With a short turnaround before a Thursday night game, the Giants did not have time to process fully what happened Sunday in Carolina. It might be better that way.
"When the plane landed yesterday," coach Pat Shurmur said, "we moved onto Philadelphia."
Shurmur spoke after the team held a walk-through on Monday. Tuesday will function like a normal Thursday on the truncated week, Wednesday is Friday, and so on.
"We all looked at the film, we went through it on the plane ride, made the corrections necessary, and then when we landed we moved on," Shurmur added. "We're sort of creatures of habit and our week this week is short and compressed, so you move on -- win, lose, or draw."
In this case, it was the middle one.
In the 33-31 loss to the Panthers, the Giants fought back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and took a lead with 1:08 remaining only to see Graham Gano kick a 63-yard field goal with one second left on the clock. The loss dropped the Giants to 1-4 on the season, but the good news is that no one else has run away with the NFC East. Washington leads the pack at 2-1 heading into a Monday night game in New Orleans to cap off Week 5. Meanwhile, Dallas and Philadelphia both fell to 2-3 with losses on Sunday.
"I love my team," Shurmur said. "I love our team. I think our guys are competitive, they fight, and I think our improvement was on display yesterday. There's no moral victories, so we've got to improve this much more. We've got to improve 63 yards more and get that victory. That's what it is. I watched a bunch of guys battle from the first play to the last, I watched a bunch of guys make more plays on both sides of the ball, I watched when we didn't make it on fourth down our defense go in and stop them, I watched a couple of turnovers on their part, I watched the offense score points, I watched contributions in good ways, but not to the point where we won the game. So, we just keep trying to get in this case, 63 yards better."
Last year, the Giants needed to be 61 yards better when they lost in similar fashion to kicker Jake Elliott and Eagles on the road. The first leg of the 2018 series, however, will be played at MetLife Stadium, where the Giants have an opportunity to get back into the race with a visit from the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles. But Lombardi Trophies won't be on either team's mind. Both teams are just in desperate need for a win.
"We still got everything right in front of us where we want to go," linebacker and defensive co-captain Alec Ogletree said. "Got a chance to turn our season around for sure, but we have to do it one week at a time and got a division opponent this week, so just got to take care of business this week and move from there."
*Shurmur confirmed a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who tweeted that the Giants will release right tackle Ereck Flowers if he is not traded by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. "That's accurate," Shurmur said. "If that's the case, then if and when that happens, then certainly we'll make a roster move."
Upon the offseason arrival of Nate Solder, Flowers was moved from left to right tackle, where he started the first two games of his fourth season. He was then replaced by Chad Wheeler in the starting lineup before the Giants' Week 3 victory in Houston. Flowers, the ninth overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, had started all 49 of his career games played before that, including one postseason outing. Asked about the timing of parting ways with Flowers now, Shurmur said, "I think it's just kind of run its course. We appreciate Ereck's efforts, and we just wish him the best. Sometimes a change of scenery is good for a person, and we're just hopeful he can go out and continue to have a good career."
*Tight end Rhett Ellison (foot) and kicker Aldrick Rosas (right quad) were projected as non-participants on Monday's injury report. Outside linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), tight end Evan Engram (knee), defensive lineman Josh Mauro (groin), and wide receivers Jawill Davis (shoulder) and Russell Shepard (neck) were limited.
Vernon has yet to play this season while Engram has missed the last two weeks. Shurmur said he is still hopeful for Vernon to play while Engram "has a shot to make it" this week. The team is also planning for the possibility of adding a kicker to the practice squad as a backup plan should Rosas not be able to play. On Sunday, Rosas improved to 11-for-11 on the season after three made field goals, including a career-long 53-yarder.
*Rookie running back Saquon Barkley stayed on the ground for a moment after leaping into the end zone for his second touchdown reception that put the Giants ahead with 1:08 left in the Panthers game. Afterwards, Shurmur said the second overall draft choice was "fine." Twenty-four hours later, he doesn't seem to be any more concerned. "He's healthy, ready to go," Shurmur said.
*Downfield throws, or the lack thereof, dominated the conversation last week around the team. The Giants went out and posted season highs in passing yards (383), yards per pass attempt (10.35), passing touchdowns (three), and pass plays of 25 yards or more (five).
"They played us differently," Shurmur said of the Panthers. "I would say I probably made as many calls to get the ball downfield the week before, but we faced different coverage. I thought Eli [Manning] did a good job of getting the ball down the field, our guys did a good job of executing and catching it. Forget the downfield throws. We scored 31 points, that's the message. So whether you walk it across, you crawl it across, you roll it across, you throw it across – give me something else – you swim it across, it doesn't matter. Getting it across the end zone is what matters, and that's important."