Thursday Morning Report: Giants Know It’s Now or Never

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

A typical Wednesday. The Giants were transitioning from their loss in Atlanta to their trip this week to Baltimore. A basic do-or-die game lies ahead. They are suddenly cornered and have no choice but to win if they want to qualify for the playoffs.

“We have the two-game schedule and we have to win both games to get in the playoffs and everybody’s aware of that,” said head coach Tom Coughlin. “We’re going to have an outstanding effort both in the classroom and on the practice field this week. Hopefully, we’ll play the way like we feel like we’re capable of playing.” 

“We know what we’re playing for,” said QB Eli Manning. “We know what’s on the line and all you can do is prepare for the future, go out there and hopefully, we can take our practice and what we’re doing with good plays and take that onto Sunday.”

“I think today we went out there and we had a good practice, but we’ve got to go out there and play Sunday,” stated S Antrel Rolle. “That’s the bottom line. Obviously, we had a good week of practice last week also, but we didn’t go out there and perform as well on Sunday. So we’ve got to go out there and just get the job done at all costs, no matter what.”

“This week our backs are against the wall,” commented DE Jason Pierre-Paul. “We’re starting the playoffs early. This is a playoff game for us. We have to win, otherwise we’re out. The guys know and I know it and I’m getting ready to give it my best shot and do all I can.” 

Talk is cheap, play the game. That is the motto from a few years back. Last year’s was “finish.” This season, they vowed to “build the bridge.” They have held true to none of these mantras through the first 14 games. This week in Baltimore they will face a Ravens team that is on a three-game losing streak. Somthing’s gotta give, folks….

Baltimore was 9-2 at one time and the division title was theirs for the taking. No longer the case. They are in the playoffs, but need to win to put Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in the rearview. Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh is trying to get his team out of free fall in time for the playoffs.

“I think we understand what’s at stake. Our guys are excited to play. We have plenty to play for. We’re trying to play for a division championship,” Harbaugh told reporters at his presser yesterday. “You do want to build momentum and you want to be your best at the end of the year. You want to build towards that and peak at the right time. That’s what we’re really hoping to do. We won a lot of games early, which really helped us. We had some injuries recently, which hurt us; we lost some tight games in overtime that could’ve gone the other way in a heartbeat. We have to become the best team we can be over the next couple weeks.”

C David Baas (hip/shoulder), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), G Chris Snee (hip) and DE Justin Tuck (shoulder) did not work at practice yesterday.

CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring), DT Chris Canty (neck), S Kenny Phillips (knee), S Tyler Sash (hamstring) were limited.

Read Coach Coughlin’s presser highlights 

It’s been an emotional time for WR Victor Cruz, who has connected with the family of Jack Pinto, one of the 20 children killed in last Friday’s massacre in Newtown, CT (Read comments)

From Geico SportNite:Cruz discusses his trip to Newtown to visit Pinto’s grieving family.