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New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin: “We Have to Win, Literally, Every One of Our Games”

December 5th, 2012 at 9:15 AM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants came out of their bye week with the mentality that they had a six-game schedule in front of them that would ultimately determine their fate. After losing to the Washington Redskins on Monday night, Big Blue fell to 7-5 and currently leads the NFC East by only one game. Because of the likely tiebreakers, head coach Tom Coughlin realizes his team has put themselves in a terrible spot and must now run the table to avoid yet another second half collapse.

'Tom Coughlin Watches Giants' photo (c) 2011, Rajiv Patel (Rajiv's View) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"Knowing full well it's a four-game season, we have to win, literally, every one of our games," said Coughlin. "That's how I look at it."

Winning out will be no easy task for the Giants, who host the New Orleans Saints this Sunday and then play away games in both Atlanta and Baltimore before returning home in week 17 to play the Philadelphia Eagles. And should they lose any of those games, they would need to rely on losses by both the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys to maintain a lead in the NFC East, or losses by the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and a variety of other teams to keep pace in the wildcard hunt.

It's a precarious position to say the very least, but the Giants have no one to blame but themselves. And if safety Antrel Rolle has anything to say about it, the team will come out like a pack of dogs who have their backs up against the wall (at least one half of that statement is already true).

“I think we just need to get back to being a little nasty, having a nasty attitude,” Rolle said. “Don’t do anything that’s out of the line of football, but have a little nasty attitude, get a little bit more dog in us, and go out there and play the game.

They never make it easy on themselves, do they?

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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Washington, Washington Redskins

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28 Responses to “New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin: “We Have to Win, Literally, Every One of Our Games””

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    A few things…..

    Dan, I think the issue with Tuck is that he is supposed to be THE “leader” on defense, Eli’s compatriot as the veteran leader of this team, and yet he has not been making big plays when needed and has been way too open about his ambivalence about his career. In addition, and in great contrast to Eli, who NEVER shows that adversity on the field is getting to him, Justin Tuck carries his feelings on the field too openly at times and that absolutely CAN affect the rest of the defense. I think he has been a big disappointment this season after finishing the last part of last season on a very high note.

    As for JPP, yeah, he’s been double-teamed constantly, and he gets frustrated. But he is also showing a lack of discipline and immaturity when he makes the exact same mistakes in regard to protecting the edge 3-4 times (and by times I mean games) this season in a desperate attempt to make plays when he is suckered by the offense NOT sending two blockers at him. He’s no longer a raw rookie. He has to do better. I would have to say that so far this has been a pretty mediocre season for him.

    I keep reading how well Linval Joseph is playing but if that’s the case why are teams able to run up the middle on the Giants so frequently? (For what it’s worth, I think Kuhn may be a significant factor in the middle of the line next season because he may have had very little NFL experience, but he was stout when in there).

    Having said all that, I think we all need to step back and remember that the Giants DO control their fate right now. They are a game ahead in the division and if they win three of the next four games they will almost certainly make the playoffs and quite likely have a pretty good seeding as the division champion. And each of these four games IS winnable, with only the Atlanta game looking like a very tough one to me.

    The Saints’ defense is pathetic. I don’t care how weak our O-line is, we should put up a lot of points against them if the game plan is any good at all. I think that’s especially true if we can run the ball at all (and I have to disagree with everyone in that I thought Bradshaw looked pretty good against the Skins and should shred the much weaker Saints’ front seven). And Brees can be hit this season now that he’s lost some of his great protectors. We’ll have to be ready for the Saints getting the ball to Sproles at the edges, but I think we can beat this team. We almost HAVE to beat them because this is the easiest of our next three games.

    The Ravens are the kind of good team that we match up well against. Ray Rice is terrific, but he is not the kind of “big” runner or great cutback runner who tends to give us trouble. And I don’t think their combination of Flacco and his receivers (I’m assuming Rolle will be covering Bolden most of the time) will do tons of damage against our secondary. Injuries have hurt their defense, and while Ray Lewis may get back on the field and give them an emotional lift, this is not the Ray Lewis of old and he may actually be a negative for their defense, which just lost one of their two remaining top players this week. The Ravens are, though, a tough, disciplined, team and will outplay and out-coach us if we aren’t ready for the challenge. I think this is a game that the Giants will have to “tough” their way through, and may need Eli to have a great game, but those are the kinds of things the Giants tend to do under pressure in this era.

    I’ve no idea about Atlanta, but I think they’re a lot better than most want to admit. They have balance and are tough to beat in that dome. We’ll have to play a game like we did against the Niners or the Pack to win this one. I’m not counting on it.

    And then there’s the Eagles. Yeah, I know, they have our number. Well, not this Eagles team if we are playing for our playoff lives. This Eagles team is a mess and we should wipe them off the field just as we did the Cowboys when we had to beat them in Week 17 last season. If we do not do that when it matters then we should all recognize this is not a team that deserves to be in the playoffs and it will have been that kind of season.

    So I see four winnable games, three of which I think are very winnable. If we get those three we’re in fine shape. There are LOTS of problems with this team, and I don’t at all like what I saw Monday, and I am very concerned about the team’s health at critical positions, but they are still in first place in the NFC East and control their fate. Win on Sunday and they will enter those final three weeks probably only having to win one of the next two games to get into the playoffs. I’d accept those odds. But it HAS to start with a win Sunday.

  2.  kinsho says:

    Am I the only one feeling confident against the Saints? The Saints are offensively built in a way that works for our defense. Not to mention we’ll be playing them in the open-air. And Brees has suffered through two poor performances in a row now. Also they’re the only other NFC division winner from last year that we haven’t owned yet.

  3.  James Stoll says:

    No confidence against the Saints. Until we show it, the last abysmal performance is what I expect

  4.  kinsho says:

    Also, in case nobody else knew, we have some more injury news that needs to reported. Keith Rivers hyperextended a few fingers during post-game handshakes in the Redskins game. Luckily, the injury is expected to be minor and he’ll be back in 4 to 6 weeks time.

  5.  jfunk says:

    3-1 will likely get the job done, but nothing is guaranteed. They really missed an incredible opportunity Monday night.

    Eli & Gilbride really need to sit down this off season and figure out why the worst pass defense in NFL history can give them such trouble. I can only assume that Haslett designs the secondary plays such that it creates enough doubt in the receivers about which option their supposed to run to throw off the timing.

    Anyway, it’s not likely to matter again this season, the Saints are all that matters here. The passing game simply MUST get going. Eli was making some unbelievable throws against the Redskins, but something still isn’t right and hasn’t been most of the season now. Everything is really slow to develop and Eli isn’t trusting Cruz & Nicks the way he has in the past to make plays. He’s trying to throw the deep balls to safe spots instead of just putting it in play and expecting them to win.

    •  kinsho says:

      Haslett has always had Eli’s number. He’s one of the few coordinators that consistently befuddles Eli from game to game. Just count the number of times Eli flashes that trademark dumb look of his next time he faces the Skins.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Nicks has no “lift” because of his injuries so cannot go up and get the ball like he has in the past, and Cruz has really never been a guy who “wins” contested balls. He gets open using his quickness and football speed, which is a lot harder when you have two defending you or the defense rolling toward you.

      It won’t get much better unless someone emerges as a consistent third threat. Bennett looked like that on Monday. Can he keep it up? Will Randle, Hixon, or Jernigan become that guy? We’ll have to wait and see.

      But Eli is RIGHT to not trust that his guys will win contested balls this season. Nicks’ body won’t let him and no one else has proved he can do it.

      •  JimStoll says:

        Eli has not been anywhere near the QB he was last year
        he is consistently underthrowing the long ball
        He and Guilbride should recognize that and change accordingly

  6.  Levito says:

    I don’t know how to feel about the Saints. Sure, their defense is bad. But if there’s one DC that knows the Giants offense, it’s Spags. He might have a trick or two up his sleeve for Eli & Co. Defensively I’m very worried. Sure, it’s a team that passes 70% of the time, and that generally plays well into the Giants hands, but Drew Brees has torn the Giants apart in every game he’s played against them, throwing I believe 10 TDs and 0 INT. Super quick release, lots of 3 step drops. Webster on Colston? Don’t like that matchup. Anyone on Graham? Don’t like that either. Boley on Sproles? Ouch. And with the way KP looked in the beginning of the Washington game, I’m assuming he’s not playing. The pass rush better play like they did against the Packers, even though their offensive line is way better than GBs.

    •  JimStoll says:

      the tough thing is that the giants o-line makes every defense look like pass rushing phenoms
      by the second or third quarter spags will have figured out the giants offense completely and eli will be under huge duress
      the giants need to build a 21 point lead by halftime or the saints will drive us off the cliff

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    F55 -

    Logically your right about NO being easier than Bal or Atl but there is some of me that thinks it’s the hardest. Maybe it’s because we lost to them the last few times or their offense just scares me. Their RBs also present problems, I have seen worse backs torch us this year and they present several physical runners long with a speed guy. I agree their defense is bad but their defense has played much better the past month. I think right now NO is playing as well as Bal & Atl so this is no easy game.

    I think Bal like Atl hasn’t played as well as their record indicates. Their defense has holes which is why Washington does have a legit chance versus them. If there was one surprise team I could see missing the playoffs it’s Bmore. They have a tough remaining schedule and both Pitt and Cin are hot. It’s not likely but if they lose to Washington they are in some trouble.

    Atlanta is a good team but nothing more. To me they have the same strengths and weakness as last year. The only real improvement I see is at safety. Their pair are two of the best in the NFL. The rest of the defense is average. They won’t beat themselves so you definitely have to go beat them so we do have to play well. But much like the SF game I expect the talk of revenge and the new beast of the conference to bring the A game out of us.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      One week at a time. They HAVE to beat the Saints or win out after that. Could they? Yes. Is it likely? Not with the key injuries they have and the quality of the next two opponents.

      Like Rolle says, they’d better find the dog in ‘em starting now. They need to score a lot and beat up Brees on Sunday. If they are a championship team that is exactly what they will do.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think this week is a tough game. Even the games NO has lost recently have been close games to good teams. We should win and need to win but I don’t think this is an “easy” game.

  8.  Dirt says:

    Eff Tuck. Period. Screw that guy.

    He wears a C on his jersey, he needs to stop acting like a little c and act like a big C.

    You think Ray Lewis EVER sits on the sideline with his helmet off on the final drive of a 1 score game? EVER? OK, he’s an all time great. You think London Fletcher ever sits on the sideline on the final drive of a 1 score game ever?

    But there was Tuck. Defense needing a stop. Standing on the sideline moping. No helmet on. Again.

    To hell with him.

    •  Dirt says:

      Kenny Phillips could barely walk Monday. He begged the coaches to play. And here’s the face of the defense watching it unfold from the sideline.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      The REAL leaders of this team are Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw and Antrel Rolle (with Hakeem Nicks not far behind). If everyone had their attitude they’d probably be 9-3 and in the catbird seat. Those guys are truly tough, in body and mind. Not enough of that right now on this team.

    •  Dirt says:

      I should point out that a) Dan is right somewhat in that there were games this year where Tuck was the best DL, but that wasn’t the biggest game of the year so far (Monday), b) Tuck is a great person who has his literacy campaign, so he’s a good guy, c) I just hold a captain at a higher standard.

  9.  GOAT56 says:

    I do think the style NO plays in more suited for our defensive strengths. The key is Graham. The middle of our defense has been vulnerable all year and Graham is the most dangerous TE we have faced. There WRs aren’t great and Sproles isn’t being used as mush as last year so to me the key is Graham. I think KP or not many 2 safety looks will be used. And if KP plays maybe some 4 safety looks. It would also help to get Williams back as another player who cover Graham some. But to me the main players that should cover Graham are Rolle and Hill. I think you need more speed than even LBs like Williams, Rivers and Boley can provide. Rolle has covered some TEs in the past. But with KP liekly to be at least limited I think we need Rolle on the back end and our best match up just might be Hill.

  10.  JimStoll says:

    I’ve become sympathetic to the Green Bay’s, San Francisco’s and Dallas’ of the world, who in our Super Bowl run years lose to us and then proclaim that they were really the better team and thus lost because they beat themselves.

    Looking at it from their perspective, the Giants spend so much of every single year playing god-awful football, losing to inferior teams, no-showing in big game moments, lamenting the meaning of life, etc., that teams who are otherwise having a great season are stunned when they lose to us in the playoffs because we are suddenly playing like world-beaters. It is stunning how the Giants have been able to flip that switch precisely 2x over the past 8 seasons. Can they flip it a 3d time in the 9th? Odds would tell us know, but we’ll have to see.
    One thing is for sure, we can’t play the last 4 and beyond like the first 12 or we won’t even make it to Xmas.

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