In the most fitting of season finales, the Giants dropped yet another close game, 35-30 against the Eagles, to finish their season a disappointing 6-10.
Of those ten losses, a whopping eight were by six points or less giving a clear indication that the team was competitive but just couldn’t close. Running back Rashad Jennings singled out this one factor as the most maddening aspect of not only this game, but the entire season.
“The most frustrating thing is we found a way to lose in the fourth quarter," noted Jennings. "We had so many close games, I don’t even remember how many. I think we have all [seen] the statistic that if the game was a couple seconds less, our record would be different. It is frustrating because you work so hard --- the guys work so hard when the coaches are not around, the coaches work so hard when the players aren’t around. Everybody gives good effort day in and day out, but this is the outcome.”
With 3 consecutive losses down the stretch, the G-Men added several degrees to their coach’s hot seat despite objections from several players including Jennings. The veteran journeyman was adamant during his postgame interview that the players follow, respect and would fight for Coughlin as he is the right man for the job.
“A lot. I say it all the time, my two years of playing under Coach Coughlin, one of the things that stuck out about him when he was speaking to us as a whole entire team, he said one thing and I wrote it down and it is kind of a staple of how I perceive him. He said that, “Faces may change, but expectations never will.” He leads that way, he knows the secret recipe to success and there is no question that he is an outstanding coach, and I am definitely proud to play under him.”
The late-blooming Jennings had his best game of the season against Philadelphia as he carried the ball 27 times for 170 yards and 1 TD resulting in an average of 108 yards/game during the Giants’ final 4 games. Just as the season ended, Jennings seemed to have convinced the coaches to ditch the committee approach and invest touches with him and it will be interesting to see if the 30-year old is allowed to continue like this next year, with or without Coughlin. In the meantime though, Jennings feels that the Giants are close and that instead of pushing the reset button, they just need to find those missing pieces that will bring it all together.
“It is definitely close. There [are] a few things here and there, obviously --- we need to figure out how to play collectively [on] offense, defense and special teams so that we can get these wins, but you see what we see. We have a good team [and] there is no doubt about that, but this entire season has been hung up by the fourth quarter losses.”