NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The feeling of euphoria and invincibility the Giants had after beating the New England Patriots two weeks ago? Yeah, that’s gone.
It’s been replaced by disappointment, anger and frustration in the wake of consecutive losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles that has wiped out their two-game lead in the NFC East.
The slump has left many wondering whether the Giants (6-4) are heading for another second-half swoon.
The loss on the road to the Niners (9-1) was understandable.
The one to the Eagles (4-6) really upset Tom Coughlin’s team, and it wasn’t merely the loss. It was the way they lost. The Eagles were not only more physical, they showed a willingness to do anything to win, and New York failed to respond in falling into a tie for first place with Dallas.
“In order for us to go where we want to go, things are definitely going to have to change,” said safety Antrel Rolle. “I’m talking about the Giants, the organization, everyone who’s affiliated with the Giants. Things need to change.”
Veteran Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty showed his frustration talking about the game. His voice was loud and his words were so filled with conviction, his eyes welled with tears.
“It was an opportunity lost, an opportunity to put that team behind us,” Canty said. “It was an opportunity to secure first place in our division, at home, in front of our fans. It was a great atmosphere. You couldn’t ask for a better evening to play football. We just went out there and didn’t executive. We didn’t match their intensity. We got punched in the mouth and we didn’t do anything about it.”
The Eagles more than punched the Giants in the mouth. They shoved it in their faces in ways that left several veterans still irked on Monday.
Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson started the indignities by flipping the ball to Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell after a 50-yard catch early in the quarter. He was flagged for taunting.
Near the end of the quarter, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins blindsided running back D.J. Ware at the end of the 10-yard run causing a concussion.
The play that really had the Giants still fuming was defensive tackle Trevor Laws’ hit on quarterback Eli Manning after an interception.
While guard Chris Snee went after Laws, Rolle said the team really failed to answer.
“I don’t like the way we responded to it,” Rolle said. “At the end of the day, you play within the lines, you play within the rules, but you don’t take (anything) from nobody at the end of the day. And that’s my attitude. You don’t take (anything) from anybody and last night I felt like we took a little bit.”
“It took everything in me to stay on the sideline,” he added. “Just know that.”
Canty said the Giants’ failure to respond was embarrassing.
“That can’t happen,” he said. “We have to do something. We just can’t do nothing. The result is what happened last night when you do nothing.”
Defensive captain Justin Tuck said the defensive players spoke candidly about their play Monday after opening the second half of the season with two losses.
“We have to figure it out now because you talk about second-half collapses, if we get down to the Saints, it could be an historical second-half collapse.”
The Giants have been dismal in the second halves in recent years. New York started 5-0 in 2009 and finished 8-8. It also opened last season with a 6-2 mark and missed the playoffs with a 10-6 record, losing two of the final three games.
With six games left in the regular season, the Giants need to get things straightened out soon. The upcoming schedule is not going to help. They will be at New Orleans (7-3) on Monday night and then return home for a Dec. 4 meeting against the undefeated Green Bay Packers (10-0).
“Everything we wanted to do at the start of the season is right in front of us,” Canty said. “Everything we wanted to do, we still have the opportunity to do. We control our own destiny.”
Canty then swallowed hard, adding that he feels this is a team that has a shot to do something special. It just has to go out and do it.
“It’s put up or shut up,” Rolle said. “At the end of the day, I am not trying to be sitting at home come the first week of January, watching these other teams that I know are not better than us go on. We’re a great team. We know we’re a great team. We have to go out there and prove it.”
Are the Giants headed toward another second-half meltdown? Be heard in the comments below…
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)