TODAY'S PAPER
65° Good Morning
65° Good Morning
SportsFootballGiants

Antrel Rolle, Tom Coughlin bemoan lack of takeaways by defense

Strong safety Antrel Rolle #26 of the Giants

Strong safety Antrel Rolle #26 of the Giants has words with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals during a game at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Getty Images / Ron Antonelli

As if the turnovers by the offense weren't bad enough, the Giants' defense is not doing its part to even the ledger. After almost two weeks of football, they remain one of four teams without a takeaway, joining the Chiefs, Steelers and Colts, who are playing Monday night. Those four teams have a combined record of 1-6 heading into the Colts game against the Eagles.

"I thought we had a couple of chances for interceptions," Tom Coughlin said on Monday. "Why we're not playing the ball as sharply as we need to [I don't know]."

This from a secondary that was supposed to be the strength of the defense. Instead, through two games, they have looked hesitant and almost reluctant to make plays. Safety Antrel Rolle said they need their aggression to match their talent.

"You have to take chances," he said. "I don't feel like we're taking enough chances as a defense as far as believing what we see. If you see it, go get it. If they make a play, we line up and we play again. You have to take chances. You can't be a defense that's scared to get beat or, you know, not sure, second-guessing yourselves. We're all smart guys. We all have played the game a long time so if you see it, you've got to go get it."

The Giants have lost their last 12 games without a takeaway, including the two this season. It's become as much a barometer of success as their turnovers.

"We're not taking the ball away from opponents," Coughlin said. "It's an issue now. No fumbles. No interceptions. It's something every team counts on in the NFL."

There were a few chances for those big momentum-swinging plays on Sunday against the Cardinals. Safety Stevie Brown nearly picked off a deep pass, one he probably would have grabbed two years ago before his knee injury that kept him off the field in 2013. "He's not back yet to where he was a couple of years ago," Coughlin said. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also had a chance to pick a pass off but didn't.

"There were a couple of them out there, maybe a third that we should have had that we didn't," Coughlin said. ""We're getting closer. I think we're in position. We gotta catch the ball."

One of the frustrating aspects of Sunday's lack of takeaways was that it came against a backup quarterback seeing his first game action since 2010 in Drew Stanton.

"I thought on a couple of occasions the quarterback was actually staring the ball down where he was going and still we weren't influenced enough to go in that direction and be in position to make a play," Coughlin said, seemingly backing up Rolle's opinion that the defenders are not trusting themselves.

Rolle noted that players shouldn't go rogue and start running all over the field to make plays.

"You can't get too greedy; you just have to capture the ones that come to you," he said. "You can't play out of the defense and start doing your own thing because that's when everything's going to get out of control."

But when the chance is there . . .

"I think you're only going to get very minimal opportunities to get turnovers in a game," Rolle said, "so when an opportunity does present itself, you have to go get it, you have to attack it."

New York Sports