A day after beating the Falcons handedly, Chris Canty said the game film wasn't as flattering as the final score suggested.
That's hard to imagine coming from a defensive tackle that held the No. 3 rusher in the league to 41 yards on 15 attempts for a 2.7-yard average.
Nonetheless, errors were made on a defense seemingly playing its best football of the season, and Canty will attempt to clean them up as they travel to Lambeau Field this weekend.
"We're playing pretty decent ball right now," Canty said on Monday. "Could it be better? Absolutely. So we've got to continue to improve in that regard. We know that if we play good fundamental football, play together all three phases, we don't turn the ball over, we create turnovers, we give ourselves an opportunity to be successful against anybody. That's the formula."
Professor Canty broke down the equation further.
"There were opportunities where guys weren't in their proper gaps," he continued. "The pad level for the interior defensive linemen was unacceptable in my regard. We played way too high. We shouldn't have been able to get away with that. We've got to play much more, technique-wise, much more fundamental and disciplined that we did yesterday if we want to continue to be successful."
Regardless, Canty and the Giants will take the victory and advance to the next round, earning the right to challenge the top-seeded Packers.
In the other trench, the offensive line won its own physical matchup and established the balance called for in the game plan.
Just like the season as a whole, Sunday's rushing attack was ugly in the early going. The Giants' first two attempts were for no gain, followed by runs of two, four, and two yards. That's five rushes for eight yards for the running game that finished last in the NFL.
But when it was all said and done, the Giants kept with it and pounded away for 172 yards on the ground, 50 yards more than their previous high this season (they ran for 122 against Buffalo in Week Six).
"We didn't start as fast as we needed to," left guard Kevin Boothe said. "Luckily, our defense kept us in the game. That allowed to stay more balanced and enabled us to stick with the game plan. We were able to wear them out as the game went on. It's a good feeling."
Talk about balance.
The Giants rushed 31 times, compared to Eli Manning's 32 pass attempts. Meanwhile, Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs split the load with 14 rushes each while the Giants controlled the time of possession by nearly 10 minutes.
"I feel like the last several weeks now we've been making improvements," Boothe said. "So hopefully we'll continue to take proper steps and get even better this Sunday."
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