DE Justin Tuck cannot figure out this team's identity. One thing is for sure, though. The play better as underdogs.
"I don’t know what it is about this team. For some reason we play better when people doubt us." Tuck said. "In a way I’m kind of comfortable with how we are. I don’t know what it is. We don’t play well as favorites. I hope we’re two-touchdown underdogs or something going down to New Orleans."
His coach does not deal in point spreads or prognostication. Just Xs and Os.
"He talks too much," said a smiling Tom Coughlin on Monday. "Really, what does that have to do with it? You have one game at a time. You have to line up and play well each week, week in and week out. And you have to figure out what the circumstances are and you have to maneuver yourself into a position where if it’s something that needs to be gained, respect for the opponent, then figure out how to do that for yourself. At our level, it’s always cutting edge. Anybody can beat anybody any place, anywhere, any time. All teams are talented. Look at the league as we’ve seen it this year. I don’t have a lot of time for that kind of talk. You have a job to do. You have 16 weeks. You have all kinds of information available to you, the greatest technology in the world, and you just have to be well prepared for your opponent, whoever it is, whenever it is..."
Nice try, Tom, but the facts are your team plays better when it's getting points. Plain and simple. Our friend Andy Furman of Ultimate NYG mapped out the Giants' recent trend of winning games they are expected to lose and vice-versa...
"What gets me angry is the constant pattern of the Giants playing up and down to the level of their opponent. That is the mark of underachievement...
Let's look at the Giants when they were favorites:
Washington - LOSS Rams- Win, with plenty of help from the opposition (remember the red zone lateral?!) Cards- Win, waking up at end with 10 pts in last 5 minutes Seahawks- LOSS Bills- Win, barely, with the help of a late INT in the red zone. Dolphins- Win, taking the lead after trailing the first 55 minutes Eagles- LOSS
Let's look at the Giants when they were underdogs:
Eagles- WIN Pats- WIN Niners - LOSS (very competitive)
This modus operandi goes back to Coughlin's predecessor, Jim Fassel. Fassel could not manage prosperity. He'd blow big leads in games and he could not put two consecutive seasons together with winning records. Similarly here for Coughlin, the Giants are not winning when they are suppose to win. And when they do win, they are barely doing it. That smells of complacency. And complacency breeds underachievement."
Could not agree more...how about you?