Giants season, possibly Coughlin era on the line vs. 49ers

Is this the end for Tom Coughlin? If Big Blue loses to San Francisco, it could be.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Is this the end for Tom Coughlin? If Big Blue loses to San Francisco, it could be.

Their last-ranked defense can’t stop anybody, and their up-and-down offense doesn’t consistently move the ball. They can’t count on their steady veteran running back, and they can’t get consistent production from their supposedly dynamic defensive end.

But Antrel Rolle knows the one thing the Giants can do: Fight. And this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, it’s what they plan to do as they battle to avoid a fate worse than even last year’s hapless Big Blue squad.

“That is all we have at this point: Stand tall and go out there and fight,” Rolle said. “Fight at all costs, try to get a win at all costs. That is what this league is about. It is still seven games left to play. We’ve got to go out there and play ball.”

This is where that big, $100 million spending spree has the Giants: On Sunday at MetLife Stadium, it will be all hands on deck so they defeat the Niners and their own 2013 demons. Nine games into a season that was supposed to vault Big Blue back into the NFC East hunt, they have the same 3-6 record they had a year ago, courtesy of their current four-game losing streak.

A fifth straight loss would leave them at 3-7, one game worse than last year’s mark through 10 games, the worst 10-game start in the Tom Coughlin era, and the franchise’s worst start since 1998. Obviously, the players don’t want any of that to happen.

So there’s Jason Pierre-Paul, working on his second straight average campaign, promising that he’ll at least “stop the run” on Sunday, and there’s running back Rashad Jennings finally returning after four games lost to a sprained MCL in his left knee. And there’s embattled defensive coordinator Perry Fewell guaranteeing a victory on Sunday, even though his unit spent last week surrendering 510 total yards to the Seattle Seahawks — and the Niners have the ability to run an offense much like Seattle’s.

And there’s Rolle, dismissing talk of anything past this win, begging his team to rediscover its pride.

“We have to go out there and get a win before we can worry about any playoffs,” Rolle said. “To me right now, if we go to the playoffs, we do; if we don’t, then we don’t. It is just a matter of going out there and playing with pride and going out there and showing ourselves what we are capable of once we go out there and play football the way we are taught to play.”

“(We have to) get back to that feeling of putting in a good week of work, preparing, working hard in every practice and then going into Sunday and having all of that shown on Sunday,” added quarterback Eli Manning. “Get to celebrate after a game and feel good about what we’re doing.”

None of this will be easy against the Niners, who are coming off a dramatic win over the Saints and seem to have the tools to dissect the Giants’ NFL-worst defense. An option-fueled Seahawks attack rolled up 510 yards against Big Blue, and San Fran arrives with a faster quarterback (Colin Kaepernick), a deeper corps of receivers and a dangerous pair of running backs (Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde).

Jason Pierre-Paul.Elsa/Getty Images
Jason Pierre-Paul.

San Francisco’s defense is equally as fearsome as Seattle’s, especially with the likely return of pass-rusher Aldon Smith, the kind of player who can wreak havoc on the Giants’ mess of an offensive line.

“They’ve got good players,” said Manning of the Niner ‘D’. “They do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback. They’ve got a good scheme and do a good job of making plays.”

But the Giants will try to be ready, because this game is all they have left, perhaps their last chance to save this season from complete mediocrity.

And they know it.

“Guys are sticking together, guys are practicing hard and doing the right things,” said Manning. “We’ve just got to . . . in the tough times is when you really have to stay together, keep working, keep grinding, put in the extra effort to insure that we can get that win.

“I think guys know what we have to do.”

What Next?

Recent Articles

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.