It happens to almost every team after they win a Super Bowl. They find the road back to the big game littered with pitfalls. Frustration sets in and players and coaches search for answers. In the process, they say things they normally wouldn’t say.
“I think we look soft,” DE Jason Pierre-Paul said of his team yesterday. “I think we’ll get there, man. We haven’t played our best game this year. I know, for a fact, we haven’t played that game.”
The sense of urgency usually stokes the fire within the team, they wake up, win a big game and we forget all about the stumbles they’ve gone through. We thought that game was going to be the Washington game. It wasn’t.
Was the Green Bay game a more of an apparition than a harbinger? How were the Giants able to score so easily vs the Packers and then misfire so badly in DC? The defense, which clicked on all cylinders two weeks ago, looked confused, slow and – yes – soft. The uneven play and results are enough to drive everyone mad, and the players are not immune.
They seemed to ebb and flow. They pushed the Packers all over the field two weeks ago only to have it done to them this week by the Redskins. S Antrel Rolle said in his weekly radio spot the Giants needed to maintain consistency and get ‘nasty’.
“I think we can definitely go out there and have a little more dog in our system”, Rolle said. “Attack a lot more, be more physical at the point of attack and make plays when the opportunity presents itself.”
“We need to play better,” agreed DE Osi Umenyiora. “We need to play better on the football field, period, mentally, physically, everything. We’re just not playing as well as we’re accustomed to and we’re not playing as well as we should. I don’t think it’s us going out there trying to be nasty or hurt people or be mean. We just need to get our coverage right. We need to get our pass rush right. Offensively, we need to move the ball and score touchdowns. Everybody needs to do their job and that’s pretty much what it boils down to.”
ESPN analysts Damien Woody and Herm Edwards react to JPP’s comment that the Giants’ defense looks soft.