After the Giants fell for the fifth straight time in Monday's 37-18 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, New York knows the clock is ticking on its 2019 season as it turns the page to Week 10.
At 2-7, a win in the Giants' matchup against the Jets (1-7) Sunday at MetLife Stadium serves as the last glimmer of hope on the with six more games -- three divisional contests -- to follow.
Pat Shurmur admitted as much when he met the media for his weekly press conference Wednesday, on a shortened week of game prep after the Giants' loss two days prior.
"It's important that we get back to doing things the right way every play, and not just play well during stretches of the game," the second-year head coach said. "Can't have bad things that affect the game like they did the other night. It's going to be a tough game (against the Jets). I feel like every opponent we play is a tough opponent. I feel like if we play the right way, we have the ability to beat anybody we play. But when we don't play well or coach well, then we certainly have the ability to get beat. So it's up to us to play better."
Questions about the Giants' collective effort came into question after the Cowboys turned a 16-15 battle to a 19-point rout, going on a 21-3 run in the fourth quarter.
Among the three passing touchdowns given up by the defense, which had issues from blown coverages to missed assignments and effort, veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins did not attempt a tackle on tight end Blake Jarwin's straight-ahead run for a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dak Prescott, which brought the Cowboys within 12-10 of the Giants and shifted the momentum.
The unraveling came after two tight defeats -- to the Arizona Cardinals (27-21, Oct. 20) and Detroit Lions (31-26, Oct. 27) -- pressed the issue.
"It's always a challenge to get going," Shurmur said. "I think we played hard last week and we stayed in it. We just had some plays that hurt us that affected the outcome of the game. I thought the preparation today was really good. We have a bunch of guys that are fighters in there, so that doesn't concern me."
Veteran wide receiver Golden Tate served his four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs to start the slate in the first month, so he missed the Giants' only two wins -- over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (32-31, Sept. 22) and Washington Redskins (24-3, Sept. 29) -- and has yet to experience a victory.
"Yeah, it's something that I wasn't expecting to experience," Tate said. "Here we are, we are what we are. I'm focused on this week. I think we're all focused on this week. I think we're all excited to get back out there, get this bad taste out of our mouth. Today was more of a mental day, but we're going to continue to work hard, prepare ourselves. And one thing I want to do, personally, is kind of be more fundamentally sound this week, just do my job the best I possibly can and see what happens."
The Jets have their own struggles as they look to get back on track for the 1 p.m. ET kickoff in East Rutherford, New Jersey -- so should the Giants fall to 2-8, could changes be on the horizon?
"That goes through my head every year, because the recipe to staying in the locker room is winning," Tate said. "When you're losing, something's got to change -- you don't know who it's going to be. So I think about it.
"I love this locker room, I love the personnel, I love our coaches, but ultimately we're all here to produce wins."