If winning builds character then losing deteriorates identity, at least for the New York Giants. The team’s current five game losing streak includes games in which they scored 0 points, gave up 40 points, and lost a couple by less than a TD. Injuries are a key reason for the team’s struggles, something defensive coordinator Perry Fewell analyzed.
“You get out of the flow of what you are trying to call," noted Fewell. "You are trying to make sure, you have the proper personnel in the game, have an attacked based upon what you have worked on all week. It takes you out of your rhythm a little bit of how you would like to attack the opponent.”
One of those battling health issues is star corner, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
“Obviously he is feeling better," stated Fewell. "Before he just couldn’t practice.” and that “…it does make it difficult to matchup and without a full strength ‘21’ [Rodgers-Cromartie]. ‘21’ has really done a good job of practicing and he has done a good job of trying to stay in the ball game and play as much as he can possibly play. I am encouraged by what we see out of ’21.’” The defensive head also made certain that his corner would not be subbed off, saying “We don’t sub him in and out. It’s strictly health related.”
In terms of keeping the 49ers to 16 points last week, Fewell thinks “…we responded better. It was a better performance by us. Obviously, I think we could do some things better.” And that the exact reason for this response was “Execution.” The team also changed their approach, which they installed and walked through, and then “We came back and installed it and watched it on video.” for which he believes “the way we re-taught it had a positive effect...”
For Fewell, the G- Men, and fans of Big Blue, that positive effect had better last until Sunday night when the team (again) meets NFC East foes, the Dallas Cowboys. Fewell is wary of Dallas’ top ranked offense, particularly their dangerous QB-WR tandem, saying “I think Dez is really playing great football. He has gotten so much bigger and stronger over the years. His chemistry with Tony [Romo] has obviously gotten better.”
The praise for the pair didn’t stop there, “Again, I think he is an outstanding player. We know he was the go to player. Prince Amukamara made an outstanding play on him; on the side line for a fade ball catch one down. He tried the fade ball catch again and he made the outstanding play again, so we won one and lost one. I think the one he caught it landed on the one yard line. We tried to do several things to help and cover that up, but again his chemistry with Tony Romo; he hits some spots in the zone. I just think he rose to the occasion and played very well.”
With losses mounting, injuries piling, and the season winding, the New York Giants are going to need to remember those plays and themselves rise to the occasion because time and wins are of the essence and they require both ASAP.