We have seen it over and over during the Tom Coughlin era with the New York Giants. Fast, promising starts. Sputtering, frustrating finishes. Heading into his 16th season as an NFL head coach, and eighth with the Giants, Coughlin is still trying to unlock the secret to preventing those poor finishes.
"Keep playing. Keep playing. Keep on going," Coughlin said, adding: "The message is very loud and clear. It’s a long season. You stay positive. You stay focused. Yeah, you’re disappointed if things don’t go your way or you have a game you don’t play particularly well.
"But you know what, you’ve got to come back and you’ve got to regroup and you’ve got to rally and go forward and give yourself a chance."
Coughlin was a little bit like many Giants fans in 2010. Meaning that it seems like he felt teased by this team, saying "at times during the season, I came away from games saying, ‘Geez, we may really have something,’"
Unfortunately, all they wound up with was an early ticket home for the second straight season. Two months after watching his team win 10 games and still go home without a playoff berth, Coughlin still keeps coming back to turnovers as the ultimate reason for the team's falling short of the postseason. He acknowledged the injuries the team suffered, but said ""It’s not all about that."
"There were games we didn’t play as well. The number one factor that I attributed it to from day one is turnovers. You lead the league in takeaways, but you also lead the league in giveaways, and that’s always been a huge factor for me from day one.
"Had that been more in the norm for our team, then I think we probably could have won two more games at least."
What does Coughlin want to see whenever the Giants take the field again?
"For me, just good solid, sound football – non turnover, non-penalty football, and there were some teams in the league that played that way – Atlanta played that way to a great extent. If you play that kind of football, you’re going to be in it every bit of the way."
Can't argue much with that. Had the 2010 Giants been able to play that way I still feel they could have been 13-3 and fighting for the NFC top seed.