The Giants continued their losing ways on Sunday, this time a demoralizing 38-17 decision to the Seahawks. And while their fourth straight loss was still a contest heading into the final quarter, it’s still a loss.
Head coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t necessarily at a loss for words during Monday’s conference call, as he said he was “impressed” by the team’s first half, but he did acknowledge emotions are still a bit raw.
“I think [the team’s mood] is what you would expect. They are human [and] they are emotionally drained by losing a game like that. And quite frankly, how do you explain that particular [emotion] after a game that is just as disappointing as that was?” Coughlin said. “One moment you’re so excited, thinking legitimately that you have a real good chance to win and the next [you’re losing big]. But I think the guys today were attentive [in film study] and they were good about adjustments and corrections and owning up to errors and all of that. What we have to do is we have to stick together as a team and continue to work hard. … We need to find a way to win a game.”
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New York looked like it was going to find a way to win the game, as they held a 17-14 lead at halftime and were tied 17-17 heading into the fourth quarter. But they were eventually pulverized by running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson en route to the win.
The Giants are now 3-6 and have made it a habit to be in once-competitive games and having them end up lopsided, as three of their six losses have been by 20 points or more — and all six have been by double digits.
Despite the manhandling during this stretch, quarterback Eli Manning insists this year’s version of a 3-6 squad is much further along than the team that started 0-6 and ripped off three straight wins last season.
“I feel like we are a better team. I feel like we are doing some good things. We are just not, for whatever reason, we are not able to put four quarters together. It is not like we come out and totally don’t do anything. I thought we had chances in the second half yesterday to do some good things,” said Manning. “We need to find a way to not have the big penalty or turnover which prevents us from taking the lead, or getting some momentum, or puts us in a better position to end the game. We just have to find ways to keep competing and keep putting pressure on the opposing team and making the plays that are out there.”
The explosive plays and chain-moving plays were mainly made by the Seahawks, as they became the first team in NFL history to have a running back rush for at least four touchdowns and a quarterback with more than 100 rushing yards in the same game.
That kind of performance can be a demoralizing factor for a squad that suddenly sees its playoff chances already closing, and with still seven games remaining. Not to be outdone was an offense that got in its own way in the fourth quarter, highlighted by Manning’s crucial interception in the end zone when he tried to test All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman one more time.
The momentum-killing drives, the lame attempts to bring down Lynch in the fourth quarter and the way the players barely spoke above a hush afterward, would leadmany to think the Giants are ready to mail in the season.
But Manning deemed that while it’s going to be a huge uphill fight just to get back to respectability, he feels guys are still working hard at their crafts.
“We understand the position we are in and we understand what we need to do. Everybody knows we need to get a win. Let’s get that positive feeling back in the locker room and I think we know we can do it, we just have to put it together,” said Manning, acknowledging the mental struggles ahead. “It is tough. It is not as fun. You work hard every week and you prepare and compete [and] you want to have something to show for it. You want to have those wins and the feeling of celebrating in the locker room after the game or a fun plane ride back home. We are not getting that kind of reinforcement of all the hard work we are doing ... [but] we still have to stay on it and keep doing that and hopefully that will lead to some more victories.”
Big Blue notes ...
» Running back Michael Cox fractured the lower part of his left leg, according to the Giants. He was able to fly back to New Jersey with the rest of the team for further evaluations.
» Coughlin discussed the status of injured running back Rashad Jennings: “I think he will [play Sunday against the 49ers]. I’m hoping that he will. He did have a good week of practice last week for what we asked him to do.He had a weekend to continue to rehab and strengthen, so he has worked hard at that. I am going to say that we certainly do expect that he will be ready at the end of this week. But who knows? I can’t tell you 100 percent, but I think he will. And if he is ready, then obviously he will have a big share of the load.”
» There was one shining star in Sunday’s loss, rookie wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who not only impressed Sherman, but Coughlin as well: “He certainly has given us a spark and we need more.”
» There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Coughlin said it should all start with him: “My concern is for my team. You can blame it all on me. This is our football team.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.