Head coach Tom Coughlin has been preaching for weeks to curb unforced errors.
The message appeared to sink in two weeks ago against the Packers, but Big Blue suffered a letdown on Monday night when they had their penalty total spike to nine, up five from their season average.
“It’s an execution thing as well as the mindset [and] it’s something that if you follow through on it, you can build upon that,” said Coughlin. “But that hasn’t happened in our last two games, when we lost the fourth quarter and didn’t finish the games the way we’d like to finish them.”
The Giants have been shellacked in recent matchups against the Saints, losing the previous three games in the series.
Thankfully for Big Blue, this time the battle shifts to MetLife Stadium, where the temperature will be in the mid-30s with a high chance of a wintry mix.
Such potential for inclement weather could certainly hinder the Saints’ potent offense, as they’re known for filling the air with footballs.
Coughlin, though, said he’s not counting on weather as the determining factor because of the plethora of Saints’ weapons.
“Hopefully, yes, it does [play a factor],” Coughlin said of the forecast. “But I mean, you’re not going to change any of the skill sets or anything of that nature. … [But] it will be nice to play them at our place, yes.”
The Giants would like every advantage possible, because regardless of what defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said, stopping Brees won’t be an easy assignment. Pierre-Paul suggested earlier in the week that it would be “easier” to slow down Brees and Co. instead of the elusive Griffin.
“He’s not in any way inferring that it’s not a difficult task. I think what he’s referring to is the number of assignments and particulars [and] specifics that the previous offense [Washington] forced for all the defensive front, linebackers and safeties in terms of assignment football,” Coughlin said. “Point-blank, I think he was referring to that. Just the difference in styles [and] not in any way, that Drew Brees isn’t an excellent player, because he wouldn’t do that.”
Pierre-Paul’s fellow bookend, Osi Umenyiora, also wouldn’t go as far as Pierre-Paul, but did acknowledge his assignments this week are “different.”
“I would never say there’s anything easy about playing against him [because] he’s one of the best quarterbacks in this league and we definitely have our work cut out for us, for sure,” said Umenyiora. “It’s true we don’t have to play the option, but that’s pretty much about it. We still have a lot of work. They do a lot of different protections, so our secondary has their work cut out for sure with all the stress that he puts out there. … It’s also probably going to be a tougher game physically than against Washington.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.