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Giants' coach Tom Coughlin searching for answers

John Grieshop

New York Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin has a myriad of issues to deal with after a humbling 31-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, his team's second straight defeat.

Not the least of those issues is the play of quarterback Eli Manning, who has not thrown a touchdown pass in three games and has one touchdown pass and six interceptions in his last four games. Manning threw two interceptions Sunday and Coughlin was critical of the quarterback's decision-making.

Manning threw interceptions on back-to-back possessions in the third quarter, pretty much killing any chance to win. On both plays Manning was under duress and would have been better off just taking the sack or throwing the ball away.

"That was terrible. He’d be the first one to tell you that. That was so foolish to try to make a play there. The one guy has got his shirt… Just go down and take care of the ball and let us have another snap. Just take care of the football. I know he’s always trying to make a play and he has done things under those circumstances in the past that have worked out, but the percentages are just not with you when that happens.

"I know how hard he’s pressing to make a play. That’s what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to make a play."

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The Giants are 6-4 and face a six-game stretch to finish the season that includes games against the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints and division games against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.They lead the NFC East over the 4-5 Dallas Cowboys, but their grasp is slipping away.

"We have a lot of people that aren’t playing as well as they’re capable of playing. That’s got to change, obviously," said Coughlin.

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The Giants have now lost six consecutive game sin November and are 13-20 overall in November under Coughlin.

"Every year is a different year. Every situation is a different situation. Every team is a different team. Every circumstance with regards to health and well being and so on and so forth is a different situation," Coughlin said. "I think yesterday we had one 20-yard play. We have had a lot of those around here, so maybe that’s a part of it. Maybe it’s been the big plays that disappeared. We got some first downs yesterday. We had 21 first downs, but we didn’t get the big plays we were looking for."

The Giants have a bye this week, then host the Green Bay Packers. Between now and the Packers' game Giants' fans need to hope Coughlin can find some of the answers his team needs.