Tom Coughlin has a way with words sometimes. So when he called the Giants’ latest spate of turnovers “a callous disregard for the football,” he hit his sliding 6-4 team’s problems squarely on the head.
Sliding: that’s what Eli Manning didn’t do to conclude a late fourth-quarter scramble against Philadelphia on Sunday night, turning a would-be first down into a head-first dive and fumble. The Giants’ fourth out of five turnovers set up the Eagles’ final field goal and a 27-17 division loss.
It was the second fumble of the day, and David Akers’ 30-yard game-clincher marked the sixth point the Eagles scored off those turnovers. On top of that, Manning threw two of his three interceptions when things still mattered, allowing the NFC East-leading Eagles another field goal.
The five turnovers illustrated a long-standing problem hadn’t stopped the Giants from beating the likes of Carolina, Detroit and a disjointed Dallas earlier in the season. But no team can turn the ball over a total of 30 times in 10 games (resulting in a minus-8 takeaway differential) and expect to keep winning.
Manning alone has turned the ball over six times during this two-game losing streak, including five of his season’s 16 interceptions. He’s second in the league in interceptions, one behind Minnesota’s Brett Favre. Ahmad Bradshaw lost his league-high fifth fumble of the season on Sunday.
To say Coughlin is scrambling to find an answer before the won-loss column spirals out of control understates the issue.
“It’s basically been going on for a year and a half here and nobody as been able to do anything about it,” Coughlin said. “It cost us a game.”