Monday was the most lopsided result in an opening-day loss on the road in 50 years for the Giants, a dizzying display of dysfunction in all three phases of the game. But the 35-14 defeat did little to tone down the rhetoric of the players who remain as swagger-licious as ever.
Cornerback Walter Thurmond III said allowing 341 passing yards and being schooled by Calvin Johnson (164 yards, two touchdowns) didn't diminish the confidence of the secondary.
"It was a situation where we gave them plays,'' Thurmond said. "It would have been a different game if we had stayed true to our attention to detail and stayed in our coverage as opposed to giving them something cheap like that.''
Nor was receiver Victor Cruz dismayed by the offense's converting only three third downs and gaining just 197 net yards. He was asked if he still feels the offensive players have an advantage over defenses.
"Absolutely,'' he said. "I feel like any time we line up, any team we play, when we're clicking and we're executing as the offense we know we can be, we're excited.''
Thurmond noted that the issues in the secondary, which was supposed to be the new personality of the defense and maybe the entire team, were mostly communication issues in a "totally new'' defense. He said not even the Seahawks unit he was a part of last year jelled right away.
"It took us four years,'' he said. "It's that ability to have that mesh that separates great defenses from everyone else.''
A good deal of that bravado may be just rote bluster. A weary-sounding Tom Coughlin said the sting of Monday night's loss was still with the players.
"There is great disappointment, even today,'' he said after Wednesday's practice. "We tried to turn the corner on that, but a game like that lingers.''
Cruz did acknowledge that it can be difficult to maintain moxie in these situations.
"You go through your ups and downs as a team and as an individual,'' he said. "You just have to understand that there's tomorrow, there's ways to get better, there are things you can learn. You can never get down on yourself. You have to believe in your ability and the team that is assembled around you and you have to go out there and perform.''
It may be wishful thinking at times. Thurmond, though, seemed convinced that the Giants' defense soon will be showing the kind of play they expect -- and have talked about since the start of training camp.
"We have the pieces, we have the people here to be a great defense,'' he said, Monday night's evidence to the contrary. "It's right around the corner, for sure. Hopefully, we can get it sooner rather than later.''