Giants confident they will turn tide on season against Chiefs

Tom Coughlin was not in the mood to answer questions about David Wilson's fumbling issues this week. Credit: Reuters
Tom Coughlin was not in the mood to talk about his team being in a 0-3 hole this week.
Credit: Reuters

The Giants’ season is at a crossroads, no matter what head coach Tom Coughlin says, because should they fall to 0-4, that’s a hole out of which not even Big Blue can likely climb.

But with all the adversity, the Giants remain poised and united, with every player confident Sunday’s matchup against the Chiefs (3-0) will be the game that kick starts a winning streak.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll come out with a win this week,” defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. “I can sit here and kid around, [and say] it’s a must-win situation, but that’s been thrown around for a while now. We need to win this game. … I feel like our team’s going to come together and play in harmony. We have great chemistry here, but we haven’t been playing with great chemistry or harmony.”

Pierre-Paul, who is still working his way back to his old form after undergoing offseason back surgery, feels the pressure is on himself and the defensive line unit to knock off the Chiefs.

“I’m a big part of the defense. Just not getting to the quarterback or not stopping the run is half of the D-line’s fault. It all starts up front,” said Pierre-Paul. “If you can’t get to the quarterback or stop the run, that’s a loss, period. Me personally, I know I’m not playing as well, like I did in the past. But it is what it is. I’m just doing my best. No excuses.”

The Giants, to their credit, haven’t offered excuses for their poor start. And while it looks dark right now, the veterans who have been through a myriad of situations over the years think it’s only a matter of time before they break through.

Coughlin, who was as animated as he’s ever been during Wednesday’s weekly press conference, again had an edge in his voice Thursday, but also wasn’t short on optimism.

“I think it’s a long season. We’ve played three games [and] we have a lot of games to go,” said Coughlin. “Certainly, we want to win, and that’s our entire objective. [But] are we standing on the edge of the cliff? I don’t look at it that way. I see a lot of football to play.”

The Giants hope not to see a lot of Chiefs strongside linebacker Justin Houston — especially in the backfield. Houston leads the league with 7 1/2 sacks, three more than any other player in the league. He’s coming off a career-high performance where he had 4 1/2 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble against the high-powered Eagles offense. He was named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week. Houston has been on such a roll this season, that it was the second time in three weeks he won the award.

As optimistic as the Giants are heading into this game, however, the Houston vs. Justin Pugh matchup has to be of great concern. Pugh is the team’s rookie first-round pick who has been thrust into the starting lineup due to injuries, and will likely face his stiffest test yet.

“He’s similar to the guy I went against last week [Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson]. He’s a very physical player and got a good motor, so it’s a good challenge for me,” Pugh said of Houston. “We’ve got some good guys playing defensive end here, so they definitely give me good looks. … I think it was great in the preseason playing against the Jets, who have a similar defense.”

The Chiefs lead the NFL with 15 sacks. And under new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton they have an unpredictable 3-4 defense that uses numerous personnel groupings and looks to confuse opposing offenses.

Pugh acknowledged veterans Chris Snee and David Baas have been giving him plenty of advice and tips in handling a 3-4 defense — which is huge considering both aging veterans will likely sit out the game with a hip and neck ailment, respectively.

“When we played [the Jets] we knew they probably gave us the most multiple looks we were going to see all year,” Pugh said. “I remember them saying that when we were down on the field, Snee and some of the older guys. So that was definitely good to go back, maybe look at that film and go from there.

“Whoever’s out there has to go out and compete,” Pugh said. “We’ve played six games in a row, this offensive line, so if they [veterans] come back, we’ll go right back to where we were at. I’m not worried about it.”

Apparently the franchise wideouts agree with the rookie, as both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz have the utmost confidence heading to Kansas City.

“I see through the storm,” Nicks said, harkening back to a couple seasons ago. “It’s only three games. We were 9-7 when we won the Super Bowl. You’ve just got to see through the storm. That’s how it goes.”

“I think the better Giants team is going to show up this week,” Cruz said. “We’re excited. I think this is where we turn the page and kind of make a good run and get a couple wins under our belt.”

Big Blue notes …

» Should the Giants lose and fall to 0-4, they’ll be as far away from the playoffs as they have been in the Coughlin era. New York hasn’t lost five in a row since 1979 (the 1987 strike-shortened season withstanding).

» It’s looking increasingly apparent that neither Snee nor Baas will play on Sunday, as both banged-up veterans sat out practice again.

» Also not practicing were linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee), tight end Adrien Robinson (foot) and cornerbacks Corey Webster (hip) and Terrell Thomas (knee). The latter will have his workload scaled back as the season progresses.

» Linebacker Spencer Paysinger, safety Cooper Taylor and offensive tackle David Diehl were all practicing.

» When the Giants signed veteran fullback John Conner, it didn’t affect their dwindling salary-cap space. The team didn’t need to renegotiate any current deals, as their cap space currently stands at $60,066. Conner will be paid $518,823.53 for the rest of the season (a pro-rated portion of a $630,000 salary).

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.