After Sunday's 38-0 drubbing at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, the New York Giants are licking their wounds and searching for answers. With a media firestorm headed Big Blue's way, head coach Tom Coughlin wasn't shy about confronting his group about their poor play and lack of execution on game day.
"I hope not," said Coughlin of going back to square one. "Let's see. I did challenge our pride a little bit today."
The Giants were downright awful; producing just 150 yards of total offense, while Eli Manning was hit fifteen times and sacked seven. Big Blue didn't have anything to cheer about in Week 3 and critics are pointing to a lack of chemistry and camaraderie in the locker room this season. Staring an 0-3 start dead in the eyes, Coughlin was adamant that his team needs to avoid breaking apart.
"Following a very disappointing evening, obviously last night, the one thing that I did stress with our team following the game was that what we really need to do during this point in time is to make sure we stick together, that we stay together," noted Coughlin. "That we act, that we speak, and that we are one. We don't finger point. We don't blame anybody either."
While the Giants are avoiding the blame game, the offensive line has become the media's punching bag for New York's scoring woes the past two games. There's no question that the Giants' front has been under duress and a major weak spot, but Coughlin urged his unit to stay positive despite a wave of negativity from the outside.
"We talked last week about supporting and being in harmony with one another," said Coughlin. "That's not there, or that has to happen. I think you get the response you want to get off the sideline when people make plays and they rally around each other."
Former New York Giants linebacker and current radio analyst for WFAN in New York had some pointed criticism for Big Blue following its embarrassing defeat.
"They don't like themselves," said Banks of the Giants. "That's what it really comes down to. They don't like each other. They're not willing to fight for each other. When you have a premier quarterback in this league, and you don't have enough self-respect — not for him, but for yourself — to protect him, to do your job. I think it speaks volumes. I think these guys really do need to all stand in (front of) the mirror, and it's gut-check time."
With his team under fire, Coughlin didn't make any excuses for the Giants lackluster play, but he took umbrage to Banks questioning their heart and desire.
"I don't like that," said Coughlin regarding Banks' criticism. "That is a very strong thing for someone to say. It wasn't pretty, I will say that, but I don't believe they quit."