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At 2-6, New York Giants’ Philosophy Hasn’t Changed

November 9th, 2013 at 7:00 AM
By Jen Polashock

As the “Owen” jokes are somewhat of a distant memory, the changes made to get the last two wins weren’t drastic. The New York Football Giants really only needed to dig deep within for what’s been there all along.

'Tom Coughlin watches from the sideline' photo (c) 2012, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Head Coach Tom Coughlin is not one to quit, as some suggested he should (and would) do by season’s end. We still stand firm on the fact that this August-September assumption was ludicrous. Coughlin stays.

Coach is still, in fact, being asked about the attitude of his team and how they’re responding — even through the bye week. His answers however, remain very much like those of every year, independent of the Giants’ record.

"Was I happy with the way they came back? They’re very much aware of the circumstance we’ve put ourselves in and the importance of the final eight games of the year and the schedule now is an eight-game schedule, one game at a time, but the significance of which is great. They did come back focused and they came back rested. There’s no doubt how we’ve challenged them now," Coughlin told Giants.com. "We have to have great focus; we have to have great concentration, no distractions. We have to give superb effort on the field and in the class room and we have to do it consistently day in and day out. And there’s nobody who can tell me that they can’t do it with this eight-game schedule….we have to win. You don’t depend on anybody else. We have an exciting and challenging schedule, but you have to take care of yourself. You have to be prepared; you have to go win football games. Now five of them are at home, that seems this year to have great significance around the league as I see it, and I’m hoping that that is a very significant factor as we move forward here."

While there is no doubt that there are areas that need improvement, some sides of the ball are finding their niche: the defense. The defense which hasn’t let an opponent’s offense score a touchdown since the second quarter of the Chicago Bears game is one that Coughlin sees a transformation.

“Well, number one is that we’re performing better and we continue to do a nice job against the run. I think we’re contesting the pass better and we’re turning the ball over. We’re plus-two (turnover differential) two games in a row without an offensive turnover. That’s really been the difference," he said.

Like many of us fans, coach sees an area that shouldn’t be mentioned.

“Now, can we shore up and eliminate the colossal special teams error, one a week? That’s a tremendous challenge for the people that we play against. What happened against Philadelphia (Zak DeOssie’s punt high snap) was as bizarre as anything I’ve ever seen…never even been close (to doing that in practices). I know it was Halloween, but what was that?”

At least he has a sense of humor about that.

Another area that is obvious in improvement comes from quarterback Eli Manning.

“He’s also got the benefit of balance. There’s not a lot of yardage to show for it, but 32 and 31 rushing attempts in the last two games, it’s important. If you keep track of statistics, how many games do we win when we rush the ball over 30 times? I’ll bet there’s a bunch," he added.

Well, Tom, some of us paid attention to that statistic. The run to pass ratio changed with the Chicago game. Here are the numbers going backwards from Week 8: vs. Philadelphia 31 runs: 39 passes, vs. Minnesota 32:39, vs. Chicago 26:26, vs. Philadelphia the first meeting the Giants ran 17 times and passed 52, vs. Kansas City ran 21 to 37 passes attempted, vs. Carolina was 16:27, vs. Denver 29:43 and finally, Week 1 vs. Dallas 14:42. What used to be skewed isn’t anymore. New York Giants football is balance and lo and behold, the defense doesn’t suffer. Protecting the ball helps tremendously too.

Next goal in the improvement department: scoring on offense. Unfortunately, that big answer that’s being sought out hasn’t come from coach this week.

“You’ve also got to look at the limited number of big plays. We were a big play offense, it was nothing for us to have 10 big plays in a game. We’re scrambling for big plays right now. That, and then obviously we’re not going to complain about any win, we want to win games”, he told Giants.com. “I don’t care if it’s 3-2, but we’re noticeably not getting into the end zone. Again, we didn’t turn it over, we kicked five field goals, we won a game, we played good defense. We’ll take that, look at it, analyze it, take the good, analyze it and try to improve on the bad and go on to the next one."

On to the next win, please.

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Tags: Eli Manning, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Zak DeOssie

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2 Responses to “At 2-6, New York Giants’ Philosophy Hasn’t Changed”

  1. Dan BentonDan Benton says:

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  2.  James Stoll says:

    The second half of the season begins tomorrow and for the first time in the Coughlin era the G-Men find themselves on the bottom looking up. Even in the 6-10 ’04 campaign we were 5-3 at the turn. Given our final records that means we’ve always had horrible second halves. 2008′s 5-3 and 2005′s 5-3 are the only winning second half this team has ever known. That said, with this our first losing first half of the season, something different may be afoot.

    The Giants have won two straight; but they’ve done it against weak opponents playing our particular game without real QBs. Who knows if we beat Minnesota if Ponder had played, or Philly with either a healthy Vick or Nick Foles. Both team’s most recent performances would suggest no, but you play who they line up against you, take your W’s and never look back.

    This week the football gods appear to again be conspiring in our favor. Oakland without MacFadden leaving only Pryor to defend. One would think put a spy on him to limit the runs and game over offensively. Having just allowed Foles to light them up with 7 TDs, you would think Eli could chuck at least 3; and even if ugly you would think the Giants take this easily along the lines of 27-10.

    Then they get GB without Rogers. Seneca Wallace is now the QB. He’s beaten us before (2011 at home), but you are just not scared of him. So if Andre Brown begins to round into form, the o-line is just a little better, and the defense can continue the respectable play of late, one would think a W here is now very possible (depending on how Wallace looks this week, maybe even likely).

    Then comes Dallas amidst rumors that Bryant is hurting and possibly badly so. Dallas’ defense continues to be dreadful so that looks possible.

    After that Washington. Unlike recent years, their defense is very poor this year. RG is up and down and there is simply nothing about them that should scare. Minnesota put up a lot of yards and points in beating them Thursday (albeit with Ponder) and that was after spotting the Skins 13.

    So we really could enter the last quarter of the season at 6-6. At that point we would face SD (away), Seattle (home), Detroit (away), Skins (home).
    The first three games could all easily be L’s but all 3 also could go our way. SD is forever unpredictably bad when they should be good. Their loss to the Skins last week is but the most recent example. Seattle showed a serious **** in barely squeaking by Jacksonville at home. Their offense is nothing special if Lynch is stymied. That game should come down to whether Eli withers beneath the pressure their defense will surely bring. Either Eli will have one of his multiple-turnover games or he will hit 2 or 3 50+ yards bombs to Nicks and/or Cruz to win despite the lack of sustained offense.
    Detroit in the dome will be a brutally Toth test for our D; perhaps the toughest of the season. But if we get to that point alive and in it, we will be playing with house money. Then we finish with the Skins at home, and if that game has the division at stake, what more can you ask.
    Can this year, this dreadfully started campaign be the greatest second half of the Coughlin era? And if it turns out to be that way, will it be enough to punch a ticket to the post-season? We are about to find out.

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