COACH TOM COUGHLIN
Coughlin: The way we played (was) very disappointing. I thought we did practice well this week; I thought we had good energy. I don’t think we necessarily played like that in the game. In the second half, I thought our defense was playing a little bit better. Our offense appeared to be playing a little bit better, and then we just turned it over to them. I think we had four turnovers to their one, and just the fashion in which they took place, it was just unbelievable.I just told the team that we certainly got into this mess together and we’ve got to find a way to get out of it together. I don’t have anything I can really say I was pleased with. It certainly starts with me. I’m not pleased with the way that I prepared them and certainly the way that they played.
Q: How concerned are you about
A: I still believe that Eli will bounce back and will play the way that he has played (before) at a championship level. I certainly don’t quite understand where we are and why — there certainly are contributing factors in terms of what we’re doing. We’ve had some miscommunication in the last couple of games — not so much today — between our ‘back and receivers. We had very few plays that were down the field, and when we did go down the field, we had an opportunity to score there and it didn’t happen. I think it’s a combination of things and it’s certainly, we need to play better at all those positions (on offense).
Q: Tom, is there anything physically wrong with Eli?
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QB ELI MANNING
Q: Are you worried about what happened today?
A: No, I’m not worried. Every year we have gone through stretches where we didn’t play our best football and we were still able to bounce back. That’s what is going on right now. Offensively, we’re not playing our best, converting on third downs, or scoring in the red zone. We haven’t made enough plays to keep the ball in our hands at all. I have to start playing better personally and we need to as a group as well. We still have good players and a good scheme. We just have to put it together better.
Q: There was some speculation this week that you have a “tired arm.” Is there any truth in that?
A: No, I don’t think so. I am still making the throws and I don’t feel like it is tired. We have a bye week this week because we have had 10 games in a row. We are going to use the week to rest up and come back refreshed and ready to go.
Q: The first interception that you threw the guy was pulling on your jersey. Usually, you would throw that ball away but you tried to make a play. Is that an indication of the pressure you are under to make something happen?
A: No, I was trying to throw the ball away. I wasn’t trying to force anything at all. The guy was pulling on me and I couldn’t follow through. It was a mistake on my part and I know better, but I made a bad decision in the moment.
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DE JUSTIN TUCK
Q: What do you see when you are on the sidelines? Are you frustrated?
A: It’s surprising all around. We didn’t play good in any aspects of the game today — special teams, defense or offense. We didn’t deserve to win this game at all. That was as desperate team that was coming off four straight losses. They got healthy today and came out and took it to us.
Q: How do you pull yourselves out of this?
A: That’s the one thing about football season. Every season is going to have its peaks and valleys. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how it goes. We’re better than a 6-4 team, but that’s where we are now. We have six more, coming out of this bye. It’s a very treacherous six, but the confidence of this football team will never waiver. We have to get back to playing our best ball.
Q: Can you put your finger on what’s wrong? Is it effort?
A: No. I don’t think it’s effort. We had a good week of practice. I don’t know. There is an opportunity for us to do some soul searching and look ourselves in the mirror this week. Just get away from football a little bit, refresh our bodies and minds and get back to playing Giants football. ... We’ve got to do a good job of looking at ourselves and getting back on track. If not, none of the next six are going to be easy. We’re capable of turning this around. That’s where our mindset has to go.
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WR VICTOR CRUZ
Q: How do you explain the performance of the team lately?
A: It’s a little subpar from where we are used to. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t know what’s going on or what’s going wrong. It’s just a matter of getting back to the drawing board and playing football.
Q: The team changed its focus in practice this week. Did you expect that would show in the results? Is that frustrating?
A: We expect it to show results. It’s a little frustrating as a competitor, as an athlete, and as a teammate. That’s part of the game. We’ve got to understand that not everything’s going to work all of the time.
Q: Do you think that this team hit a lull last year before eventually winning the Super Bowl allows you to fall back on last year’s results as a crutch?
A: No. That’s not something we talk about. Losing games throughout the middle of the season is not something that we are focused on as a crutch.
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LB CHASE BLACKBURN
Q: Did the Bengals catch the Giants off guard today?
A: I can’t say that they caught us off guard. We were prepared. We just couldn’t get them off the field. We got them in to third-down situations a couple of times and couldn’t get them off the field on their first drive of the game. That got them started. That gave them some confidence today. That got them off to a good start. That was not where we wanted them to be.
Q: Do you feel you were sluggish today?
A: No. Defensively, we came out with a lot of tempo. We came out strong and stopped the run really good. Overall, we played the run pretty decent. We gave up the one big-pass play early. After that, it seemed like they nickel-and-dimed us a lot. We gave up a lot of third-down conversions today, obviously. We’ve been a good third-down team. Today, we couldn’t get off the field on third down. We couldn’t get them in to third-and-long. They had a lot of third-and-short — that gave them the option to run or pass. I think that was the biggest difference in the game. They were in third-in-short, instead of third-and-long.
Q: How do you describe this today?
A letdown. Obviously, we didn’t play well on all three phases. We turned the ball over too much. We gave up the early momentum on the touchdown, early in the game. That gave them some confidence. You can’t do that against a team like this.
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CB COREY WEBSTER
Q: How frustrating is it for you after hearing talk this week from Coach Coughlin and from the Bengals’ A.J. Green that there were holes in your defense?
A: It has nothing to do with us — all of that talking. We just didn’t play our game today. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and get better — continue to work on our craft as a team and hopefully, get better after this bye week.
Q: The Giants have had good and bad stretches this season. How frustrating is it right now?
A: It’s not frustrating, but we have to get better — get back to playing the tackle football that we know how to play over those last four or five good games. We have to get back to that and continue to build off of those types of things and continue to get better.
Q: Was there miscommunication on the Bengals’s first touchdown?
A: You can’t have that against anybody that you are going against. Everybody gets paid in this league. Everybody is good. You can’t have miscommunication. They are already a good team. We don’t need to give them a 50-yarder to start. You can’t have that. You have to have better communication —communicate every play. You have to be great communicators on the field, and we weren’t.
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