The Loss To Top All Losses

The Loss To Top All Losses

NASHVILLE – Okay, Giants fans. Where exactly do you put this one on the all-time choke list? Yeah, right there at the very top. It's tough to argue. The famous fumble in 1978? Hardly. The Giants stunk at the time and, if anything, that game helped the franchise turn itself around.

How about the playoff collapse in San Francisco after the 2002 season? Not a chance. The Giants were playing a playoff-caliber club. The Niners took that game as much as the Giants handed it to them. These Titans had nothing to play for and looked exactly that way – until the Giants woke them up. A three-touchdown lead entering the fourth quarter. The Giants had dominated on both sides of the ball. Sure they could have and should have had even a larger cushion. But they weren't going to need it. Right? Wrong!

"It's a ridiculous thing to try to reassess," said Tom Coughlin, who just might have to start worrying about his job security as much as his quarterback needs to focus on his ball security. "I don't have the words to talk about it right now and I probably won't when I see it. We're going to be sick about this one forever."

Forever is a long time, but in all honesty, who could or would ever forget this one? The Giants not only shot themselves in the foot from a playoff standpoint, but they're probably always going to be remembered as the club that put Vince Young on the NFL map. Young looked so bad for so long at LP Field. Then he looked like Joe Montana in the fourth.

"It is disappointing, it is shocking," said Eli Manning, who was supposed to be the better of the two QBs during this one. Key words there are ‘supposed to.' "You have to give them credit for hanging in there. We can't let that happen."

Yet they did.

Shaun O'Hara described it as a nightmare.

"That's not how you want to finish a game," he said. "It was a tough one, a tough one to swallow. I don't even think they thought they were going to win the game. "This is one of those games where I don't think you need to say anything. It's indescribable. It's sick, it makes you feel sick."

Antonio Pierce needed time to collect his thoughts.

"I never thought they were going to win the game until they won the game," he said. "It's a 60-minute game. What did we play? 45? We didn't play the last 15 minutes. No excuses. We lost the game flat-out."

TGI asked Pierce if he had ever been involved in a tougher loss. His immediate reply: "Never. I've never been a part of anything like that. That was crazy. We were up 21-0. I never felt it slipping away."

Brandon Jacobs is never one to hold his tongue. He was still furious after the game.

"Any loss hurts but this particular one to a team we should have beat the (crap) out of, this one hurts more," Jacobs said. When pressed why, Jacobs replied, "Because they suck, that's why."

Yes they do. Yet they came back and stole a must-win game from the Giants. What in the world does that say about them?

Pointing the finger

While many players and coaches were to blame for this one, Frank Walker is definitely high atop the list. It was his late hit on Vince Young out of bounds that kept Tennessee's first TD drive alive. And many Titans believed that cheap shot was what woke their club up. And it didn't take Young long to realize that Walker was capable of such a damaging play.

"Him and I were going at it all game," he said. "I was pretty sure he was going to do something crazy."

He was correct.

"When he crosses the line of scrimmage he is just a regular football player to me," Walker explained. "I am playing football. If I lay off him, he leans forward for the first down. I am playing football and I made the tackle."

While it wasn't a blatant penalty, yet again a Giants player put himself – and the entire club – in jeopardy by a foolish decision. When Coughlin came aboard, two of his main points were his plans to clean up the injury situation and the club's lack of discipline, resulting in an inordinate amount of penalties. It's certainly fair to say the Giants are worse off in those two categories now than they were before Coughlin arrived. Just like he tells his players, Coughlin must also be well aware that talk is cheap.

Rebound time

The Giants now have no choice but to try to get past this nightmare and turn their attention to the Cowboys. A loss Sunday and Big Blue can all but kiss its hopes of defending its division title goodbye.

"We lost three in a row and it sucks but you have to put it behind you," O'Hara said.

New York is well aware that they and the Boys have been moving in opposite directions since New York's victory in Big D shortly before Halloween.

"That's our challenge and we have to find a way to right the ship," Tiki Barber said. "Bill Parcells has them believing they're a team of destiny."

Antonio Pierce summed it up perfectly.

"If we don't let this go, Dallas is going to come in and smash us," he said.

Moron of the week

This week's recognition goes to Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com. Mike was brilliant enough to scoop the NFL world that members of the Jaguars defense believed that Eli Manning and Tiki Barber were "scared" during the Monday night matchup in Jacksonville. Yeah, a former top overall pick and a potential future Hall of Famer are frightened against no less a daunting defense than the Jags. Yet they both somehow managed to muster up the guts to make it through a game against the league's scariest defense (Chicago) only a week earlier. The best thing that can happen to bogus websites like these is that they just go away.

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