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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Tom Coughlin Says Kenny Phllips Did Not Have A Setback; Chase Blackburn Not Sure If He Will Practice
Excerpt: "After practicing fully last Wednesday, Kenny Phillips was all but 100 percent certain that he would take the field Sunday against the Steelers.
But Phillips was on the Giants' list of inactives and will need to wait at least another week before he returns from a sprained MCL he suffered against the Eagles in Week 4.
Today, Tom Coughlin said Phillips didn't suffer a setback. He just thought Phillips wasn't ready.
"I don’t know if you would call it that," Coughlin said of a setback. "[We] just didn’t feel like after a couple of days of practice that he could do the things he had to do to perform in the role that we wanted him to be in."
Stevie Brown got his fifth straight start in his stead and though defensive coordinator Perry Fewell anticipated using Phillips in a three-safety package, Phillips' absence didn't deter him from going with it on occasion. Without Phillips, Tyler Sash got snaps as the third safety." Read more...
Eli Manning: "I Didn't Play Well" In Giants' Loss To Steelers
Excerpt: "The day after the Giants' 24-20 loss to the Steelers, in which Eli Manning didn't look Eli Manning-like, the Giants quarterback did not hesitate to be self-critical.
"Obviously, I didn’t play well last night," Manning said today. "And there is no hiding it. I didn’t play my best football. I've got to play better. I think that is all I am worried about."
Manning passed for just 125 yards, completed just 41.7 percent of his passes and had a passer rating of just 41.1. In three of the past four games, his passing yardage has dipped below 200 yards, something that hadn't happened in his previous 24 regular-season starts -- which had been the second-longest streak in NFL history.
Is this a slump, for Manning or the Giants offense?
"Whatever you want to call it," Manning said. "We are not playing good football. And that is what it is. No one is going to come in and help us out. It is all about us getting back to playing better football and convert on third down and get more opportunities to make plays, and we will do that." Read more...
Giants' Justin Tuck Mindful Of Second Half Swoons, But Not Worried
Excerpt: "Justin Tuck was ready for the barrage of questions. It was inevitable. And he understood why. The defensive end is well-aware of the Giants' recent second-half history, of the perennial struggles that seemingly strike as soon as trick-or-treating concludes and November hits.
Never in Tom Coughlin's first eight seasons in East Rutherford did the Giants finish with a better second-half record than in the first half. Last season, after a 6-2 start, the Giants lost four straight and went 3-5 over the final eight games. In 2010, they went 4-4 after a 6-2 start. And so on.
Sunday, another second half commenced with another defeat, at the hands of the Steelers to snap a four-game winning streak. Including Sunday, they are 13-20 in November and 32-40 from Nov. 1 since Coughlin took over in 2004.
Tuck understands Sunday's result will garner the annual questions. He insisted the entire team is cognizant of the past; though they haven't had a proper meeting on the perennial matter, he said players have discussed it amongst themselves. And the defensive captain maintains he isn't concerned." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Eli Manning Needs To Snap Out Of It If The Giants If The Giants To Repeat As Super Bowl Champs
Excerpt: "If Eli Manning doesn’t break out of his slump and start playing great again, then the Giants have no chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
They can overcome a sack slump from JPP, or Corey Webster returning to being the most beatable corner in the league or Ahmad Bradshaw suffering his annual debilitating foot injury or even Tom Coughlin suddenly starting to coach like Jason Garrett.
They can’t win the Super Bowl with Manning playing the way he has over the last four weeks. Last year, they quickly turned 6-2 into 6-6 and that was when Manning was playing well. That story, of course, had a happy ending.
The NFL is all about quarterbacks and the Giants are all about Eli, and Eli right now is not about getting the Giants into the end zone.
I asked Justin Tuck on Monday if it’s going to be hard for the Giants to overcome a less-than-great Manning.
“Sure it is. No question,” he said. “Any time a quarterback doesn’t play great football — this is a quarterback-driven league and especially with this team becoming so accustomed to No. 10 playing great and being Superman in the fourth quarter. You got to expect that not to be the case every time. It’s not like we are going to lose any confidence or anything like that.”
Manning was just 10-for-24 for 125 yards against Pittsburgh. In the fourth quarter, which has been Manning Time for quite some time, he was 1-for-5 for one yard ans was sacked twice.
“If we get in that situation this Sunday and he has the ball with four minutes to go and we need a touchdown, I’m probably going to be sitting on the bench saying, ‘Defense, get ready to go back and finish the game out,’” Tuck said. “I feel like he’s going to be able to lead that offense down and get that touchdown.” Read more...
Giants' Insider: Giants' Second Half Kicks Off With Blues
Excerpt: "The minute the Giants lost in the ninth game of the season, Tom Coughlin knew the questions would be coming. His teams have a terrible history in the second halves of seasons.
Or at least in the second halves of regular seasons.
“I didn’t see any problems at the end of last season,” Coughlin said, reminding everyone that the Giants won their last six games en route to winning Super Bowl XLVI. “You could talk about it all you want. I don’t know what the numbers are and I’m not defending anything. I’m just telling you the facts are the facts.”
The facts, though, aren’t all good even though Coughlin’s teams have won two Super Bowls in his eight previous seasons. His teams have made the journey difficult by going 13-20 in November, 27-38 in the second halves.
That’s a bad trend, especially considering their stellar 53-19 record in the first halves of seasons. But the Giants are not worried . . . at least not yet.
“We won the Super Bowl last year and didn’t win a game in November (they actually won one),” Justin Tuck said. “If you ask me would I want to win a Super Bowl like that again? Sure. But do I want to go 0-for-November? Absolutely not.
“So am I worried about it? No. I feel very confident in this team. We just have to go out and play better and not worry about our past.” Read more..
Giants' Eli Manning In Deep Funk That Has Tom Coughlin And Big Blue Baffled
Excerpt: "Eli Manning resisted the word when it first came up on Sunday, and he still refused to use it on Monday.
But his performances over the last few weeks have made it obvious that whether he uses the word or not, Manning is definitely stuck in a slump.
That’s a big problem for the defending Super Bowl champions, especially since it’s becoming one of the longest slumps the Giants quarterback has had in several years.
“You know, whatever you want to call it, we’re not playing good football,” Manning said, one day after his miserable performance in a 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. “That’s what it is. No one’s going to come in and help us out. It’s all about us getting back to playing better football."
That starts with Manning, of course, as it always does with the Giants (6-3). Through the first third of the season, the two-time Super Bowl MVP seemed to be on top of his game. Just two weeks ago he was being hailed as perhaps the best quarterback in the NFL and legitimate candidate for MVP. Now the question has suddenly changed from “How good is Eli?” to “What’s wrong with Eli?” after he failed to top 200 passing yards for the third time in his last four games.
Rock bottom seemed to come against the Steelers when he completed just 10 of 24 passes for a dismal 125 yards, with no touchdowns and one ugly interception. He was at his worst in the fourth quarter when he completed 1 of 5 passes for one yard, took two sacks, and directed an offense that went three-and-out on all three of its drives with the game on the line.
That was a stunningly bad performance for a quarterback who had become known for coming through in the clutch.
“Obviously I didn’t play well (Sunday) night. There’s no hiding it,” Manning said. “I didn’t play my best football and I’ve got to play better. That’s all I’m worried about.”
No one ever imagined that would be a worry after the first five games of the season. Manning was outstanding, completing 65 percent of his passes (128 for 197) for 1,579 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions, for an excellent passer rating of 96.0.
In hindsight, though, there were bad signs. He was mediocre in the opening-night loss to Dallas (21-of-32, 213 yards, one touchdown). He also threw three interceptions in Week 2 against Tampa, before leading a furious fourth-quarter comeback to bail his team out. Then, in the last four weeks, the passing game seemed to stall — it’s only bright spot a 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz in the waning minutes against the Redskins." Read more...
Giants' Offense Missing Cruz Control
Excerpt: "The pitch-and-catch prowess of Eli Manning and Victor Cruz has slowed to a crawl. Cruz followed up a two-catch outing at Dallas with a low-impact, five-catch showing in the 24-20 loss to the Steelers.It’s not for a lack of trying, as Manning targeted Cruz 11 times.
“It’s just a matter of in the course of the game, when things happen that kind of derail us or things that happen that we don’t expect to see coverage-wise, we just have to do a good job adjusting to that,’’ Cruz said.
There has been plenty of talk about “miscommunications’’ as Manning and Cruz are clearly not on the same page.
“I think that hopefully we can, you know, get back on the same page and deliver and be able to communicate as we have in the past,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “Hopefully it will be this week.’’
Asked if the offense is in a slump, Coughlin said: “I don’t know what that is. This is not baseball.’’ Read more...
Giants Not Wary Of Annual Second Half Swoon
Excerpt: "The minute the Giants lost their ninth game of the season Tom Coughlin knew the questions would be coming. His teams have a terrible history in the second halves of seasons.
Or at least in the second halves of regular seasons.
“I didn’t see any problems at the end of last season,” Coughlin said, reminding everyone that the Giants won their last six games enroute to the Super Bowl XLVI title. “You could talk about it all you want. I don’t know what the numbers are and I’m not defending anything, I’m just telling you the facts are the facts.”
The facts, though, aren’t all good even though Coughlin’s teams have won two Super Bowl championships in his eight previous seasons. His teams have also made their own lives difficult by going 13-20 in November and by going 27-38 in the second halves.
That’s a bad trend, especially considering their stellar 53-19 record in the first halves of seasons. But the Giants are not worried … at least not yet.
“No, I’m not worried,” Justin Tuck said. “We won the Super Bowl last year and didn’t win a game in November (they actually won one). If you ask me would I want to win a Super Bowl like that again? Sure. But do I want to go 0 for November? Absolutely not." Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
No Need To Panic, Eli Will Right The Ship...Again
Excerpt: "All it takes is one demoralizing defeat, a troubling pair of games where King Eli has misplaced his elite crown, for a barrage of questions from media and concerns from fans about another second-half swoon under Tom Coughlin that would sabotage the Giants’ Super Bowl defense.
In this euphoria-disaster sports town we live in, everybody rushes to the panic room first and asks questions later.There will be no second-half swoon this time.
You either believe in Eli Manning or you do not.
You either believe he is a two-time Super Bowl MVP in his prime, or you do not.
He has righted The Big Blue Ship before, and he will right it again.
“The fact of the matter is this,” Justin Tuck said. “I’ve been in the league [eight] years, and been with Eli for all eight years. ... I really haven’t seen a guy that’s more professional about his approach ... about dissecting a defense, and getting his team in position to be successful. It hasn’t worked the last two weeks. But I’m not worried about him because of the fact that he’s probably more critical on himself than anybody is ever going to be with him so, I know he’s in the film room, I know he’s doing everything possible to get the ship righted.
“He demands that from everybody else around him, too, so ... he’s not perfect, he’s not going to go out there and throw eight touchdowns and 400 yards every game.
“But he’s definitely going to go out and [put his] best foot forward, and always do the things that are going to help this team win. Football is funny that way, when you put that much effort into things, your likelihood of being successful goes up, and I know he’s doing that, and I’m not worried about him bouncing back.” Read more...
"We're Not Playing Good Football": Eli Says He And The Giants Have To Improve
Excerpt: "Is Eli Manning in a slump?“Whatever you want to call it, we’re not playing good football,’’ Manning said on Monday, the day after a 24-20 loss to the Steelers ended the Giants’ four-game winning streak. “That’s what it is.’’
That’s sure what it looks like it is. Manning’s effectiveness has taken a noticeable dive in the past four games but in the first three the Giants were able to navigate their way to victories over the 49ers, Redskins and Cowboys. It didn’t happen against the Steelers, as Manning played one of his worst games, completing 10 of 24 passes for 125 yards and one interception. The 125 yards were his lowest total since he threw for 119 yards at Minnesota on Dec. 28, 2008 – when he played only the first half. It was his lowest total in a full game since he passed for 111 yards at Buffalo on Dec. 23 – a game played during a driving snowstorm at times.
In three of the past four games, Manning has thrown for fewer than 200 yards after he had thrown for at least 200 yards in 24 consecutive games – the second-longest streak in NFL history.
“Obviously, I didn’t play well last night,’’ Manning said. “There’s no hiding it. I didn’t play my best football and I’ve got to play better. That’s all I’m worried about. You go from week-to-week, you go from game-to-game, you see where you need to make improvements and you make those improvements. I’ve gone through stretches where I haven’t played great football, and I’ve been able to bounce back and start playing better.’’ Read more...
It's Not A Trend Yet
Excerpt: "He ended the sentence with a three-letter word that is sure to send a shiver down the spine of Giants fans, even the ones fortunate enough to have power restored to their homes.
Justin Tuck said losing one game does not mean the Giants are embarking on one of their familiar second-half swoons.
“I don’t think it’s a trend,’’ Tuck said yesterday. “Yet.’’
Of course by “yet’’ he did not mean losing 24-20 to the Steelers to end a four-game winning streak is the start of another slide. The Giants never think that way, despite the evidence it often is that way.
“I guess you keep talking about our history, I’m trying not to but you can’t hide it, it’s been there,’’ Tuck said. “I wish I could sit here and say this team is going to be different from that, but I can’t tell the future. All I can tell is we’re aware of it and we’re trying our darndest to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’’
This is either a here-we-go-again warning or a single loss after a rough week of post-Hurricane Sandy fallout. The Giants in October are 30-6 in coach Tom Coughlin’s eight-plus seasons, but the trick is on them after Halloween, when the Giants in the regular season are 32-40. Tucked into the second-half losing are also two rousing Super Bowl triumphs, achievements Coughlin is quick to point out whenever this late-Autumn and early Winter chill is mentioned." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
Giants Notes: No Setback For Phillips
Excerpt: "Coach Tom Coughlin said Kenny Phillips did not suffer a setback over the weekend, but rather he was not ready to play against the Steelers, the reason he was not active for the game.
Phillips seemed confident his return would happen Sunday when he spoke to the media for the first time since spraining his MCL against the Eagles in Week 4.
"I don’t know if you would call it [a setback]," Coughlin said Monday. "Just didn’t feel like after a couple of days of practice that he could do the things he had to do to perform in the role that we wanted him to be in."
Stevie Brown started his fifth consecutive game in Phillips’ absence. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell stuck with a three-safety package in the game plan with Tyler Sash getting snaps as the third safety.
Former St. Peter’s Prep star Will Hill completed his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substances policy. The rookie safety was in the Giants’ locker room Monday and the team has until Monday to activate Hill from the suspended list and add him to the 53-man roster.
Hill must be added by 4 p.m. Saturday in order to be eligible to play at Cincinnati." Read more...
Giants Expecting Slumping Eli To Come Back Strong
Excerpt: "The day after did not necessarily provide Eli Manning with the football epiphany for what he can do differently to break out from the struggles that have plagued the Giants’ passing game over the past month.
Don’t expect the two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback to change much in his routine and stray from what he believes to be essential in his success while seeking a turnaround.
Technique. Preparation. Film study. Decision-making.
When things are going well, Manning cites those elements as the reason for that ability to raise his game to another level.
There should be no surprise to what Manning is clinging to now as he tries to snap out of his current “slump,” even if no one involved with the Giants dared to use that word Monday.
“No one likes to lose and no one likes to play poorly. You are hurting about that,” Manning said, referring to the Giants’ mood and how they plan to rebound from a frustrating 24-20 loss to the Steelers on Sunday. “You want to come in and watch the film and see how we are going to get better, how we are going to improve the things that we need to fix and that we can look at. And it starts with looking at yourself first and seeing where you need to improve and make adjustments to make sure you are doing everything you can to put your team in situations to win games.
“That is where it starts. That is part of a football season. It’s never going to be perfect every week. There are going to be stretches where you don’t play up to your potential.”
Manning finds himself in one of those right now.
The Giants (6-3) had won four in a row, but the issues that have been plaguing the passing game are somewhat concerning.
Over the last 14 quarters, Manning has just one touchdown pass." Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Upon Further Review: Steelers Game
"Coach Tom Coughlin reflects on the Giants' Week 9 game agaianst the Steelers after reviewing the tape
Two weeks ago, the Giants prepared to face the Dallas Cowboys with an offense that was ranked second in the NFL in total yards (411.6 per game) and third in passing yards (295.3). Today, a day after a 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in which the offense underperformed for the second week in a row, the Giants are ranked 10th (372.9) and ninth (263.4), respectively. Coach Coughlin Emphasizing Run Defense
Clearly, this trend needs to be reversed if the Giants are to return not just to their gaudy stats but to the level of play that saw them win four consecutive games prior to their defeat yesterday.
“I just think for some reason, we’re not clicking like we were,” coach Tom Coughlin said today. “Two weeks ago, we were the number one big-play team in the league. After two weeks of admittedly poor offensive play, we’re sitting here with not a lot to show for it. Hopefully, we can get back on the same page and deliver and be able to communicate as we have in the past. Hopefully, it’ll be this week.”
The Giants next play Sunday in Cincinnati, their final game before the bye.
In the last two games – a victory over Dallas and the loss to Pittsburgh – the Giants scored only two offensive touchdowns, both on one-yard runs by Andre Brown . They totaled only 24 first downs, had consecutive sub 200-yard passing games for the first time since Dec. 5 and 13, 2010, vs. Washington and Minnesota – two games they won.
Against the Steelers, the Giants totaled only 182 yards, their lowest figure in almost three years. They had 13 first downs and converted just two of 10 third down opportunities.
Asked if slumps are applicable to football, Coughlin said, “I don’t know what that is. This is not baseball. I think we didn’t play well. We didn’t play well for a couple weeks on offense and we’ve got to do better. We’ve got to get back to: drop back, throw it. Let’s get the game going.”
When an offense struggles, scrutiny instantly falls on the quarterback. In the last two games, Eli Manning completed 25 of 53 passes (47.2 percent) for 317 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 50.6. It’s the first time he’s gone consecutive games without throwing a touchdown pass since Sept. 26, and Oct, 3, 2010. Manning completed only 10 passes vs. the Steelers – one on third down – and his 41.1 passer rating Sunday was his lowest in the regular season since a 32.2 rating at Buffalo on Dec. 23, 2007 in perhaps the most challenging weather conditions of his career.
Manning has been the first to admit he hasn’t performed to his capability.
“Obviously, I didn’t play well last night,” he said. “There’s no hiding it. I didn’t play my best football and I’ve got to play better. That’s all I’m worried about. You go from week-to-week, you go from game-to-game, you see where you need to make improvements and you make those improvements. I’ve gone through stretches where I haven’t played great football, and I’ve been able to bounce back and start playing better.”
In the first five games of the season, Manning completed 65 percent of his passes, averaged 315.8 yards a game, threw 10 touchdown passes and five interceptions and had a rating of 96.0. In the last four games, his completion percentage was 54.5, his per-game yardage was 211.8, he threw two scoring passes and four picks and his rating was 68.4.
So is Manning in a slump?
“I don’t think so,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “I think it’s just a matter of all of us getting on the same page and we’ll be all right. I won’t call it a slump, but it’s just a couple of bad games of where everybody is just not getting things done together and catching the football and moving the ball. So I wouldn’t necessarily call it a slump.”
“Whatever you want to call it, we’re not playing good football,” Manning said. “That’s what it is. No one is going to come in and help us out. It’s all about us, getting back to playing better football, converting on third downs, getting more opportunities to make plays and we’ll do that.”
Coughlin is confident Manning will quickly return to the high level where he resided early in the season.
“(Because of his) ability,” Coughlin said. “Who he is and how he works. He’s resilient. The type of person he is, the character that he has, the pride and the work ethic, all of those things. He’ll come bouncing back. He’ll be back.”
Manning and his receivers seemed out of sync all day. Cruz caught five passes for 67 yards, but Hakeem Nicks finished with only one 10-yard reception.
“There are certain miscommunications that are going on out there,” Cruz said. “Just as far as the full scheme of the routes that are going on, everybody has to be on the same page and we haven’t been having that lately.
“In the course of the game when things happen that kind of derail us or certain things that we don’t expect to see coverage-wise, we just have to do a good job of adjusting to that. And I think we didn’t do a good job of adjusting throughout the game to the different coverages, to adjusting our routes and our route combinations according to the coverage. So I think that was just one of the things that we saw that we’ve just got to get squared away and learn not just adjusting to what we see on film and during the week of practice, but adjusting to the different coverages they might play throughout the course of the game.”
“I don’t think we’ve been off on a lot of things,” Manning said. “Teams have had some good play calls against us. I think it’s just a matter of getting great reps, working at practice and making everything game-like.”
Nicks hasn’t produced as he normally does since his return following three weeks on the sideline with foot and knee injuries. In four games, he has 13 catches for 152 yards and no touchdowns.
Asked if Nicks is healthy enough to play a larger role, Coughlin said, “Well, I certainly hope so. That’s what we depend on. We haven’t seen that and it hasn’t happened in the last couple of weeks. That’s another area that we have to get going.”
Sunday in Cincinnati would be a good time and place to start.
“I think we can work it out, I definitely do,” Coughlin said today. “I think it’s got to happen relatively fast, to be honest with you. I think it can be solved, I think a lot of it is the individual. When you look at some things, like the crossing pattern that was tipped, there’s nobody on it. I mean, he’s got a chance to turn and go. The ball doesn’t get there, the ball gets tipped and that hurt us. On that third-and-one, it was a fade stop; there was a miscommunication between looking for the ball and winning deep by the rookie Rueben Randle. That can be worked out. So, I think a lot of this can be solved.”
Excerpt: "The Giants’ run defense has been positively schizophrenic for most of the season.
In the last six games, the defense has allowed on the ground, in order, 191, 84, 80, 248, 19 and 158 yards. That last total was given up yesterday, in a 24-20 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in MetLife Stadium.
As someone who values consistency, Tom Coughlin is not pleased with those high numbers in that lineup. And when he was asked today how he would prioritize all the Giants issues that must be addressed this week, he first said, “You’ve got to stop the run. In our game, you’ve got to stop the run.”
Isaac Redman, listed third at running back on the Steelers’ depth chart, rushed for 147 yards on 26 carries, including the game-winning one-yard touchdown with 4:02 left.
The Giants played without middle linebacker Chase Blackburn , who entered the game as the team’s leading tackler with 46 (33 solo). The eight-year veteran also calls the defensive signals.
Coughlin said he “definitely” missed Blackburn, who suffered a hamstring injury the previous week in Dallas.
“We had some poor tackling, I think,” Blackburn said. “Even the runs that were hit for three or four yard gains, we hit them at minus-one or one yard or at the line of scrimmage and they just continued to roll forward for a little bit. For a bigger back like that, we’ve got to get him by his legs and stop them churning. He did a good job of working his feet, continuing to drive and we’ve just got to get his feet out from under him so that we can get them in second-and-long and third-and-long instead of giving them manageable downs.”
Second-year pro Mark Herzlich made his first start of the season in Blackburn’s place. Coughlin said Herzlich “played okay. He can be better.”
Herzlich was credited with eight tackles (six solo).
“I was in the right spots and that was one of the biggest things for your first game, to be in the right spots,” Herzlich said. “On one play, I came through and kind of got chipped off a tackle and it could have been a tackle for a loss and it ended up gaining two or three yards. I have to be more aggressive on that touchdown route in the back of the end zone (Emmanuel Sanders’ four-yard catch in the second quarter). There are ones where you look back and you say you could do better. Every single play can get a little better, but it was definitely something that I can build off of.”
*Blackburn said he will test his hamstring later this week.
“We’re going to continue to push it and hopefully it will continue to progress and I can be out there,” Blackburn said. “We haven’t tested it at 100 percent yet. When you have your high hamstring and you want to give it time to rest before you really try to push it, because if you push it and it doesn’t work then it becomes a longer issue. We’re going to have to test it at some point. So we’ll determine when that point is whenever they tell me and we’ll test it and give it a go and hopefully it will be ready this week.”
*Defensive end Juston Tuck had an answer ready when a reporter said to him the Giants could be on a three-game losing streak if not for a handful of plays.
“No doubt, and then (with) a handful of plays we could be undefeated,” he said. “It’s the NFL. When I retire, I might start doing some studies on what that means, but the NFL is so funny that way. It’s amazing that we lost this game to Pittsburgh and we feel like crap, but if we would have played the same exact way and Ben (Roethlisberger) would have fumbled one of those snaps and we would have picked it up and scored a touchdown to win the game at the buzzer we would have come in here and probably felt like we played the greatest game ever. So it’s all about wins and losses in this league and it doesn’t matter what you do in a loss or what you do in a win. If you lose the game, you’re going to feel like crap. If you win it, you’re going to feel tremendously better.”
*The Giants uncharacteristically gave up kickoff returns of 50 and 68 yards and a 63-yard punt return vs. Pittsburgh.
“People out of position,” Coughlin said. “People blocked. Not making the tackle. Not positioning ourselves to trap the return man, whether it be punt return or kickoff return. A lot of poor play with regard to that.”
*The final numbers on the Giants’ food drive to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy: 38,405 pounds of food and $18,723, making it by far the team’s most successful drive ever.
*The Giants have received a one-game roster exemption for safety Will Hill, whose four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances has expired.
If the Giants want to activate Hill before the Monday deadline, the roster exemption will be lifted."
Giants' Will Hill Retirns From Suspension: Team Has One Week Toster Exemption
Excerpt: "Safety Will Hill returned to the New York Giants on Monday for the first time since October 8th following a four-game suspension for the use of Adderall. As it was with Tyler Sash before him, the Giants now have a one-week roster exemption that will allow them to practice with 54 players until Monday (11/12) or until Hill is put back on the 53-man roster." Read more...
Giants' Eli Manning Won't Hide From Criticism; Knows He Played Poorly
Excerpt: "New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has never been one to place blame or hide from criticism. If anything, Manning often accepts responsibility for things he shouldn't and assumes blame for nearly all offensive failures. That didn't change on Monday, as Eli acknowledged his poor play during a 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Manning stopped short of calling it a slump, but his struggles were not limited to Sunday's loss. After 24 consecutive 200+ yard passing performances, Manning has only thrown for 200+ yards once in the last four games (334 against Washington) and has thrown four interceptions in the last three games. To top it off, the 14.2 QBR posted on Sunday was also the lowest of the season." Read more...
"Obviously I didn't play well last night. There's no hiding it," Manning said. "I've got play better."
BIG BLUE VIEW
Giants-Steelers "Kudos And Wet Willies" Review
Excerpt: "It is time for this week's 'Kudos & Wet Willies.' Our review of the New York Giants' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers reflects, I think, the ugliness of Sunday's game from the Giants' perspective.
Kudos to ..
Michael Boley: I can't pin the Giants' defensive failures on Boley. He had 11 tackles and a touchdown on the Ben Roethlisberger fumble.
Antrel Rolle: Rolle had a pass batted down on a blitz and nine tackles, including one on the goal line that created the fourth down on which Pittsburgh unsuccessfully tried a fake field goal. He had nine tackles.
Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora: Each of the Giants trio of defensive ends made his presence felt in this game. Pierre-Paul had eight tackles (two for loss), a sack and a hit on Roethlisberger. Tuck has his most productive game of the season with two sacks, five tackles (two for loss), two hits on Roethlisberger and a pass batted down. Umenyiora had seven tackles and a sack." Read more...
Instant Analysis: Giants Weren't Tough Enough
Excerpt: "The New York Giants spent a lot of time during the week leading up to Sunday's game talking about doing their part to help the community recover, at least emotionally, from the mess left behind by Superstorm Sandy. Before the game they honored New York and New Jersey first responders who have been dealing with the hurricane's after-effects, and service men and women as part of the team's 'Salute to Service' game.
The stage was set for the Giants to play an emotional game, to turn Sunday into a joyous occasion for many who really needed something to celebrate after a miserable week.
Instead, the Giants were physically mauled by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Isaac Redman, a third-string running back, carried 26 times for 147 yards. He ran over, around and through the Giants' defense while doing his LeSean McCoy impersonation.
- The Steelers held the ball for more than 35 minutes.
After the game, radio analyst Carl Banks took to Twitter to point out just how awful the Giants' defense was on Sunday -- and to remind everyone that this is not exactly unusual. Banks tweeted:
#TRENDINGBAD How this for a bad def @Giants trend.. Phil 191yds rush, dal400+pass, wash248 rush,Pitt 158 rush.. #yallbetterthanthat!
The defense wasn't the only issue. In fact, it probably wasn't the biggest issue.
The special teams surrendered three returns (two kickoffs, one punt) of 50 yards or more." Read more...
THE RED ZONE
By The Numbers: Manning's Struggles
Excerpt: "Eli Manning says there's no hiding how he played against Pittsburgh on Sunday.
"Obviously, I didn't play well last night," Manning said Monday. "And there is no hiding it. I didn't play my best football. I got to play better. I think that is all I am worried about."
Manning completed just 1-of-5 passes for a yard and was sacked twice as the Steelers erased a 20-10 deficit in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 unanswered points.
But Manning also has not played up to his high standards in the past three games. He has just one touchdown to four interceptions in that span. " Read more...
A Look Back: Coughlin "OK" With Diehl
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin made a lineup change to his offensive line by starting David Diehl back in his spot at right tackle and replacing Sean Locklear.
After losing 24-20 to the Steelers, Coughlin was asked how he thought Diehl looked in his first start since Week 2 when he injured his MCL.
"He did O.K.," Coughlin said. "He had the one false start that hurt."
The offensive line surrendered two sacks against Pittsburgh. Eli Manning had been sacked just six times entering the game. The Giants also were only able to rush for 68 yards on 22 carries in the game.
Coughlin was asked if the offensive line did not play as well as it had been in previous weeks.
"I don’t know," Coughlin said. "The first-half run game was pretty good. I think the protection was O.K. I didn’t see anything really dramatically wrong with that and there was some pressure here or there, but by and large it wasn’t a huge factor." Read more...
Giants' Eli Manning Seeks To Improve
Excerpt: "Eli Manning gave a blunt assessment of his performance Sunday in the Giants' 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the two-time Super Bowl MVP struggled.
"Obviously, I didn't play well last night," Manning said Monday. "And there is no hiding it. I didn't play my best football. I got to play better. I think that is all I am worried about."
After orchestrating 23 regular-season wins in which the Giants trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter, Manning's struggles in the final quarter against Pittsburgh were uncharacteristic and stunning.He completed just 1-of-5 passes for a yard and was sacked twice as the Steelers erased a 20-10 deficit in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 unanswered points.But Manning also has not played up to his high standards in the past three games. He has just one touchdown to four interceptions in that span.Since passing for 337 yards against the Redskins, he has 317 yards in the past two games combined.Coach Tom Coughlin and Manning were asked if the team is in a slump."This is not baseball," Coughlin said." Read more...
NFC East Spin Cycle: What's Wrong With Eli?
Excerpt: "It wasn’t the division’s finest hour in Week Nine, with all three teams losing prior to the Eagles’ Monday night game against the Saints. The Giants’ home loss wasn’t shocking, and being a non-conference game, it had less impact than the Cowboys’ and Redskins’ losses in games they could have won with crisper execution. A few of the division's coaches, Dallas' Jason Garrett and Washington's Mike Shanahan, might have been put on notice as the second half of the season is before them.
What we learned: It’s no time to panic. Losing 24-20 to the Steelers is hardly a scar on their record, but it was a game where the number of concerns that were raised — all phases on offense, plus select elements (especially vs. the run) on “D” — was surprising. Eli Manning and Victor Cruz were off again, the offensive line had trouble blocking, the run game was muted, and those patented relief appearances did not come up big, as usual. MLB Mark Herzlich, making his first start in place of injured Chase Blackburn, seemed to struggle. The Steelers’ run game was far from fancy, attacking the Giants right up the gut, and Herzlich appeared to have trouble disengaging from blocks.
What’s in store next: The Bengals were 3-1 at one time but have dropped four in a row and have allowed 106 points on defense during that slide. Perhaps it’s the perfect landing spot for the Giants, who travel to Cincinnati next Sunday. Prior to the loss to the Steelers, the Giants had won 4-of-5 vs. AFC North teams. Manning also will get a pretty good scouting report, if he so chooses, from brother Peyton, who was picked twice against the Bengals in Week Nine but otherwise was sharp in a 31-23 Broncos road victory.
What the heck? What’s going on with Eli? That’s three games now where the passing game has been in a funk. Yes, Manning hit Cruz for 77 yards in the win over the Redskins. But that was an outlier — the effectiveness has slowly waned since the win over the Browns and has landed in full slump mode after Sunday. The Steelers’ defense came in ranked No. 1 against the pass, but that was a clear example of Manning and the Giants struggling and inflicting some of their own wounds. A late decision to start Dave Diehl at right tackle proved to be a poor one; he struggled, especially in the second half. Manning did not look like his usually steady self, often showing happy feet amid pressure or throwing wobbling passes. The Giants converted only 2-of-10 third downs." Read more...
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