Giants picking up pieces after disappointing 0-2 start

Eli Manning was not happy with Sunday night's performance either. Credit: Getty Images
Eli Manning put a positive spin on the start by mentioning the other NFC East teams also lost.
Credit: Getty Images

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t made available to the media on Monday, but his players were, as they were left to deal with even more questions regarding their sloppy loss to the Broncos and 0-2 start.

Quarterback Eli Manning, who has been as big a culprit for the slow start as anyone, still sounded optimistic the Giants can turn around their season. Manning said while he won’t totally compare this season to the 2007-08 campaign when the Giants also began the year 0-2, only to rebound and win the title, he acknowledged “there are some similarities.”

If the Giants are to repeat history, they must first come to the reality that the turnovers and third-down deficiencies need to be remedied. And Manning, who has a league-leading seven interceptions, knows better than anyone.

“Well, we can only get better,” he said. “I’m not going to lay down, that’s for sure. I have to point out to myself to not force things if I don’t have to, but I’m going to compete.”

Manning brought some clarity in explaining the big picture that every team in the NFC East had a miserable Sunday.

“I know everybody in our division lost, so the way we can look at it [is that] we’re one game back in the division,” Manning said. “We’ve got to get back to winning some games [and] get better, but I think we will. … I feel like we’re doing some decent things and can bounce back [because] I think we have great character guys. The season is very early. All you can worry about is this next game.”

Coughlin wasn’t around for the media portion of the day, as he was attending to a family emergency. But he was with the team earlier in the day and his players were happy to forward the coach’s message.

Wideout Victor Cruz said Coughlin’s speech was positive.

“I think we’re a team that’s right on the brink, right on the cusp of having a big game, a statement game and taking it from there,” Cruz said.

The Giants are well-versed in dealing with adversity and, to a man, know all it takes is a big game at Carolina next Sunday, and they can easily ride that wave and stay hot as they try to compete for the division and conference supremacy.

Saftey Antrel Rolle said this week’s practices are pivotal in eliminating all the bad habits that have gotten them to this current record.

“The record shows 0-2, so at this point we’re an 0-2 team. It’s up to us what we’re going to do from this point on. We can either get in the tank — which is something that we will never, ever do — or we can go out and fight like I hope we will do and like I see us going out there and doing,” Rolle said. “We have to pick it up in all three phases on the game — offensively, defensively and special teams — and make sure you clear up certain things. … It’s not bad football, [but] there are definitely a lot of things we could clean up.”

Big Blue notes …

» The last time Big Blue allowed 41 points at home was a memorable afternoon, as it was the final Giants’ game ever played at the old Giants Stadium. The 41-9 loss to the Panthers was on Dec. 27, 2009.

» The 23 rushing yards by the Giants was the lowest total on the ground since they had just six yards at the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 12, 1989, in a 31-10 loss.

» Manning has thrown for 812 yards so far, the highest two-game total of his career.

» The 18-point margin of defeat was the Giants’ largest at home since Sept. 26, 2010, when they lost to Tennessee, 29-10.

» The Giants did not sack Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning and have lost six of the last seven games in which they did not register a sack.

» Manning attempted 49 passes against the Broncos, tied for the third-highest total of his career.

» Manning’s 362-yard afternoon was the 27th career regular-season 300-yard game. The Giants are 13-14 in those games.

» Manning’s four interceptions tied his career-high. It was the fourth time he threw four picks (Nov. 13, 2005 and Nov. 25, 2007 vs. the Vikings, and Dec. 26, 2010 at the Packers).

» Running back Brandon Jacobs scored his 57th career rushing touchdown, which extended his own franchise record.

» Running back Da’Rel Scott scored the Giants’ other touchdown, a 23-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter, which was his first career touchdown.

» Cruz led the Giants with eight receptions for 118 yards. It was Cruz’s 14th career 100-yard game. The Giants are 7-7 in those games.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.


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