We all remember Tiki Barber following the 23-0 playoff pasting at the hands of the Panthers. Sure Barber kind of apologized afterward but we all knew that he totally meant what he said.
Don't expect any shallow apologies from Jeremy Shockey after this one.
"We got outplayed and outcoached," Shockey said. "Write that one down."
When pressed on saying the Giants were outcoached, Shockey replied, "You saw the game."
No, this isn't all going to fall on Tom Coughlin, but an awful lot of it should. Of course the players, especially after a beating of this magnitude, should just keep their mouths shut and not point fingers. But if the guys in the locker room truly believe that Coughlin's more a part of the problem than the solution, that's quite a serious issue.
"To play the way we played in the first half today, I take full responsibility for it, but it's inexcusable," Coughlin said.
Inexcusable doesn't even begin to describe what happened at Qwest Field.
Nothing worked at all. Turnovers all over the place, no success on offense or defense – at least when it mattered – and a 35-0 hole before the game was half over.
"In the first half we just gave the game away, and handed it to them," Coughlin said.
"We kinda hurt ourselves in the first half and pretty much gave them the football game," added Plaxico Burress, who played quite a solid supporting role in helping to lose this one.
The breakdowns in coverage were laughable. Guys were so wide open yours truly could have hit on a couple of those touchdown passes. Matt Hasselbeck said after the game that the Giants were basically helpless to adapt to Seattle's offense.
The Seahawks used a lot of four-receiver sets and New York couldn't do a thing to stop it. Hasselbeck said he knew the Giants had never seen the Seahawks in a four-wide formation and certainly were unequipped to handle it. Hasselbeck added that on every play he knew he'd have at least one WR/DB advantage, if not at all four spots.
There's not one person in that secondary that should be able to look themselves in the mirror after this one. Seahawks receivers were running free all game long, especially in the end zone. In an area that's only 10 yards deep, it was amazing the separation the Seattle receivers had from their supposed defenders.
"Talk about playoffs now," said Sam Madison, one of New York's matador DBs. "I really don't see that right now."
Madison, like so many of his teammates, was helpless to explain the poor performance.
"It's hard to say, pretty much guys were in the right place," he said. "We have to get closer to our people."
Closer? How about in the same zip code, for starters?
"It was good for one play then all hell broke loose," Antonio Pierce stated. "Did you all expect it? 35-0? We made it a lot easier on a team with a great offense. Obviously we're not a contender at this point in time."
Coughlin claimed his team was not flat. "It's not flat, I don't know what it is, but it's not flat," he said. "It makes no sense to me."
Even the silver lining – the fact that New York rallied and scored the game's final 27 points – brings to light another coaching question: why in the world didn't Coughlin and his offensive staff go sooner to the no-huddle, which has proven to be so effective thus far this season?
Without being specific that's basically what Shockey was referring to. The fact that Manning is so effective in that setting yet wasn't put in position to succeed until it was way too late clearly bothered the emotional tight end.
While Luke Petitgout claimed that the Giants got nothing out of their late-game rising, Shockey interjected to disagree – and perhaps to help build his case against Coughlin.
"When Eli gets to call his plays and gets his formations (it's good)," Shockey said. "We definitely play better in a no-huddle situation."
In all fairness, however, the Giants offense didn't exactly excel on a level playing surface. The Seahawks knew they had an enormous cushion and understandably played that way.
Manning was asked if he took any solace from the fourth-quarter offensive surge.
"No, it's late in the game and it's too late by then," he said. "Second half we finally started making a few plays but it was just a little too late then."
The noise at Qwest Field was the least of the Giants' problems in Seattle. Much more important was the fact they couldn't cover, catch, throw, and continued their onslaught of penalties. New York left the great Northwest last season feeling as if they could play with the NFC's big boys. This year, they leave wondering if they have what it takes to contend in the conference.
Just goes to show you that momentum doesn't carry a whole lot of weight in the NFL. Miraculous comeback in Philly one week, total stinker in Seattle the next.
"We have to play the first three quarters like we played the fourth quarter," Michael Strahan said. "We can be better. Am I panicking? No. This team realizes we need a lot of work. We're a long way from being the finished product that we want to be."
"Hopefully this will wake us up," Shockey said.
That clearly includes every member of the coaching staff as well.
Shockey: Giants Outcoached
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