Giants Have the ‘P’ Word on Their Minds for Sunday
When the New York Giants take the field on Sunday in their regular season finale against the Eagles, they’ll have the ‘P’ word on their mind.
No, not that one.
Instead, it’s all about playing for pride for a team that has not only seen a 6-2 start and a commanding hold of first place in the division slip through its fingers, but is also one that, over the last two weeks has looked lifeless in blowout losses to Atlanta and Baltimore.
“We’re going to find a lot about a lot of guys in this locker room based off this game; their approach, how you go out there and play the game,” said safety Antrel Rolle. “I think we’re going to speak a lot volume for the kind of caliber guys we have in this locker room.”
What they have in their locker room is “a group of outstanding character people who listen to what is said,” according to head coach Tom Coughlin.
Yet despite the high character that Coughlin believes he has, for whatever the reason, the team has been so inconsistent and, at times, lackluster in their performance beyond believe that it’s understandably raised some doubts about the motives among the players and if they are all on the same page.
Defensive end Justin Tuck said he was confident that the effort would be there on Sunday but also noted that, “We have to give our all in the right situations,; we can’t give our all for individual accolades or whatever it might be. We have to give our all as a team. That’s something we haven’t done as much as I would like this year.”
He also opined that some on the team have done a little too much talking and not enough doing.
“Last year, I think we had a great mix of talking and doing,” he said. “This year, I think we’ve talked a little bit in situations too much. It’s about doing. It will be so easy to see – our pride will be on showcase on Sunday. It will be easy for you to tell it will be easy for anyone to tell if it’s there or not and hopefully it will be easy for you to tell that it will be there and not the other way around.”
According to Tuck, there are any number of contributing factors behind the Giants struggles this season, ranging from personnel use to execution. But one common denominator that Tuck believes will be key moving forward is having the confidence to withstand the obstacles that come up.
“Confidence is a key ingredient to success,” he said. “Being on the sideline last week, you see things in a different light when you’re not playing so I think this team, when we start out fast and the defense gets a good stop, the offense gets a score, it’s a completely different team.
“When we get punched in the mouth early, we haven’t responded like we have in the past. That was something we prided ourselves on last year to the end. We came back from games where teams jumped out fast on us. This year that hasn’t happened. I think a lot of that has to do with confidence.”
So how do they approach this upcoming game where pride will be atop of their list?
“That’s just the professionalism,” said guard Chris Snee. “It’s week to week. Every Wednesday you come in and put the last game behind you and it can’t be any different. As frustrating as this has been, beating the teams that we did and then losing to the teams that we have, it’s been frustrating. We haven’t played well. It’s hard to explain, it’s hard to understand, but that’s what’s happened.”
“I think you prepare like any other game. We have to go and handle our business. We have to go win a football game. That’s the only thing we can control,” added quarterback Eli Manning. “For anything, just going out there and playing good football and getting that feeling; that’s what we do when we’re football players. We go out there and play to the best of our ability.”
“Play the game the way we’re capable of playing the game,” Coughlin said. “Finish this season with a game we can all be proud of.”