On the very first series, Andy Dalton connected with A.J. Green on a 56-yard touchdown in which the Giants’ secondary looked completely lost.
Fewell said there were actually two blunders on that play.
“Stevie Brown should’ve been over the top, half-field coverage,” Fewell said. “He saw (the) number two (receiver) block; he bit on the run fake. He’s secondary force in that coverage, and he just let his coverage responsibility go.”
Corey Webster though wasn’t free of any blame.
“He (Webster) played his assignment, but you would expect a veteran like that to say, ‘He’s not there,’ and he realize he wasn’t there, and to keep running and continue on the play,” Fewell said.
Fewell said it’s frustrating when the defense works on certain formations in practice and then gives up big plays in the game. The Giants’ defense has struggled all season on third down plays.
In addition to the secondary, the Giants’ front seven had trouble all game in getting pressure on Dalton.
“We didn’t have a great game up front,” Fewell said. “The ball came out quick; they did some things that kind of offset our pass-rush, but that’s no excuse. We expect our guys to get home.”
In the second half, the Giants’ defense showed much improvement, especially against the run. But even so, Fewell will not try to find any positives from an otherwise poor effort.
“I wasn’t happy with any aspect of what happened yesterday, so that was not a performance that we should be happy about in any aspect,” he said. “I expect us to play better, and I expect us to be better.”
With Kenny Phillips expected to return soon but now Markus Kuhn out for the season, the defense may try to employ a multitude of looks. There could be some three safety sets and as shuffling of the defensive line, including more snaps for Marvin Austin, Adrian Tracy and Mathias Kiwanuka.
Fewell said he believes it’s a good time for Giants to have their bye since he can concentrate on the unit as a whole and look at why some things are still breaking down, especially in key spots. He still thinks the Giants can have a good defense’ they just need more consistency.
“I think that if we can obviously pull together, which we will, and be more consistent with what we do, that we can finish strong,” Fewell said.
Consistency will be key for the Giants if they plan on making another deep playoff run.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.