Giants Have No Defense for Embarrassing D

PHILADELPHIA – Missed tackles, missed assignments and a basic lack of heart and preparedness all led to New York being utterly blown out by the Eagles, 40-17.

"We're not doing anything well on defense," defensive leader Antonio Pierce said. "It's a complete embarrassment and disappointment. What we're doing right now is not working.

"We're just a bad defense right now."

While the final numbers might not look all that bad, one number illustrates just how awful the Giants defense was in this supposed NFC East showdown: The Eagles averaged eight yards per offensive play. Yes, that basically amounts to close to a first down every time they snapped the ball.

"The story of the game is fundamentals," Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said. "It's tackling – when you have (24) rushes for (180) yards, I mean we didn't tackle well. Our secondary didn't tackle well.

"That's not the kind of football we teach."

While defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, as always, was unavailable to the media following the game, both Coughlin and Pierce stated that they didn't believe the defensive schemes were at fault for this terrible three-game stretch. The Giants once-proud defense has now given up 112 points in its last three ‘contests.'

Pierce believes that the problem could be corrected internally by the players.

"Tackling is an individual effort," he explained. "It's a ‘want-to.' You want to get the guy down or you don't."

Pierce admitted he was as much to blame as anyone. He finished with only two solo tackles against the Eagles, a practically unheard-of figure for a middle linebacker.

Cornerback Corey Webster is another important defender whose play has certainly been lacking of late.

"We have to go back to the drawing board," he said. "As long as we're positive, anything could happen. I think we'll be OK."

Pierce also strongly believes that the Giants will work their way through this extensive list of problems.

"I still believe that we've very capable of getting to the destination that we want to get to," he said. "We're 5-3. [In] the month of November a lot of teams go from champs to chumps and pretenders to contenders, and we need to make sure we're back in that contender race."

Knocked out

Domenik Hixon was knocked out of the game with a hip pointer. In his place, Corey Webster handled the punt return duties, returning his one try eight yards. On kickoffs, Danny Ware returned the Eagles' final kickoff for 20 yards.

Journalistic integrity is the only reason we share the information that Sinorice Moss left the game to have an X-ray on his foot. We know practically none of you actually care.

However, Coughlin obvious does.

"Moss was a foot, but I don't know anything more about it," he explained. "And Hixon was just a recurrence of a hip."

Mario a no go

After claiming on Friday that he was going to play, that was not the case on Sunday as Mario Manningham was unable to suit up in Philadelphia against the Eagles due to his ailing shoulder. Hakeem Nicks claimed the starting WR spot opposite Steve Smith.

The rest of New York's inactives were WR Ramses Barden, CB Aaron Ross (hamstring), RB Gartrell Johnson, LB Michael Boley (knee), OL Adam Koets, OT Guy Whimper and DT Chris Canty (calf).

Streak snapped

The Giants' four-game winning streak in Philadelphia came to a crashing halt. Despite the embarrassing loss, New York still leads the regular season series, 79-68-2. The Giants had won six of their last eight regular-season games against the Eagles. However, the Birds got the better of Big Blue in the playoffs twice during that span.

The Giants will look to earn a season series split when they meet again on Dec. 13. The clubs have only split four times in the last 24 seasons, with the Giants completing 11 series sweeps and the Birds nine.

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