NEWARK, N.J. — The disappointment of Green Bay just won’t go away for the New York Giants.
Not only did they lose control of their playoff hopes with a 45-17 loss to the Packers, the Giants were stuck in Wisconsin for a second straight day when their charter was unable to make it to New Jersey following a major storm that dumped more than two feet of snow in the state.
Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said Monday evening the team planned to leave early Tuesday morning.
A disappointed coach Tom Coughlin addressed his players at their Appleton, Wis., hotel Monday morning and told them turnovers cost teams games and that the Giants (9-6) still had a chance to make the playoffs, provided they get help.
They must beat the Redskins in Washington on Sunday and hope that Chicago can knock off the Packers in Green Bay.
“There is a chance and we do have to have a little bit of help but there is a chance,” Coughlin said in a late afternoon conference call from the hotel. “That’s the incentive for us to regroup and try to put together the kind of game we can be proud of.”
First, the Giants have to overcome the disappointment of the last two games. That might be tough.
New York was on the verge of taking control of the NFC East and nailing down a playoff berth when it imploded against Philadelphia 38-31 in a game in which it gave up 28 points in the final 7½ minutes.
Going to Green Bay, the Giants’ mantra was win and we’re in.
Despite falling behind 14-0, they managed to tie the game on two touchdown passes by Eli Manning before the bottom fell out.
“It bothers me that the consistency is not there,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin, whose job might be in jeopardy if the Giants fail to make the playoffs for a second straight season, plans to be blunt with his team this week. If New York wants to make the playoffs, it needs to pick up its play.
Coughlin felt his team responded well after the disappointment of blowing the game against Philadelphia, which clinched the division title with the Giants’ loss.
“We upped the tempo last week,” the 64-year-old coach said. “The guys responded well and I thought the practices were good. Despite that fact, what I saw on the field — and I know I sound like a broken record — did not look like we practiced.”
The big problem for the Giants has been turnovers, and that was their downfall against the Packers. They turned the ball over six times with Manning throwing four interceptions, including a pair on very ill-advised throws.
Coughlin was more troubled by the fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw early in the third quarter and another one later in the period by Brandon Jacobs after a long run.
“These things hurt,” Coughlin said. “You’re in a game and you know it’s going to be a very, very tight game and I’ve been saying this all year, but this is what I believe in, other than points scored, points against, it’s turnovers and there’s a lot of — the word psychological was mentioned earlier and let me tell you, there’s a lot of psychological stuff that goes along with this.”
The coaching staff spent most of Monday working on the game plan for the Redskins.
The players had meals and sat around talking with one another, Coughlin said, adding the game was still the general topic at breakfast.
“A little bit later after lunch there was a change in that topic,” Coughlin said. “But the weather, the restrictions, the families back there, the game, how and when we’re going to be able to travel — those are the issues that dominate the conversations right now.”
If the Giants don’t get in the postseason, change will also be a major topic soon.