During their three-game winning streak, the Giants used a lot of words to describe themselves. Fiesty, scrappy, tough. Gritty was a big one, too.
Then came Monday night's game against the Eagles and all of those words rang hollow, particularly for the offense. The challenge for the Giants this week is to bring them back into their vernacular.
"All you can do is go right back to it," Tom Coughlin said on Wednesday. "We really have been a group that has, as a team, when adversity has struck we've battled our way through it. We've done that. Now why the other day it became an obstacle? That's very difficult for us to say."
That grittiness has been espoused by the offensive line in particular since the start of training camp when they seemed determined to be a tougher unit, the kind that did the bullying and didn't take the beatings. Monday, they allowed three sacks (plus another two intentional grounding penalties that barely avoided sacks) and could not convert runs on third-and-1 and fourth-and-inches.
"The other night wasn't our best effort," Coughlin said. "But you know what? We've got to pick ourselves up and get back on track and recognize the strength of [Dallas'] defensive front which is a good one with the addition of a couple of new players. I think that hopefully we'll get some of this straightened out."
They'll work on that from a technical standpoint, but also from a visceral one as well. Coughlin said he would go back to the philosophy of being tough and gritty and "hammer home" that idea to the players this week by challenging them to live up to their own ideal.
"This group has identified themselves," Coughlin said, "and if that's true, what they said about what they wanted for their identity, it was a little bit off the other night in one regard [the offense]."