The New York Giants have not played a full 60 minutes of football this season, and the result is an 0-4 record. According to video posted on Giants.com, today head coach Tom Coughlin laid the blame squarely on his offense and special teams in his press conference after the 31-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Our inability to do anything with the ball in the second half, there’s no excuse for that. That’s poor, that’s extremely poor,” an obviously exasperated Coughlin said. “The special teams errors hurt very much too.”
Specifically, the special teams errors Coughlin was referring to were Dexter McCluster’s punt return for a touchdown, Josh Brown’s missed 44 yard field goal and a costly penalty that allowed Kansas City to run more time off the clock while scoring a touchdown in the 4th quarter.
An old proverb states, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and this adage might apply to the NFC east division this season. After 0-4 record last week, NFC east teams improved this week. The division went 1-3, as the Washington Redskins beat the Oakland Raiders 24-14 to gain their first win of the season.
With Dallas losing to San Diego (30-21), and the Philadelphia Eagles getting blown out by the Denver Broncos (52-20), the Giants did not lose any ground to these two rivals. As the season progresses, it appears that NFC east teams will continue to have difficulty with AFC west opponents, so the fact that New York has played the two toughest AFC west teams, may assist them down the road.
At the end of play today, the G-men are only two games behind the division leading Cowboys. Facing a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles next week, a win at MetLife Stadium would tie the Giants with the Eagles in the division.
Meanwhile down in Dallas, the Cowboys host the white-hot Denver Broncos, and a loss could drop Big “D” to 2-3 record. The Redskins have their bye week this week, but come back with a division game against the Cowboys in Dallas on October 13th.
Looking forward, the combined record of the Giants’ October opponents is 4-10, and potentially the Giants could enter their bye week (November 7th) with a 3-5 record.
The second half of the season shows two games with the Washington Redskins, a rematch with the Dallas Cowboys, and a contest with the inconsistent Green Bay Packers. Games against Detroit and Seattle will be difficult to win, so New York has to make up ground against teams it should beat.
The key for New York in the near term is get the monkey off their back with a victory against Philadelphia, and let the remaining schedule take care of itself.
With five division games remaining, and the possibility that an 8-8 record could win the division, unbelievably, an 0-4 start may not have eliminated New York from playoff contention.