Consistency. Dave Tollefson can't say that word enough.
On the wrong end of a 23-10 dismantling by a four-win Washington team, the defensive end doesn't want to put this loss behind him just yet. Rather, he wants to find the mistakes and then pick up the pieces.
"It's going to be tough," said Tollefson, who had one tackle and one quarterback hit. "But really you've got to keep it in your mind. You don't want this feeling again. Obviously, 'on to the next one' and 'we're still in it.' But, no, let's let this thing soak in. Let's figure out what we did wrong and fix it. Let's really, really get better.
Tollefson can start by looking at the time of possession, which Washington controlled by exactly 10 minutes. The Giants contributed with eight penalties (Washington had two), and the Redskins were able to run the ball 40 times for 123 yards while playing with the lead for 57 minutes.
Tom Coughlin expected more coming off a dramatic win in Dallas a week ago to take back the division lead.
"I am very disappointed in how we played today and the responsibility always comes right back to me and I accept it," Coughlin said. "I told the players that I just expected to see more. I expected to see quality, quality execution and really, quite frankly, we didn't get much of that. We didn't look like the team that played Sunday night in terms of the big play opportunities."
If there was any resemblance of that primetime magic, it came in the form of Jason Pierre-Paul.
The second-year defensive end is in the middle of a breakout campaign and again dominated his opposition. He led the team with 16 tackles (two for losses), recorded the Giants' lone sack of the afternoon, and had three quarterback hits. But it wasn't enough as the Giants were swept by the Redskins in the season series.
"We just played terrible," Pierre-Paul said. "We've got to come back and just practice hard. We have to go to the next one. We have the Jets, and that's all we can do."
Beaten twice now by Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman, the Giants defense did limit the big plays, which have plagued the team all season long. Grossman's longest completion was a 20-yarder to wide receiver Santana Moss for a touchdown early in the second quarter, and the longest run was a 14-yard reverse to Anthony Armstrong on the Redskins' second possession.
However, the Giants did allow Washington to convert eight third downs on 18 attempts, three of which were for 12, 14, and 11 yards. Moss' touchdown also came on a third-and-eight, and the Giants allowed a 16-yard pickup by Donte Stallworth on third-and-17 late in the first quarter and the Redskins converted on the ensuing fourth down.
"I felt good this week about our week of practice," Tollefson said. "Defensively, I felt really good. We had energy. Game plan was great. We just came out here and really just let a team drive down the field. The big plays were not as bad as they've been in the past, but we didn't stop anybody. Even the drives that we got them off the field, they had a couple first downs."
Hit the follow botton to join the Giants community! Follow @Giants