Tom Coughlin used the word "frustration" about as often Tuesday as he has all season. Coming off a sloppy 27-7 loss -- and watching it again in a building devoid of players on their day off -- he bemoaned the "little teeny things that happen" to make plays go wrong, along with the bigger slip-ups that led to so many missed opportunities Monday night against the Eagles.
Penalties. Turnovers. Takeaways that result in nothing.
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But the real ire in his timbre was fully heard only when the subject of 2014 was brought up.
You remember that scenario, right? The Giants were 3-2 after winning three straight games. They went to Philadelphia in Week 6 and lost a game in which they allowed 27 unanswered points. Then they lost the next six in a row and were eliminated from postseason contention by Thanksgiving.
Well, Coughlin says to pay no attention to those similarities.
"That was last year, this is a new year," he said angrily. "What am I worried about? I'm worried about getting our team ready for the Dallas Cowboys. Forget about last year. Last year was last year."
The Giants had best hope so. Because even in a generally poor division like the NFC East where, as Eli Manning said on his weekly radio appearance Tuesday, all of the teams are dealing with "stuff," the Giants need to win games to be competitive in the standings. The Giants are 1-9 against the Cowboys and Eagles combined in the last two-plus seasons.
"We have to come bouncing back," Coughlin said, "and it has to happen really fast."
After the game, players seemed to be preparing for that already.
"The sky isn't falling,'' guard Justin Pugh said Monday in the postgame locker room. "I don't feel like this is a repeat of last year. We're heading in the right direction. We'll 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.''
"That's last year,'' Jennings said. "It's a different team. It's a different build.''
The Giants played differently Monday. They allowed three sacks after allowing only four in the first five games, and Manning was flagged for another two intentional grounding penalties. "I thought we were through that," Coughlin said. "We've opened that can of worms again."
They turned the ball over three times, matching their season total heading into the game. And while they did collect four takeaways -- and Coughlin said there should have been others, most importantly on the long touchdown pass to Riley Cooper in the first quarter -- the offense was unable to convert any of them into momentum, never mind points.
The four possessions that came off Eagles turnovers resulted in a total of 13 snaps for 14 yards on the ensuing drives.
"We put ourselves in a bad position, didn't accomplish what we needed to, didn't take advantage of the opportunities that were there for us," Coughlin said. "I really felt we were on our way, we were growing into the type of team that can handle those things and those situations in very important games. It was a disappointment to me, no doubt."
One he hopes doesn't linger into Sunday.