First place. Thrilling win. Cool miracle-worker for a quarterback. It may seem like it’s all coming together for the Giants. But there is a dark underbelly to last night’s win over the Cowboys, and it is the continuation of breakdowns in the secondary at some of the most inopportune moments of games.
The latest transgressions were the 74-yard completion to Laurent Robinson over Prince Amukamara that set up the go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown for the Cowboys and the 50-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant where he was wide open and could walk into the end zone after what appeared to be a miscommunication between Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster.
“It’s a tremendous, grave concern,” Tom Coughlin said today. “I can’t express that any more.”
Coughlin said there are plays when people in his secondary get beat, like the Amukamara play and, to a certain extent, the infamous incompletion to Miles Austin where he had Aaron Ross beaten down the field but was overthrown (or he under-ran, depending on whom you blame). Those things, of course, happen.
“The thing that I’m most discouraged about and disappointed is when we do have a breakdown in communication or some type of an error that gives up a big play,” Coughlin said. “That should not be happening and we’re continuing to try to eliminate those things.”
Tony Romo was the third straight quarterback to throw four touchdown passes against the Giants, so this is not a new issue. It seems to happen on a weekly basis. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was asked about it on Thursday (and will undoubtedly be asked about it again this Thursday). He said that some of the breakdowns have to do with new configurations, most recently moving Antrel Rolle to more of a free safety position.
“It’s extremely critical,” Fewell said. “We’ve had some moving pieces and sometimes when you cover things and the guy moves to another position and that piece moves, you think you cover it and you think you got it manned-out and it’s not. So we have to do a better job as coaches of making sure that we cover all of the details and make sure that those things are cleaned up. It’s very critical at this time of year.”