The Mourning After

Here's what Tom Coughlin had to say about some of the key topics from Sunday night's loss to Chicago:

On Bob Whitfield replacing Luke Petitgout: Well, a couple of weeks ago he started. He had to come in and he played and started the whole game at right tackle and did a good job. I think Bob is so savvy. He has great experience. He knows the game extremely well. I think that there's, just as in against any great pass-rusher, you're going to have to help somehow and that won't change. But in this position right here, we have to count on Bob.

On William Joseph starting at LDE: I thought he played, obviously they all could have played better, but I thought he played well for just moving out there and starting a game. As I say, it's very difficult to find fault with the first half at all, except for the drive in the two-minute.

On Tim Carter playing in place of Amani Toomer: He won his one-on-one battles. He did some good things. He got himself into position. He should have gotten the ball on occasion. As I said, we didn't have a very good night with the passing game. You're not talking about a performance which starts to allow you to define the finite particles that go into the throwing game. That wasn't the case here. But Tim did not play poorly – he played well. He did some good things. I mean, there's other things obviously he could have done better, but that certainly was not the case here as to why he did not get the ball.

On Eli Manning: I talked to him this morning. Obviously it was not a good game for him – he didn't play well. He warmed up well, he felt well going into the game. He thought he was sharp in terms of what he was looking for. He felt like he saw the coverage well. He just…Obviously there was pressure and there were some throws that he couldn't make because of that. There were the two very, very costly sack/fumbles, which, you know, when you look at the circumstances surrounding the game probably the most frustrating of all was the sack/fumble at 1st-and-10 on the +29 with the score 24-20. We had scored a touchdown, we had stopped them, we had gotten a sack. They punted the ball back to us, we drove it deep into their territory and we get the 1st-and-10 and the 29 sack, which is a minus 14 yards. Now it's 2nd-and-24. That was a time when obviously we went from being right on the fringe of being able to take the lead to now you're scrambling with long yardage and the frustration only mounted there. Those were two times during the course of the game when we certainly didn't need to be going backwards.

On the injuries: We have to do it. Really, we have to focus on the players that are available, the guys that are going to play in the game. Just exactly how we're going to figure out how to play. Certainly it's not something that you want to do, but it's the nature of this business. For example, it's most unfortunate – Today I'm speaking about Luke. Last week I was speaking about Amani (Toomer). To have guys who have devoted so much effort and enthusiasm and are team-oriented like these people are, to think that they can't continue to play, it's most disconcerting. But it is the nature of our business and we have to move forward.

On the key third-and-22 draw play: It was a huge effect – not only on our team, but on their team. That's what gave them the gas in their tank, in my opinion. They turned around and made two passing plays of long yardage right after that, of 22 and 29. But here you are 3rd-and-22 and they're running a play which, you know, it's a draw. So maybe they're going to get 10 and punt or whatever, and they get the first down. That was a most difficult play for us to swallow, whatever the circumstance was because at that time in the game, really, they hadn't accomplished a whole lot offensively. They're streaky and they got some confidence out of that and it carried forth over the halftime into the third quarter. They took the opening drive of the third quarter and did the same thing – they ran the kickoff back to the 36-yard line and kept right on going. Despite the fact that we got the fumble, we couldn't move it off their goal line and they were right back down there and scored. Then, as you would have it, we turned it over and they got another touchdown. But the way the game went is when we were able to score, then we defensively got some momentum and we caused a 3rd-and-nine sack, got the ball back when we went to the 29-yard line and ended up with the 52-yard field goal, which was short and ended up with the colossal 108-yard return. But it was one of those games in terms of momentum – who had it, who didn't have it. The two halves are completely different. Our defense had 24 plusses to eight minuses in the first half. That's how well that was played. I tried to explain to you that, from an offensive standpoint, if you go in and it's 13-3, it's kind of like their games that you've studied and watched. Their defense is very good and therefore it's choppy, but if you're able to put things together, you can put yourself into position. The one thing that we knew that we could not do was turn the ball over and we could not provide field position for them because half of their touchdowns had come off drives which started inside the 50-yard line. At one point they had three turnovers and we only had one. We gave it right back to them and went three-for-three, but we also gave them the ball inside the 50-yard line for what amounted to a field goal and two touchdowns, which continues the stat that they have about taking the ball over in positive position.

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