The Giants head into their bye week at 1-6 following Sunday's loss to the Seahawks:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Ben McAdoo's response was to a specific question about injuries, but it also covered the Giants' current big picture.
"We're fortunate to get the bye when we got the bye," McAdoo said today on a conference call.
The Giants enter their week off after what might have been their most discouraging game in an increasingly frustrating season, the 24-7 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks yesterday that left them with a 1-6 record. Their unsightly offensive numbers include 177 total yards, 46 rushing yards, and only two successful third-down conversions.
The players will be in tomorrow to review the tape, then take five days off before embarking on what they hope will be a much more successful second half to the season. They return to action on Nov. 5 against the 5-2 Los Angeles Rams in MetLife Stadium. The Rams are also off this week.
"I think we need to get away from it for a little bit," McAdoo said. "We need to get away from it, we need to clear our minds, get our bodies back and get back with a fresh outlook, as tough as that may be. We need to come back, we have a lot of football left to play. We had a lot of fight in us yesterday and that needs to continue."
Of course, McAdoo can never fully escape. A head coach thinks about his team every day of the year. And a coach whose team is 1-6 is not going to have a relaxing or enjoyable bye week.
"We're going to go back, take a look at self-scout, the things that have been working," McAdoo said. "Is there a way to increase some of the things that haven't been working? Is it fixable for the last nine games, or is it something that we need to throw out and revisit it later on?
And just take a look at the way we're using players. Take a look at are there roles we can change to help us as a football team."
One position in which there will not be a change is quarterback. Eli Manning, throwing to an inexperienced group of receivers because of injuries, had passed for fewer than 140 yards just five times in his first 205 starts (when playing a full game). Now he's done it in back-to-back games, including 134 yards yesterday – when he completed fewer than 50% of his passes for the first time in almost three years.
With the Giants unexpectedly mired in the NFC East basement, and with rookie third-round draft choice Davis Webb on the roster, McAdoo was asked if the decision to change quarterbacks would be his alone, or if he would consult with general manager Jerry Reese, as well as John Mara and Steve Tisch. He answered the question, but made it clear the issue is not one that will arise soon.
"It's a coaching decision, but it's something that if it ever were to get to that point, I'd want to have a conversation with Jerry and ownership on it," McAdoo said. "But it's not to that point, and I don't see that point coming. Eli's our quarterback, I have 100 percent confidence in Eli. We're going to get a week away from it and we're going to come back fresh mind, fresh bodies and play better football."
The Giants are 30th in the NFL with an average of 18.7 points a game, but McAdoo said Manning is far from solely responsible for that.
"It takes all 11 to play good on offense, and we had a good week of practice last week," McAdoo said. "It didn't transfer over to the ball game. Only scoring seven points, but it takes all 11."
McAdoo gave the same support to a player with a track record not even remotely close to Manning's, first-year kicker Aldrick Rosas. Yesterday, for the second time this season, Rosas was wide right on a big fourth-quarter field goal attempt. His 47-yard try against the Seahawks would have tied the score. In Tampa Bay in Week 4, his 43-yard attempt could have increased the Giants' leads to four points in a game they lost by two.
"I have confidence in Aldrick," McAdoo said. "I see him kick on a day-to-day basis, he's a young player that is improving. He missed a kick, we want to have that kick, it ties the ballgame in the fourth quarter. He needs to learn from it, he needs to grow from it."
McAdoo cited short-yardage and third down as two areas in which the Giants must get better.
"Third down and short yardage is a challenge in practice, but it's a bigger challenge in the game," McAdoo said. "That's the toughest down in football for an offensive football team. Defenses are athletic, they're fast, they're physical and we need to be at our best there and we didn't do it yesterday. We didn't get it done yesterday. That's really the biggest area where we need to improve."
Now they have an extra week to figure it out.
*McAdoo hopes the additional time will help heal injured players.
"(Offensive lineman) Justin (Pugh) is going to be sore with his back," McAdoo said. "(Defensive end Kerry (Wynn) came back and fought through it, with his knee. (Linebacker) B.J. (Goodson, who left the game with an ankle injury), we'll have to see how he heals up. And we're just going to have to see how guys respond, we have a week of treatment to see if we can get healthy."
*Yesterday, McAdoo said he thought Seattle receiver Paul Richardson was out of bounds before securing the ball on the controversial fourth-quarter touchdown on which Landon Collins insisted he intercepted the ball. McAdoo deferred when asked his opinion today.
"That's something that we have to turn into the league and wait for a response back from the league," McAdoo said. "We won't get that until later in the week."