Less is more…

This time the Giants clearly weren't outcoached. One game after Jeremy Shockey popped off about New York being outcoached, the staff went back to the drawing board and came up with the perfect recipe for success – less is more. It was back to the basics for Big Blue as the Giants ran roughshod over Washington, capturing a 19-3 victory that wasn't as close as the score indicated.

Offensively the Giants ran the ball successfully, which opened up the downfield passing game for Eli Manning and Co. to make big plays. More importantly, the defense stopped playing scared and trying to trick people and just got back to playing Giants football.

Brandon Short provided an instant jolt of energy in his first action of 2006. His play was so solid that no less an authority than Carl Banks said after the game that Short should be starting over Carlos Emmons, regardless of who's injured or not.

Barber was back to his usual dominant self despite dealing with a swollen left eye caused by his helmet being repeatedly forced down on his face by defenders. He said he noticed a change in gameplans on both sides of the ball.

"I think our bye week was instrumental with Coach (Tim) Lewis simplifying some things over there (on defense)," he said. "As you guys could probably tell from the first few games, we had some communications breakdowns and I think we fixed that up. Guys were able to make some plays against a team that put up 400-plus yards against Jacksonville. They did well. We have to give them credit for giving us great field position and to allow our offense to function in its normal way, which was back to Giant football, running the ball."

Antonio Pierce, the on-field brains behind the defense, appreciated Lewis paring down the defensive chores.

"I just think we came out and realized that after the bye week we had to go back to work and play defense the way it is supposed to be played," Pierce said. "The coach made it a little bit easier for us from a mental standpoint. The guys were able to just react and go and make plays."

Michael Strahan, who posted his first sack of the season, also benefited.

"We just simplified it, we just played," he said. "Just go and don't think too much; just go out and just play. The coaches did a great job in the meetings asking us a lot of questions, making sure we knew what we needed to do and challenging us to do that this week. It's a lot different when you can understand what the other team is trying to accomplish, and when they are trying to accomplish it you can play a lot faster, and today was an indication of that."

Pierce credited not only his coaching staff, but the media as well.

"We were just more prepared," he said. "Thanks to you guys beating us up."

"We looked at this as a must-win on defense," wise-beyond-his-years rookie Barry Cofield seconded. "We heard two weeks about how bad we were. This was a statement game."

And it was clearly a must-win, whether the rest of the Giants were willing to admit it or not.

The players had planned a players-only meeting before the game, but Tom Coughlin's message was loud and clear enough to make that a moot point.

"We were going to have (a meeting) but Coach Coughlin gave us the right kind of message, so we kind of nixed it," Barber said. "We just talked about things that we needed to correct and you have to give him credit for that. There was a lot of talk about him potentially losing this team but it is not so. He is very firm in his convictions in preparing us to win and working on the correct things. That is what we did in this bye week and you have to give him credit."

Barber said Coughlin's message hit the nail right on the head and was obviously well-received by how well New York played.

"Essentially we have to stick together," Barber continued. "We cannot be a group of individuals even though individually a lot of us are great players. You can't win that way. We have to win together as one and we have to lose as one. A lot of guys took that to heart."

As the staff obviously did after being called out in Seattle.

High road

LaVar Arrington had every chance in the world to blast the Skins after the lopsided win, yet he continued to take the high road.

"I said it all week, and I'll say it again today," said Arrington, who was ripped by a former coach and teammate last week. "We needed to get on track no matter who we were playing. Like I said, it didn't matter who we were playing, we needed to get back on track. It was a good showing for the Giants today."

Pierce, for one, was ecstatic that Arrington, who made one tackle and also leapt high to bat away a pass, got the last laugh.

"That guy's happy," Pierce said. "They made comments that weren't professional. At the end of the day, he's the one that ended up smiling."

Arrington had no problem sharing his true feelings on the defense.

"I just think guys are coming together," he said. "It takes time. It's no magic show."

Jump shot

The Giants D-line was just ballin' against the Skins. That included various players performing pretend jump shots after making big plays. From Michael Strahan to Barry Cofield to Fred Robbins, all feigned their Reggie Miller corner jumper as a form of celebration.

"We're just ballin'," Robbins laughed. "We're agile and athletic."

"It's just something we're doing as a way to bond," Cofield added.

Winning sure is fun.

The Giants Beat Top Stories