The interception that marked his professional debut must be feeling like ages ago for cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Since that mid-November meeting with Philadelphia, the constraints of being a rookie as well as missing the first 10 weeks of the season have been setting in. Both surfaced again Sunday afternoon against the Washington Redskins in Amukamara's most trying game yet.
On a third-and-eight play to start the second quarter, Amukamara failed to switch off his man initially and was unable to recover. Washington quarterback Rex Grossman then hit a wide open Santana Moss, who caught the ball in stride in the end zone. The 20-yard touchdown gave Washington a 10-0 lead.
"I just had to haul butt and get there," Amukamara said. "It was my responsibility."
Amukamara was also the focal point on one of eight third-down conversions given up by the Giants. On third-and-14 on the Redskins' next possession, Jabar Gaffney beat him for a 16-yard gain, which was followed up with a six-yard touchdown run by Darrel Young on first-and-goal to give Washington a 17-0 lead.
Consequently, to start the second half, the Giants went with a package that didn't include the first-round draft pick.
"It definitely doesn't sit well with me," he said. "But it just makes me want to work that much harder just so I never have to have that conversation again."
The veterans on the team were there to both correct and reinforce their teammate.
"They were just being my bigger brothers," Amukamara said. "Just telling me forget about the play, just keeping making plays and just worry about the next one.
"It's definitely a bad one to digest. Like coach said, we just have to worry about these next two games and still take it one game at a time. Our goal is still there to be division champs. As a competitor and as a player, I always think that there are a lot of things I can work on. I'm still not where I want to be. I'm still not where the coaches want me to be." Join other diehard Giants Fans!
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