The Giants returned to work on Thursday licking their wounds following their season-opening loss to the Cowboys.
Despite the contest being just one of 16 games, New York was smarting over the way the Cowboys dominated them. Ultimately, it was just a seven-point loss but to many within the locker room it weighed heavier because it was also a divisional game.
“You never want to lose to a division opponent,” Osi Umenyiora said. “The quickest way to the playoffs is through your division and we’re now one down on them. … But we’ll find a way to fight back. We’ve done it before.”
Head coach Tom Coughlin piggybacked off those sentiments on Thursday afternoon, lamenting the team’s malaise.
“It’s alarming that we would make the [playoff] run that we did [last season] and then come back with some of these same issues,” Coughlin said. “Two of the three practices we had last week weren’t good enough.”
Phrases like “back to the drawing board” and “we have to bounce back” made their rounds on Thursday, as many players said they’ll try to put this game behind them as quickly as possible.
Linebacker Michael Boley said he’s already trying to move on but added the team also needs to learn from its miscues against Dallas. The veteran noted that the team had a “sense of urgency” in the meeting rooms because “we had higher expectations.”
Prospects are still high for Big Blue, as running back Ahmad Bradshaw noted there are 15 more to play.
“We know we’ve got to keep fighting. And we know we’ve got a great team,” said Bradshaw. “The defense, they were playing strong early, so our offense just has to complement them. We had a lot of mistakes but we feel confident that we still have a great team. … This loss is just a wakeup call for us and we’ll get ready for next week.”
Big Blue notes
»The Giants lost their season opener to an NFC East foe for the second year in a row. In 2011, they were defeated in Washington, 28-14.
»Coughlin is 10-7 in season openers, but only 4-5 with the Giants.
»The Giants were the first defending Super Bowl champion to lose a season opener since the Denver Broncos in 1999, ending a streak of 12 consecutive victories. Defending champions are now 8-1 since the NFL moved the league’s showcase kickoff game to a weekday primetime slot in 2004.
»Speaking of primetime games, the Giants are 7-11 all-time in those contests against the Cowboys.
»The Cowboys gained 433 total yards, the most by a Giants’ opponent, including playoff games, since the Cowboys had 444 yards in a Giants victory on Dec. 11, 2011. Conversely, the Giants gained 269 yards, their lowest total since they finished with 208 yards at Philadelphia on Nov. 21, 2010.
»Cornerback Prince Amukamara still isn’t running on his high-ankle sprain but he still hopes to play next week against Tampa Bay. Coughlin said he admires the youngster’s toughness but doesn’t know if he’ll be available: “I'm not sure about that guy, but he’s trying like heck, though.”
»Cornerback Michael Coe didn’t sound too worried about the injured hamstring that knocked him out of the game late in the third quarter, saying the injury is “minor” and he doesn’t expect to miss any time.
»Linebacker Keith Rivers also didn’t seem too worried about his own hamstring issues and called himself “day to day.”
»When asked why he benched rookie running back David Wilson after fumbling on just his second-career carry, Coughlin said it wasn’t personal: “It was more, ‘Let the veteran [Bradshaw] play and let’s hope we don’t have another occasion to shoot ourselves in the foot.’ … Everybody says ‘Well, you didn’t play him after that.’ Well, we’re playing the opening game of the year. It’s a divisional game. We had just driven the ball. We’re going to be a bit reluctant. This is not preseason. This is serious business now.”
»Wideout Hakeem Nicks said he felt pain in his foot on certain routes, but was happy to have finished the game: “I felt it at times on certain routes but it wasn’t anything that prevented me from playing in the game or coming out of the game. … It was maintainable. It wasn’t excruciating pain or extremely bad. I maintained it, fought through it, and finished the game.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.