06302022

Antrel Rolle: NY Giants can ‘absolutely’ run the table

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiCorey Sipkin/New York Daily News
Antrel Role says the Giants haven’t played a complete game since Week 4.





The record says one thing. But the Giants continue to firmly believe another thing, which just may be as damning as anything about this lost season.


Meet your New York Giants, that’s less mediocre and more painfully underachieving. On paper, the Giants are 3-7, the worst 10-game mark since Tom Coughlin took over as head coach and one game worse than they were at this point last season, when you thought they’d hit their all-time low.


But in the minds of the Giants, they’re so much better, which is why safety Antrel Rolle said on WFAN Tuesday that “there’s no doubt in my mind” that Big Blue can run the table and have a shot at the playoffs come season’s end.


“Absolutely, it’s a possibility,” he said.


Rolle added that the Giants should be better than 3-7.


“I felt like we could have won a lot of them,” he said. “But you can’t beat yourself.”


Rolle isn’t the only Giant who believes this.


“I’m telling, you our team, this is a good team,” said running back Rashad Jennings, who knows a thing or two about truly bad teams after four years with the Jaguars and Raiders. “When we’re losing, we see it’s a couple things here, a couple things there, and we’re like, ‘Come on guys.’ Button up. Let’s just button up this shirt, tighten a few things up, and we’ll be all right.”


Through 10 games, the Giants haven’t done those things, which is why they are tied with a host of three-win teams for the third-worst record in football, even with Washington for the second-worst record in the NFC. It’s a shame, said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, because, even after a spate of injuries to top players, this team has the talent to be contending.


“It’s definitely an extremely talented team,” Jenkins told the News. “We’ve had some unfortunate injuries, lost some guys, but it’s definitely a talented team. But talent doesn’t do anything. It’s about performance. We have to put that talent to use.”


That, said Rolle, has been the serious problem: Week in and week out, the entire team hasn’t shown up. Two weeks ago in Seattle, Eli Manning and burgeoning playmaker Odell Beckham Jr. held their own against the mighty Seahawk ‘D’, only for the Giants defense to surrender play historically badly


Last week? The defense enjoyed a resurgent performance, holding San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick to a season-low 193 passing yards. Meanwhile, the offense imploded, with Manning throwing five interceptions, and the unit failing to cash in a potential game-winning score from four yards out in the fourth quarter.


Three straight Manning fade passes fell incomplete in that clutch sequence, and even Rolle seemed bothered by that sequence of play calls on WFAN.


“I can’t say that I am thrilled about it,” he said of the one-dimensional goal line plan. “But it’s not my decision to make.”


Rolle added of the defensive performance Sunday that “we did enough to get a win, but I don’t think we did enough to help our team win.”


It will be up to Rolle and the rest of the Giants to make the most brazen of radio guarantees come true by finally playing to their potential over these final six games. After Sunday’s make-or-break game against the Cowboys, the schedule turns pillow-soft, so it’s not unthinkable that Big Blue can clamber back toward respectability.


In spurts, said Rolle, they’ve shown all the talent they need to make that a reality. He pointed to the Week 4 dismantling of Washington as the last time the Giants put together a full game, and a sign that they’re capable of so much more than they’ve shown so far this year.


“The last time we did that was against Washington, and we saw what happened then,” Rolle said. “This team is more than capable.”


If only it showed on the field instead of just on the mic.





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