At 5-7 and losers of three straight, the Giants are reeling and have only themselves to blame. From poor play to questionable coaching decisions, Big Blue is in danger of missing the playoffs again as they are third in a three-way tie atop the NFC East.
What’s more, Coach Coughlin admitted that the losses could be a combination of factors including scheme and personnel.
“Well there have been holes in our underneath coverage, no doubt, but the couple of passes that ended up 16 and 15 yards right there in that final drive, to be honest, they had a really nice under/over idea against a specific coverage and they caught the coverage twice, in order to um…and there really is…The linebacker gets caught there because if he comes up then he’s behind, if he stays deep, it’s in front so the safeties coming in from depth, the safety ends up making the tackle but he can’t disrupt the throw when the linebacker commits to the underneath route and the linebacker did commit to that so in some ways it’s scheme and in other ways, we haven’t covered anybody real tight in those underneath things even when we’re playing in zone coverage and that’s something that’s a constant we’re trying to improve that aspect of it…and I think we do have some people that can cover, I really do”
While his players didn’t receive the biggest vote of confidence from him, Coughlin did mention his belief that they could still do something special this year. He’s confident the coaching staff can still turn this season around although time is of the essence with only four games remaining in the season. All that would be moot however if the Giants don’t figure out how to close out games, especially ones they have a sizable lead in.
“We haven’t been able to do it, I can’t, I’m not going to speak about, I believe we can and I hope the heck we will and it better happen fast but, you know, that’s the situation that I’ve been telling you that I’ve been trying to avoid putting our defense in that situation”
The Giants have their work cut out down the stretch with tough games against the Dolphins, the still-undefeated Panthers, the Vikings and the Eagles. All of those teams except for Miami is still in the playoff hunt and even the Dolphins are playing for more than just pride with their interim head coach, Dan Campbell, hoping to make his job permanent.
"Well, what I said and what I meant perhaps—when you bring a team together after a loss like that and try to address that, it’s difficult, it’s very difficult. They’re very disappointed, they’re down, they’re frustrated, there are all kinds of feelings and emotions, which you would expect. They’re competitors. That’s just the nature of the business. Today after having an opportunity to gather and talk about it with their teammates so on and so forth, they’re quiet, they’re disappointed, there’s remorse for opportunity lost. And they can see it again when they look at the tape, they’ll see it for themselves. Those things are not easy. We’re all sick of losing, let’s face it. We’re all sick of that, going through that. We’ve had too many very, very close games that went the other way at the end of the game for whatever reason. It’s not any one individual, it’s not any one group, everyone contributes. As I said last night, had we taken the ball with a four-minute offense and kept the ball, which you’re supposed to do, they would have never got the ball back. So we didn’t do that. Everyone wants to refer to the different phases, whatever. I’ll answer whatever questions you have."
Whoever the opposition, the equation is simple, the Giants have to run the table while hoping for help if they want to make good on John Mara’s offseason promise of postseason play. If not, Coach Coughlin could find himself driven out of town with the calls for his position growing louder and clearer with every heartbreaking, lead-having loss.