It’s hard to imagine a team led by Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin could become the laughingstock of the NFL, but that’s exactly what has transpired over the first five weeks of the regular season. The Giants’ latest clunker, s 36-21 thrashing by the Philadelphia Eagles, is another setback in Big Blue’s winless 2013 campaign. Manning tossed three interceptions on Sunday and brought his league leading turnover total to 14 for the year.
“It’s hard, as a competitor, to go out and to win, to turn off your competitive edge and play smart,” said Eli of his mounting mistakes. “You’re going to get into those situations where you can’t quite step into it. Sometimes you get away with it and you have to make those throws.”
Manning and company have committed a whopping 20 miscues through five games and are -13 in the turnover differential. The Giants fell to 0-5 for the first time since 1987 season, when replacement players were responsible for three of those defeats. From 1990-2012, 48 teams started 0-5. None of them made the playoffs.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement for this year’s Giants and outspoken safety Antrel Rolle isn’t pleased with his team’s lackluster of play of late.
“We need to pick it up,” urged Rolle. “Get our head out of our ass and pick it up. That's the reality of it. We are losing games around here and that's not Giants football we are playing.”
New York’s offense has been turnover prone, while its defense has surrendered at least 30 points in every game this season. The Giants are unraveling in all facets and team leader Justin Tuck is doing his best to weather the storm.
“I think you want me to say something negative about our offense,” the Giants’ defensive captain told reporters postgame. “But I've been around here long enough to understand this: they go through their ups and downs, we go through our ups and downs. That offense has gotten us out of a lot of jams that the defense has put us in. Right now, it's time for our defense to get them out of a jam because they aren't playing well right now and obviously, we're not either.”
On Sunday New York battled back from a 19-7 halftime deficit to grab a 21-19 lead after Manning found Rueben Randle for a six-yard touchdown strike with 3:46 remaining in the third quarter. It appeared that the Giants had captured the momentum and swung the pendulum back in their favor, but Manning threw three interceptions on the team’s final three offensive possessions and the Eagles scored 17 unanswered points to win going away.
The Giants aren't pointing fingers at each other, but there’s a palpable sense of aggravation in the locker room.
“It’s frustrating. I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s not frustrating,” said undrafted linebacker Spencer Paysinger. “You play your heart out, this is your profession and the fact that it doesn’t go your way, as a team it just feels like we didn’t play a complete game. “
The Giants have only two days before they take on the Chicago Bears on Thursday night football. With his team’s season in a downward spiral, veteran offensive lineman David Diehl is maintaining a positive outlook in the wake of tough times.
“This game’s about believing in one another, continuing to fight and, like I said, as a leader, I’m going to continue to do whatever I can to bring the best out of my teammates,” noted Diehl. “We’ve got a lot of season left, I’m not going to waver in any way, I’m going to continue to approach the game the way that I always do and fight.: