Frustrated New York Giants players talked a lot following Sunday's second straight difficult loss about needing to learn how to win games. So, head coach Tom Coughlin, how do you help your young charges learn how to do that?
"Sooner or later we just have to settle down and play the way we're capable of playing when the game is on the line," Coughlin said. "I don't know how to say it any more simply. ... you gotta go pull the trigger."
Simple as that. Only it hasn't been simple for the Giants. They have made a myriad of mistakes on offense, both mental and physical, late in their first two games. They have been largely unable to get critical stops on defense in the fourth quarter, giving up a number of long scoring drives. The Giants have outscored their opponents 36-23 during the first three quarters, but have lost the fourth quarter by an overwhelming 28-10 margin. As a result, they are 0-2.
"There obviously was a lot of good things, but the fourth quarter diminishes all of those real positive thoughts," Coughlin said.
Not to state the obvious, but Coughlin said many of the mistakes the Giants have been making "just can't happen."
They did, though, and now the Giants are in a hole from which it will be difficult to climb out of. Even in a jumbled NFC East where the only 2-0 team is now missing its two best offensive players.
Other takeaways from Coughlin.
Shane Vereen, Dwayne Harris earn praise
"I thought Shane Vereen really gave us a lift yesterday in terms of another major contributor to the offense. I thought that Dwayne Harris did an outstanding job with punt return, kickoff return. He gave us something that we can be excited about and the players can be going forward," Coughlin said.
Coughlin said that Harris has a toe injury, but he had no real information on the severity. He also had no new information the ankle injury sustained by left tackle Ereck Flowers. Coughlin was concerned about the fact that Harris and other players were slipping on the MetLife Stadium turf, and said he would talk to the equipment staff about that.
Also, Coughlin sounded as if he wasn't counting on linebacker Jon Beason (knee) or wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) being available Thursday night against the Washington Redskins.
Coughlin said Cruz has "been running on the treadmill in the water. He's been doing that and he's been doing some running out on the grass."
As for Beason, Coughlin said trainers will "continue to work Jon on the side or whatever and just see where he's at. Hopefully, he'll continue to improve and then we'll maybe get some kind of a word going forward here."
NFC East still up for grabs
Yes it is.
"The situation in our division is very obvious to all of you. I'm going to point that out to our team," Coughlin said.