The Mercurial Mirage is a name befitting the New York Giants of 2015. Much like last year, Big Blue lost their first two games, won their next three, and then lost again, this time to the Eagles. Unlike the first two games in which the Giants had a double digit 4th quarter lead, this Monday night match was a 24-7 rout that featured everything from the Giants’ how not-to manual.
"Well, it’s a bad game, it’s a bad production," admitted Coughlin. "We’ve got to be able to handle the big games. The games where things don’t go our way, we’ve got to handle them better. You’ve got handle those situations better. You’re going to always have your little adjustments to adapt to the team that you’re going to play that you may add something to or you may not do something as much of. But you are who you are, and you do have your scheme in hands and you’re going to stay within that scheme as you plan and go forward."
After scoring on their first drive, the Giants were roughed up by an Eagles’ defense that sacked Eli Manning thrice and forced him into two intentional-grounding penalties. New York’s offense gave the ball up three times as Eli was twice intercepted (one for a pick-six) and Rashad Jennings lost a fumble. Odell Beckham Jr. shook off injury concerns and started. All seven of his catches took place in the first half with Philly Coach Chip Kelley adjusting his side’s game plan and limiting the Eli-to-OBJ connection to just one more (unsuccessful) target.
"When there was pressure or whatever, there were occasions where people were beat and some occasions where the pressure was coming and we really didn’t have the opportunity to get rid of the ball yet," said Coughlin. "So the timing was such that the rush got there before we had an opportunity to declare who was going to be running free or if anybody was going to get open. There’s a combination of things, as there always is."
Misreading zone coverage for man, Eli can be blamed for one of the two INTs. The other falls on tight end Larry Donnell who was stripped of the ball by Philly linebacker DeMeco Ryans who simply wanted it more. Offense is not the only unit that Coach Coughlin needs to look into. Special teams gave up a costly running-into-the-kicker penalty, giving the Eagles a first down in a series that ended in a touchdown.
The defense was the squad’s relative bright spot as they won the turnover battle 4-3. The secondary intercepted Philly QB Sam Bradford three times while running back Jordan Matthews lost a fumble. But even they will need to address some issues such as why Bradford was sacked only once but benefitted from two roughing-the-passer penalties (again keeping scoring drives alive).
The all-around sloppy play and continuous miscues will bother Coughlin who knows the team is only hurting itself. All three facets of the game need to be looked at and fixed. The Giants could so easily have been 5-1 right now and considering the injuries they are dealing with, that would have been a dream start. Instead the team keeps finding ways to lose; sometimes on the last drive, sometimes throughout the game.
"Well, you’ve got to shut the turnovers down, there’s no doubt about that," noted Coughlin. "I think the conscientious effort on the part of everybody here will be directed at that. The players have definitely got that message, there’s no doubt. At the expense of anything else, both hands have got to go on the ball and you just can’t be careless, you just can’t. Especially when you go into a game with a team that is leading the league in forced fumbles. I just shake my head sometimes because we’re not aware of, and that’s an area of frustration as well. But remorse, the players will be remorseful because of the opportunity that we had. But let’s not forget there’s a long way to go, we are 3-3."