After week off, Giants noticeably sleepy-byed

Going into the bye week, the Giants were playing so well the only topic worth discussing seemed to be whether the early-season break would hurt or help the club after peeling off four-straight wins.

Following the Giants 28-13 lackluster loss to the Lions at home, the team answered the question with a resounding yes. The Giants hoped to bolster their record to 5-1 for the first time since 1993. Instead the loss puts them two games behind the undefeated Eagles and notched their post bye record to 3-13.

At the post-game press conference, the easily irritable coach Tom Coughlin looked like he might spontaneously combust.

When asked if there was anything positive to be taken from the loss, Coughlin fumed: "We spent a lot of time on our cover team . . . and I thought that aspect of the game (was good) beyond that," Coughlin paused, "I don't know what we did that's worth discussing."

The team was a study of inconsistency. Quarterback Kurt Warner was 15 of 19 for 205 yards with a rating of 107.2 in the first half. In the second half Warner struggled by completing 8 of 15 for 65 yards. He finished the game with 1 TD, 1 interception and 3 fumbles.

Ike Hilliard caught three passes on the Giants first possession, two of them for first downs. In the second half, he all but disappeared grabbing but one ball for eight yards.

Hilliard's counterpart Amani Toomer, also came up big in the first half with 2 catches for 50 yards. Unfortunately, his final game stats didn't change: 2 for 50 yards.

Despite the 70 yards rushing, it was a disappointing game for Tiki Barber on the ground. His 3.2 average was 2.3 yards lower than his season average of 5.5. However, he more than made up with it by snagging 7 passes for 102 yards, including a nifty 62-yard scamper off a screen pass.

Defensively, the Giants made 3rd-year pro Joey Harrington look like a Pro Bowler. From the get-go Harrington came up big with his first appearance in the Big Apple. On the opening series, Harrington drove the Lions 70 yards while converting three 3rd-down plays. He finished the game 18-22 for 230 yards, two TDs and a whopping 140.5 QB rating. Lions coach Steve Mariucci said, "Joey played maybe his best football game, very smart, very decisive, very confident."

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