“I think you expect that we are going to play well when the pressure is on and we are going to find a way to win the game,” Coughlin said. “We did that today, although it was a difficult game.”
Coughlin said the bottom line why his team was able to hang in there and emerge victorious was because his guys just wanted it more – plain and simple.
“It ended up being really the power of the will,” he continued. “It wasn’t our best game, by any means, but we hung in there, we kept battling and scrapping, and in what was not our best game, we found a way to win against a good football team. I don’t care if they are 0-2 or not, they play in a tough division and they are a good team.
“We just gutted it out; you find a way to win. You find a way somehow, some way, to put your will over his.”
Yes, these Giants are mentally strong; pretty much as strong as could be at this point.
“There was never a sense of panic,” Justin Tuck said. “That’s what I love about this football team – there’s never anyone pointing the finger. There’s never any unit pointing the finger.”
You have Antonio Pierce intentionally jumping offsides to prevent the Bengals from running a play with only 10 Giants defenders on the field. That’s not only mentally tough but brilliant as well.
“We weren’t trying to cover any point spread (which was 13.5 at kickoff),” Pierce said. “At the end of the day our home crowd stayed with us and we won the game.”
Rookie linebacker Bryan Kehl was the player that made the mental error that Pierce had to cover up. However, Kehl, touted as a special teams ace, also contributed, almost getting his hands on a Cincinnati punt.
“3-0 is huge in college,” the BYU product said. “It’s huge in the NFL. The guys were saying how hard it is to win three games in a row. I’m excited to be part of something special. The credit goes to the character of this team. We made one more play than they did.”
Amani Toomer, who has basically been through it all in New York, was proud of his squad for getting it done no matter how dreary things looked at times.
“That’s the sign of a good team to not play well but still come out and win the game,” he said. “3-0 is a great feeling. We’re pretty happy with where we’re at.”
Toomer, of course, made the critical third-down catch in OT, tight-roping the sideline right before John Carney’s game-winner. If either of his feet did touch the white sideline, he certainly and understandably wasn’t letting on.
“I couldn’t tell,” he said. “I just got as many feet down as I could.”
It was enough – just enough…
They’re number one
The only fighting among this unified bunch was between Justin Tuck and Fred Robbins – arguing over which man was the better defensive lineman … with each pushing hard to make a case for the other.
“This guy is amazing,” Tuck said of Robbins after his second straight two-sack game. “I’m very proud of Fred. I think he’s our best D-lineman. I know I get all the flash and the mention, but he’s really playing well. He’s definitely picking up the slack (for Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora).”
But Robbins would have none of it.
“I think it’s him,” he replied. “It goes both ways.”