The Giants put so much emphasis on getting off to a fast start, notching that first win, even just playing a decent game in the opener, that when none of that happened, there had to be the same human reaction from the players as there was from the fans.
Here we go again.
A year after the Giants' season was essentially over before they tallied their first victory in Week 7 of the 2013 season, it's only natural for the team to feel like it is sliding into that same trench once more. Antrel Rolle, in his weekly interview on WFAN, said he was "disappointed but not discouraged" by the 35-14 loss to the Lions on Monday night, but he admitted that he is worried some of his teammates may be having flashbacks.
"To be honest with you, yeah," he said after a brief pause when asked if there may be guys in the locker room who think recent history is repeating itself. "To be totally honest with you, yeah. I'd be lying if I didn't say that was a concern. Last year left such a bitter taste in our mouth, you want to get off to an early start so you can erase that memory. The way we looked last night, we didn't look good. We didn't look good under any means."
Rolle, a second-year captain, said what he often says in times like these: The Giants need to be tougher and have more "dog" to them.
"We need more fight," he said. "I feel like the team needs more fight, we need more attitude. I feel like we're lying on our heels a little bit way too much. I think we're relying on our talent way too much as opposed to going out there and being dominant, being feisty, having that dog. That's something that you need as a team. Right now I just don't see [it]. We're a little bit too lax out there. A little bit too lax."
That's just the opposite of the Giants' next opponent, the Cardinals, who come to MetLife Stadium off a come-from-behind win on Monday night and a 10-win season last year.
"This Arizona Cardinals team is definitely on the rise and they're playing with a whole lot of attitude," said Rolle, who began his career with the Cardinals. "In order for us to [win], we have to bring it. This team is going to come in very cocky thinking that they can come in and handle us. We have to go out there and make sure we prove them wrong."
That process begins with breaking down the poor performance in the Lions game.
"Sometimes you have to put bad film on tape in order for you to go out there and correct it and really see yourself, really see what you're doing out there," Rolle said. "And if you want to get better, you correct it. If you have pride in this game, you'll go out there and correct it, you're not going to keep making the same mistakes. We have a great teaching tape to go back in on Wednesday, watch the film ... You gotta have tough skin. When you go out there and you play a game like that you must have tough skin because you know what? The coaches have every right to go out there and rip our [expletive] and get us in the right position to do the right thing."