PHILADELPHIA - Another Week 6 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia after a 3-2 start. Will the Giants suffer a fate similar to last year, when they followed up a 27-0 loss with six more defeats in a row on the way to a 6-10 season?
The answer, the Giants insist, is a definitive no.
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"I know it sounds crazy, but this is nothing like last year's game, nothing at all," guard Justin Pugh said Monday night after the Giants were drubbed again by the Eagles, 27-7. "I still feel very confident in where we're at and where we're going. We're going to learn from this game, for sure. We have to respond better and we have responded when we've hit adversity this year. So I feel confident in the direction we're heading."
Pugh expressed a clear and calm resolve despite the fact that his team was badly outplayed by the Eagles, who are 3-3 and tied atop the NFC East with the Giants (3-3). The Cowboys, who visit the Giants on Sunday, are 2-3 and Washington is 2-4.
In addition to being shut out by the Eagles in Week 6 last year, the Giants lost Victor Cruz to a season-ending knee injury. Cruz has recovered from the knee problem but now is out with a calf injury he suffered in training camp.
"The sky isn't falling," Pugh said. "I don't feel like this is a repeat of last year. We're heading in the right direction. We'll be all right. We still have everything in front of us. We're 3-3. The Eagles are 3-3. Dallas is 2-3. We have everything that we want right in our sights still. We have to go out and play good football, put this game behind us and learn from it. We did some good things. That first drive was great."
The Giants took a 7-0 lead on their first possession and were driving for another touchdown when Eli Manning threw a pass that tight end Larry Donnell couldn't catch cleanly. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans wrestled the ball away from Donnell for an interception.
"We get up 14-0, it's a totally different game," Pugh said. "We have to flush this and move on right away. You can't let this game affect the next game, and that's what happened to us last year. We're going to learn from this and we're going to be all right."
Running back Rashad Jennings echoed Pugh's confidence that the Giants won't experience a repeat of last season's post-Eagles fallout.
Asked by a reporter if he had any fear of a long losing streak, Jennings replied, "None at all."
Why not? "Why would we?" Jennings said, glaring at the reporter.
Could history repeat itself? "That's last year," Jennings said. "It's a different team. It's a different build."
Coach Tom Coughlin said his team can't afford to dwell on Monday night's loss, given that they have to prepare for the Cowboys on a short week. Dallas, which beat the Giants in Week 1, will be without quarterback Tony Romo, who is recovering from a broken collarbone, and wide receiver Dez Bryant, out with a broken foot. Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the Cowboys, replacing Brandon Weeden.
"We play again in six days," Coughlin said. "We play last year's division champion, and we're going to have to get our chins up off the floor real quick."