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After a promising opening weekend win to start the season, the New York Giants have looked terrible in consecutive losses to the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. There’s plenty of time for the Giants to get back on track, but for the time being, Tom Coughlin’s team does not look like playoff-caliber. And if Coughlin’s team doesn’t right the ship and he starts losing the locker-room in any demonstrable way, his tenure with the Giants may be short-lived.
Here is a portion of Coughlin’s post-game press conference:
Very disappointed today because I felt there wasn’t any question that our guys practiced hard this week. Everybody wanted to win. Everybody was very sharp. The way in which we approached the game is exactly the way I would want it approached and then we beat ourselves so the oldest axiom in football is the first thing you have to do is keep from beating yourself before you can beat the opponent and we didn’t do that. Now, we had the ball in the first quarter down in for two scores, came away with two interceptions. Our defense played well the whole game until the game – I don’t say got out of hand, but, when we didn’t score when we had the chance with a little under eight minutes to score twice, we drove it all the way down there again, we got in a position where it seemed to be that we didn’t get the ball snapped on time, the communication between the holder and the line of scrimmage, the clock ran down, we missed the long field goal. We had made long field goals, but we did miss that one and that hurt. There’s no question that that one hurt.
I think when we got the ball off the goal line and had the unfortunate penalty with the high-low block, it gave them two points, that gave us the chance to get the ball at midfield but it was almost as if it just wasn’t going to happen. I thought that there were a lot of parts of our game that were well played. I think that the part of the game that is so frustrating to me is the turnovers and the penalties and that’s my responsibility. The way in which we play in between the lines is my responsibility and I’m taking full responsibility for that.
This is a game that we should have won, we didn’t win. A week ago we got our butts handed to us, this week we came out, played hard, played well at home, should have had the home crowd advantage, should have had all of those things going for us and yet we were not able to put the ball in the endzone with the continuation of the turnovers and I thought that we were resilient – we used that word many times this week – we did come back and come back and come back but each time we seemed to do that we didn’t have a whole lot at the other end of that to finish. So, it was a very disappointing loss, the players are very disappointed, we all understand that we beat ourselves today, but we have 13 games to go and obviously we’ve got to improve.
Q: How is it your fault when you have all those interceptions and penalties? Shouldn't the players be held accountable?
A: They are held accountable. They've been told that they do not have the freedom to hurt our football team, to take actions which hurt our team. Penalties lose games – they know that, they've been told that, they all know it – what the repercussions are of losing the turnover battle – they all understand that…against a team that had seven turnovers a week ago and had none today. It is frustrating, but it's my fault, it's my responsibility, put it on me. Let's see if we can get a team to come out of that locker room as one and understand what we've done. We called for better execution this week, we got it. There's no question we got it. I think there was one long run by the runner, that's an exceptional runner, everyone knows that. We did execute. We didn't get the run going right away, but after we threw it a little bit, we were able to run it a little bit, so that's kind of the way that sometimes it goes. We did play better football. We gave a game away that we should have won and I'll take the responsibility for that.
Q: Special teams has been horrible.
A: They've been horrible and they continued that way today. You know where the double team is coming – and this is a thing that really bothers me – is everybody knows where the double team is coming from, anywhere 90 is gets the double, so realize that. Here the guy comes out right down the sideline and gives them excellent field position. They got field position off of that and they got field position off of penalties. They had the ball at midfield at least two times in the second half having done nothing.
Q: Was it winnable until the two McKenzie penalties?
A: I think so. I mean, we were there. Well, let's put it this way, it was very winnable when we missed the field goal, but you take a delay of game there – I mean, that's another one that's…the young holder needs to get us going.
Q: Where do you start to turn it around?
A: I think you start to turn it around by not turning the ball over.
Q: Have you ever had a team called for five personal fouls?
Q: Why did that happen?
A: I can attribute it to the retaliation. It's another one of those deals where macho…you know, he's doing this…but they all have heard it a million times and yet it happened.
Q: Are you disappointed that those came from veteran players?
A: I'm disappointed that it comes at all, that it comes from our team because, as I said, it'll be very, very difficult to win football games under those circumstances.
Yes, yet it was. Dan Dierdorf was actually right about something. Amazing!
It seems pretty obvious that the New York Giants are no longer listening to head coach Tom Coughlin.
Big Blue View summarizes the opinions about that from a variety of New York writers, and offers some thoughts of its own today.
Peter King of SI had this to say about the undisciplined Giants.
How can a team with the supposed maturity of the Giants melt down like it did Sunday at home?
Eli Manning throwing a preposterous left-handed shovel pass into triple coverage instead of eating it. Five personal-foul penalties — all against smart veterans like David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie. As I said on NBC last night, Tom Coughlin took the blame in his postgame press conference, but it was a different Coughlin who called out his players for their stupid play in the privacy of the locker room.
What peeved Coughlin is that he told his players during the week that Jeff Fisher teams were famous for provoking and needling the opposition, and you can’t take the bait; you’ve got to just walk away.
The reaction to the New York Giants' stunningly undisciplined performance in Sunday's 29-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans was swift and, in all honesty, hardly unexpected.
Justifiably or not, head coach Tom Coughlin has now been placed in the crosshairs of the media and his job security is an open question. The Bill Cowher to the Giants rumor mill is now cranked up to full volume.
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Chris Johnson carried the ball 32 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and the Titans’ defense recorded three turnovers and a safety en route to a convincing 29-10 Tennessee victory over the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium.
Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball 15 times for 88 yards and a score and Steve Smith hauled in eight passes for 102 yards. Kevin Boss, who missed last week’s game with a concussion, caught three passes for 88 yards.
The story of the game was New York’s sloppy play. The Giants missed two field goals and had 86 penalty yards.
(Sports Network) – The second week of the 2010 NFL season wasn’t a pleasant experience for either the New York Giants or Tennessee Titans, two teams that will be trying to reclaim their opening-day form in Sunday’s interconference clash from New Meadowlands Stadium.
Both clubs kicked off their respective campaigns in fine fashion, with the Titans running all over the visiting Oakland Raiders in a 38-13 rout during Week 1 and the Giants christening their new home venue with a 31-18 triumph over the mistake-prone Carolina Panthers in their lid-lifter. Each faced considerably tougher challenges last weekend, however, with neither able to successfully handle the step-up in competition.
Turnovers led to Tennessee’s undoing in a frustrating 19-11 loss to a resilient Pittsburgh Steelers squad this past Sunday in Nashville. The Titans committed seven on the afternoon, with quarterback Vince Young responsible for three of those miscues (two interceptions, one fumble) before being yanked in favor of one-time Giant Kerry Collins at the start of the fourth quarter.
Tennessee also had a costly holding penalty that wiped out a would-be 85-yard touchdown scamper by playmaking running back Chris Johnson, who was held to a pedestrian 34 yards on 16 carries by Pittsburgh’s sturdy defense, and gave up a kick-return score on the game’s opening play that proved damaging as well.
All of the Steelers’ points came off takeaways or special teams, spoiling a banner day by a Titans defense that yielded a mere 127 yards and seven first downs for the entire game.
Though Collins was able to deliver a slight spark to the Tennessee offense, throwing for 149 yards and orchestrating the team’s lone touchdown drive in the final minute, head coach Jeff Fisher steadfastly stated afterward that Young will be the starter under center for both Sunday’s tilt and beyond.
New York, which forced five turnovers in its season-opening besting of the Panthers, was simply no match for the high-powered Indianapolis Colts in last Sunday’s tussle with the reigning AFC champions. The Giants were outgained by a decisive 278-69 margin in total yards in falling behind 24-0 at halftime, and went on to lose by a 38-14 count to temper the optimism generated by their Week 1 performance.
The Giants came up well short in the head-to-head battle between sibling quarterbacks as well. While Eli Manning managed a pair of second-half touchdown passes, Big Blue’s triggerman hit on just 13-of-24 throws for 161 yards and was sacked four times under a persistent Indianapolis rush. He was also intercepted once and lost two fumbles, one of which was recovered in the end zone for a Colts score.
Peyton Manning had a far easier outing against New York’s revamped defense, with the four-time league MVP racking up 255 yards and three touchdowns on a sharp 20-of-26 passing.
Sunday’s matchup provides an opportunity for the Giants to atone for last week’s subpar showing, and the game figures to have additional incentive for veteran linebacker Keith Bulluck. The 33-year-old made 130 starts and two All- Pro teams during a decorated 10-year stay with the Titans that ended when the organization elected not to re-sign the New York-area native in the offseason.
The Giants have a 5-4 edge in their all-time series with the Titans, but have lost each of their last four head-to-head meetings with Tennessee. The Titans were 24-21 home winners when the clubs last met, in 2006, and took a 32-29 overtime decision when the two last faced off in North Jersey, in 2002. The G- Men’s most recent win in the series was a 13-10 win in Houston in 1994, which also marked Fisher’s first game as a head coach after taking over 11 games into the season in place of Jack Pardee. The Giants’ last home win in the series was a 24-20 win over the Oilers in 1991.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is 7-11 in his career against the Titans, including a 33-14 loss for his Jacksonville team in the 1999 AFC Championship. Fisher is 4-1 all-time against the Giants, and is 11-7 head-to-head against Coughlin, including the playoff win.
WHEN THE TITANS HAVE THE BALL
Fisher mentioned after last week’s setback that a more complex game plan may have contributed to Young’s poor play against the Steelers, and hinted at a more back-to-basics approach for Sunday’s test. That should mean plenty of touches for Johnson (176 rushing yards, 2 TD, 9 receptions), who had a streak of 12 consecutive games with over 100 rushing yards come to an end in Week 2. The All-Pro speedster burned the Raiders for 142 yards and two scores on 27 attempts in the opener and also leads the Titans in receptions. Young (220 passing yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) has completed 74 percent of his throws in the early going, though most have been dump-offs to Johnson and safety-valve tight end Bo Scaife (6 receptions, 1 TD), but it’s his mobility and uncanny improvisation skills that make the former University of Texas legend a difficult player to defend. The Giants found that out first-hand four years ago, when Young rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown while engineering a big fourth-quarter comeback against New York as a rookie in 2006. When Tennessee does throw downfield, Young will likely look in the direction of wide receiver Nate Washington (7 receptions), who’s had a touchdown catch in each of the first two games.
With Tennessee intent on establishing the run, the Giants defense will need to execute to its Week 1 level to be effective on Sunday. New York limited Carolina’s terrific backfield duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to a combined 84 yards on 21 carries in its season debut, but had greater difficulty stopping the more multi-faceted Colts a week ago. Geared up to slow down Peyton Manning and the passing game, the G-Men let up 161 rushing yards to the Indianapolis tandem of Joseph Addai and Donald Brown. It’ll be up to weakside linebacker Michael Boley (22 tackles), fresh off a 15-tackle effort against the Colts, Bulluck (4 tackles) and standout strong safety Kenny Phillips (10 tackles, 1 INT) to keep Johnson contained, and for linemen Mathias Kiwanuka (7 tackles, 3 sacks), Osi Umenyiora (6 tackles, 1 sack) and Justin Tuck (11 tackles) to apply pressure up front and force Young into quick decisions. The Giants recorded four sacks in the Carolina win, but were able to get to Manning only once last Sunday.
WHEN THE GIANTS HAVE THE BALL
The Giants have had trouble getting untracked on the offensive side in both of their 2010 games, and while able to overcome those early struggles against the Panthers, the slow start led to disastrous results last week. With New York forced to play from behind from the get-go, the Colts teed off on Eli Manning (424 passing yards, 5 TD, 4 INT) with their disruptive edge rushers and induced three turnovers and a subpar 54 percent completion rate from the franchise signal-caller. If provided adequate time to throw, Manning and a deep group of receivers are fully capable of doing extensive damage on a defense. Pro Bowl participant Steve Smith (9 receptions) is the sure-handed possession member of the pass-catching corps, with youngsters Hakeem Nicks (6 receptions) and Mario Manningham (8 receptions, 160 yards, 1 TD) the big-play threats of the bunch. Nicks tops the league with four touchdown grabs through the initial two weeks, while Manningham’s averaging a healthy 20 yards per catch thus far. The ground attack has been inconsistent, though top ball- carrier Ahmad Bradshaw (165 rushing yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions) was able to grind out 89 yards on 17 totes against Indianapolis. Backfield mate Brandon Jacobs (52 rushing yards, 2 receptions) was hardly a factor last week, instead making unwanted headlines for accidentally tossing his helmet into the stands early in the second half and being benched by Coughlin for the act. Regular tight end Kevin Boss, sidelined in Week 2 with a concussion sustained in the Carolina game, returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to play.
New York will need to shore up its protection schemes for this one, as the Titans have so far shown they can consistently get to the quarterback. Tennessee has amassed four sacks in back-to-back weeks in addition to having surrendered a minuscule 85.5 passing yards per game at the moment, although going up against a punchless Oakland offense and a Pittsburgh team that’s had to play musical quarterbacks is a contributing factor to that low number. Still, feisty cornerback Cortland Finnegan (12 tackles) and free safety Michael Griffin (17 tackles, 2 PD) are both above-average players in the secondary, and the pass rush has certainly been strong. Jason Babin (10 tackles, 2 sacks) and 2010 first-round pick Derrick Morgan (4 tackles, 1.5 sacks) have teamed up for 3 1/2 sacks in a rotation at left end, while tackle Jason Jones (3 tackles) is an excellent penetrator along the interior. Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch (13 tackles) and new weakside starter Will Witherspoon (12 tackles, 2 sacks) head up a run defense that restricted the Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall to an ordinary 69 yards on 23 attempts in Week 2.
Johnson’s low output from a week ago was more an aberration than a trend, so expect the probable No. 1 or 2 overall pick in most preseason drafts to put up more customary numbers against a defense that is a clear cut below the one he faced last Sunday. He’s the only sure-fire starter among Tennessee’s offensive members, however. Young seldom puts up the prolific yardage totals to be regarded as anything more than a bye-week fill-in at quarterback, while Washington is the lone Titans’ receiver that merits flex consideration. The Giants have two start-worthy wideouts in Nicks and Smith, with Manningham a more risky choice as the third option, and a low-end No. 1 fantasy quarterback in Eli Manning. Bradshaw’s value has been given a boost as well, now that he’s established himself as the unquestioned main man in the New York backfield. With both of these teams having been turnover-prone as of late, either defense seems to be a pretty good play.
The Tennessee defense has looked terrific during the season’s early stages, but it’s still hard to truly measure the unit’s prowess due to the suspect competition it’s faced so far. The Giants should prove to be a sterner test, and it’s a good bet Coughlin’s troops will come out with greater focus and urgency on Sunday after last week’s debacle. New York will win in a walk if its defense can force mistakes like it did in the opener, or if the Titans duplicate their error-laden ways of their last appearance. Tennessee is too well-coached a team to expect such a repeat performance, however, and the odds of Johnson being held down for a second straight week figure to be rather slim as well. The difference could come down to how both teams produce in the red zone. The Giants have had issues in that area in past years, while the Titans have been a stonewall group in defending near the goal line over the first two weeks.
OUT: T Will Beatty (foot), LB Phillip Dillard (hamstring), S Michael Johnson (back)
DOUBTFUL: C Shaun O'Hara (ankle, achilles)
NYG Practice Report (Week in Review)
Wednesday: T Will Beatty (foot)
Thursday: T Will Beatty (foot)
Friday: T Will Beatty (foot)
Wednesday: LB Chase Blackburn (knee), LB Phillip Dillard (hamstring), S Michael Johnson (back), WR Mario Manningham (illness), C Shaun O'Hara (ankle, achilles)
Thursday: LB Phillip Dillard (hamstring), S Michael Johnson (back), C Shaun O'Hara (ankle, achilles)
Friday: LB Phillip Dillard (hamstring), S Michael Johnson (back), C Shaun O'Hara (ankle, achilles), DE Justin Tuck (shoulder)
Thursday: LB Chase Blackburn (knee)
Friday: LB Chase Blackburn (knee)
Wednesday: TE Kevin Boss (concussion), CB Aaron Ross (foot)
Thursday: TE Kevin Boss (concussion), WR Mario Manningham (illness), CB Aaron Ross (foot)
Friday: TE Kevin Boss (concussion), WR Mario Manningham (illness), CB Aaron Ross (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Tony Brown (knee)
PROBABLE: DE Jason Babin (elbow), CB Cortland Finnegan (thigh)
The New York Giants got a surprise today when they showed up for practice, and it was not a good one. Defensive end Justin Tuck, the team's defensive captain and best defensive player, sat out practice with shoulder soreness. He was listed as 'questionable' for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.
The issue is with his surgically repaired shoulder, and Tuck admitted to reporters that he feels it "every day." Giants fans will remember that Tuck partially tore the labrum in his left shoulder in Week 2 last season, the result of an illegal trip from then-Dallas offensive lineman Flozell Adams.
Tuck, however, has no doubt he will play against Tennessee.
Former Rutgers University football stars Kenny Britt and Jason McCourty will be at New Meadowlands Stadium Sunday with the Tennessee Titans to face the New York Giants. The pair went through the homecoming experience last season when the Titans faced the New York Jets.
"Last year I was real excited to get in the game and do some things and make some plays," Britt said. "This year I’m real calm and focused on what we’ve got to do this week to get a win." "Last year I think it was a bigger deal," McCourty said. "I had a lot of family and friends wanting to come to the game. This year, with my brother also being in the league he played there last weekend, so I don’t have as many family and friends hitting me up for tickets so that’s a plus."
Nice to see ya both, fellas. Wish ya well. After Sunday, that is.
The story line here will be the Giants defensive line stopping Chris Johnson. The Raiders couldn't stop him in Week 1 but the Steelers did in Week 2. The Giants defense as a whole will be in the spotlight after Antrel Rolle ripped some of organization's moves publicly this week.
-- See all the NFL previews, predictions
Looks like it might be time to start considering replacements for New York Giants Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
From Pat Traina:
C Shaun O'Hara, whom head coach Tom Coughlin revealed is back in a walking boot in hopes of getting his ailing ankle and Achilles injury back under control, missed his second day of practice. O'Hara, who in the past said that rest is going to be the best cure for what ails him, is likely to be kept on a managed practice schedule all season long, as the Giants are hoping that the injury doesn't force their Pro Bowl center to miss any playing time.
This is really the worst-case scenario for the Giants. Nominal backup center Adam Koets has never started an NFL game in four seasons, and in fact has played only a few meaningful snaps. Starting guard Rich Seubert could also play center, but that requires another change in the line.
According to Antrel Rolle, some New York Giants were not ready to play last weekend against Indianapolis. That will not be a problem this weekend against the Tennessee Titans for at least one Giant -- linebacker Keith Bulluck.
The veteran Bulluck, in his first year with the Giants after 10 outstanding seasons in Tennessee, is not happy about the way things ended with the Titans.
Bulluck indicated that he did his rehab work with the goal of being ready by training camp and with the anticipation that the Titans would give him a call.
According to Bulluck, no call ever came, and he said as much in a conference call with Nashville reporters on Wednesday.
"You know what? Honestly that's bull-[expletive]. I was in Arizona. I rehabbed with the Titans for the first months," said Bulluck, who tore his ACL in December. "I was in New York for the next two, and I was in Arizona until my agent said the Giants wanted me to come there for a workout.
"The last time I saw [Titans team physician] Burton Elrod was in the beginning of May, and he told me I would be ready, definitely by camp. That was just with Burton. That had nothing to do with the Tennessee Titans. No one knew what was going on with me until I worked out with the Giants. And once everyone heard I had a great workout with the Giants and that I'm healthy and everything, I think that's when everything started."
What started it, said Bulluck, was the Titans' stance that Bulluck wanted to leave Tennessee – something he said was not the case at all.
"The only thing that bothered me was the whole after I signed with New York. Honestly and truthfully before that, there was no communication with anyone. Like everything that took place after that kind of bothered me and [expletive] me off a little bit. I know the hard work I put in to put myself in position to get on the team," Bulluck said. "Of course, I would have liked to have been with the team I was with for the past decade, and that wasn't able to happen. They never reached out to me, so I did what I had to do, and the aftermath of that, we all know. So that kind of annoyed me a little bit. Other than that, it's just business, and you move on and you go."
The Giants (1-1) could use some anger and some fire on defense this week. Hopefully, Bulluck can provide it.
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