesota and Dallas must all lose. Coughlin had no interest in discussing those scenarios today.
“My concern is that our team plays well in the 16th game of the year for us,” Coughlin said. “That’s my concern. I would like to see our team play an outstanding football game, a game in which the execution of our team is significantly better than what we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks. The answers to all of the speculative questions you want to ask, maybe they’ll come at some point, but they’re not going to be answered now. What I’m looking for is improvement in our football team and how we execute offensively and defensively.”