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
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.