EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have become somewhat of a question mark just two games into the season.
All the progress they showed in beating the Carolina Panthers in the season opener was wiped away with a dismal performance in a 38-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.
What made the loss to Peyton Manning and the Colts such a concern is that the Giants looked like the team that finished last season with losses in eight of the final 11 games.
Not only did the Giants lose, they were embarrassed on both sides of the ball.
The offense gained 257 yards and allowed Eli Manning to be sacked four times. Two of the sacks resulted in fumbles and one was recovered for a touchdown.
The defense allowed 160 yards rushing against a team that gained 44 yards the week before, while Manning picked apart the secondary, hitting 20 of 26 for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
“You play this game long enough, you’re going to lose games,” Eli Manning said.
“That’s a part of football. You’re going to get beat sometimes,” Peyton’s younger brother added. “You’re going to go out there, and you’re just going to get beat, and that’s what happened. We have to learn, and find how to make adjustments and see what we can do and how we can improve and get back to playing better football.”
Coach Tom Coughlin said the game didn’t remind him of last season, when the Giants were outscored 85-16 in losing their last two games.
The perception was the Giants quit in those game.
“That word, I’m not using that word,” Coughlin said. “But no, I never saw any of that. Different style? Yes. The necessary number of big plays down the field wasn’t there last night, but the drives and all the things we said that we wanted to do going into the game happened on the other side.”
The Giants came into the game hoping to run the ball and keep it away from Peyton Manning.
However, New York fell behind early and had to play catchup, which allowed Colts defense ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to speed rush around tackles David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie at will.
“I don’t think anybody can be satisfied with anything that transpired,” McKenzie said. “The only thing that you can take away from it is that it’s a game in which we basically got embarrassed. It’s something that we need to go out and do something about.”
Defensive end Justin Tuck said the Giants didn’t show up against the Colts, or least not the same group that played against Carolina.
“It’s a humbling game,” Tuck said. “The only thing I know how to do is come back and start working again. We have a great challenge next week and we have to put this loss behind us. I said last week we can’t get too high after a win and now we can’t get too low after a loss. We have to come in, take our medicine and get ready for Tennessee. We’ll find a way to get this right. It’s a long season. We have to learn from this one and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Coughlin said the one good thing about being embarrassed is that the Giants can learn from the Colts. Indianapolis saw the Houston Texans ran all over them in the season opener and they used that motivation to come back and embarrass the Giants.
“I told the team after the game that the Colt team a week ago was in the same spot we’re in today, and we can do something about this, this particular week,” Coughlin said.
The only problem is that the Titans are also looking to rebound. They turned the ball over seven times in dropping a 19-11 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers.