EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Obviously it didn't work out, but did Tom Coughlin make the proper decision to go for the first down on fourth-and-2 from the New York Jets' 4-yard line with 8:50 left and the Giants leading, 20-10? A field goal would have put the Giants up by 13 points, but Coughlin wanted the touchdown to make it a three-score game.
"I thought that was the play at the time," Coughlin said. "I still do."
What happened, of course, leaves the beleagured veteran coach wide open to criticism. Quarterback Eli Manning double-clutched and threw into double coverage at the goal line, where his pass for Rueben Randle was intercepted by Jets' safety Rontez Miles.
The Giants unraveled from there. They surrendered 10 points in the last 8:42, then lost in overtime.
Coughlin isn't second-guessing his choice, only the outcome of a game that saw the Giants fall to 5-7.
"I stand by it," he said. "I thought that was the right play."
Coughlin, in an effort to take pressure off of the Giants' defense, has made several decisions at the end of games that have backfired.
"Obviously I made a decision to be very aggressive at the end of games," Coughlin said. "I don't have a lot to show for it."
Manning defended the decision to go for the first down.
"To try to go up 17 right there is a great opportunity to extend the lead. It didn't work out, but that's football," Manning said."I like the call. I think it's the right call,"
Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins also backed the decision to go for the first down.
"I wasn't surprised. He was showing faith in us and that's what you want. As a player, you should want to have that opportunity to put the game away," Jenkins said. "You should want the coach to have faith in you to be able to go out there and get the job done. And coach showed faith in us and he gave us an opportunity and that's got to be something we cash in on. We score a touchdown there and you're up three possessions."
I like the call, too. The result, of course, didn't work out the way the Giants wanted it to, but in my view it was the correct decision. Trailing by 10 or by 13 the Jets could still win with two touchdowns. A touchdown by the Giants there makes it an almost certainly insurmountable 17-point lead -- a three-score game.
This is what coaching is. Sometimes you make the right call and things still work out wrong. Sometimes you make the wrong call and still get the right result. Unfortunately for the Giants, no matter what they have tried things have simply not worked out for them at the end of many games this season.
Did Coughlin make the right decision? Vote in the poll and let us know what you think.