New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple admitted that he could have made a better play on the 52-yard touchdown pass scored by receiver Robert Woods of the Los Angeles Rams, a play on which Apple also confessed to overthinking.
“I could have easily come up and made a better play on it instead of thinking too much,” Apple said Wednesday.
Apple, who looked like he gave up on the play, explained what happened.
“I saw (Woods) was running really fast, nobody touched him and I kind of hesitated a little bit,” he said.
“Then I felt (Rams receiver) Sammy (Watkins) on my shoulder and I was thinking he might cut it out and he kind of grabbed me a little bit, but I could have easily made a better play, for sure. That’s on me.”
So the defense, which was torched for 51 points, didn’t quit?
“I don’t want to think we quit out there,” Apple said. “You never just want to think that. Nah, we ain’t quit. We just lost really badly. That’s it.”
After having a solid rookie campaign, the Giants 2016 first-round draft pick has had a season to forget.
According to Pro Football Focus, Apple’s 116.0 NFL rating, made up of having allowed 33 pass completions out of 55 pass targets for 364 yards, 6 touchdowns and no interceptions, is the worst among the team’s cornerbacks.
He’s also been disciplined by head coach Ben McAdoo at least twice this season, the first earlier in the season when he was benched for a quarter for an undisclosed team rule infraction and the more recent infraction coming when he was a day late returning from the bye week.
Those incidents combined with Apple’s struggles on the field, have caused some in the fan base to question whether he has a future as a member of this defense.
“It’s all good,” he said. “People can think what they think. I know what type of player I am, so I’m going to go out every day and try to get better,” Apple said.
“I’m my harshest critic, so I worry about the stuff that I say to myself and try to get myself better and people in here have my back. That’s the only thing I care about.”