Antrel Rolle wants Giants to get a big lead, play in front on Monday night

Giants safety Antrel Rolle speaks to the media Giants safety Antrel Rolle speaks to the media about recovering from an ankle injury before a day of team training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Aug. 13, 2013) Photo Credit: James Escher

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Giants are starving for a victory and Antrel Rolle wants to pig out on the Vikings on Monday night.

"This is my fourth year being a part of the Giants and what we do is we lead," the safety said in his weekly appearance on WFAN Tuesday. "Let's not let that be our mind-set that we have to hang in there for dear life at the end of every game and make it so close. Go out there and you blow their [butt] out early. Put them in a panic mode. Put their backs up against the wall."

This may be the Giants' best chance at doing that. The Vikings are 1-4 and the six teams the Giants have lost to this season are a combined 24-11. That includes two teams, the Broncos and Chiefs, who are 6-0. The only team the Giants have faced so far this year with a losing record is Carolina at 2-3. Weirdly, that was the only game the Giants were not competitive in.

Two of those losses, to the Bears and Cowboys, came down to a Giants turnover inside the final two minutes. Two others, against the Chiefs and Broncos, turned late in the third quarter. Rolle first hinted Thursday after the loss in Chicago that the Giants needed to stop relying on fourth-quarter comebacks -- which so far this season have fallen flat -- and take advantage of teams earlier. He reiterated that thinking Tuesday, saying the Giants don't just want to win but to win big.

"We're that dynamic as a team, despite what our record shows, that we can go out there and blow teams out," he said. "And I know that we can."

It would certainly be a change of pace for the Giants if they could, because while their leadership has been apparent through this historically bad stretch of games, their leads have been virtually non-existent.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

They have trailed at halftime in all six of their games this season. Through 360 minutes of football this year, the Giants have held a lead for just 30 minutes, 59 seconds, and never by more than seven points. Of that time with the lead, just 2:42 occurred in the second half of a game.

That lack of a scoreboard advantage affects every aspect of the game, from offensive play-calling to desperation for crucial plays. Tom Coughlin has said that Eli Manning is trying too hard to make something happen, but he almost always has to because the Giants are losing.

It even trickles over to the defense, where one of the reasons the pass rush can't get going is because of teams playing ahead and running the ball.

"I think about it a little bit," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said of that relationship between trailing and quarterback pressure, "but you're careful about what you talk about because you don't want it to look like you're trying to single out anything. You kind of try to focus on what you can control the most."

On Monday the Giants hope they can control the Vikings, and from early on.

"Let it all hang out," Rolle said of what the team's philosophy should be at the start of the upcoming game. "There's nothing else left to be done at this point but to let it all hang out. You're 0-6. You can't be scared to make a mistake."

Notes & quotes: With David Wilson's future unclear and Da'Rel Scott (hamstring) waived / injured, the Giants held workouts for free-agent running backs Tuesday, including Peyton Hillis, Jeremy Wright and former Giants Ryan Torain and D.J. Ware. The players are expected to return Wednesday for physicals, at which time the Giants will likely sign one of them . . . Manning needs 251 more passing yards to pass Phil Simms as the franchise's all-time leader in the category. Manning already holds the team records for attempts, completions and touchdowns. The only other major quarterback statistic in which Manning is not the Giants' all-time leader is interceptions. He trails Charlie Conerly by eight, and at his current pace should break that dubious record soon.

Subscribe to Newsday’s sports newsletter for stories, photos and videos about your favorite New York teams plus national sports news and events.

You also may be interested in: