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Giants Q&A: Tom Coughlin says he'll still go with best players and try to win out

Tom Coughlin looks on before the start of

Tom Coughlin looks on before the start of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. (Dec. 8, 2013) Credit: Getty

What now?

Well, the Giants have three games left and coach Tom Coughlin said they are going to play those with one goal in mind: "To regain some of the respectability we lost" in the 37-14 loss to the Chargers on Sunday. They'll also be playing to avoid their first losing season under Coughlin since his first year with the Giants, when they were 6-10 in 2004. To do that, they'll have to beat the Seahawks, Lions and Redskins to finish 8-8.

Are the players going to buy into that "play for pride'' mentality?

In the visiting locker room in San Diego, they said the right things. "You have to come out here and play ball," Antrel Rolle said of the rest of the season. Linebacker Jon Beason added he thinks he has an odd advantage for these circumstances because he played on bad teams in Carolina in recent years. "I've been here, I've been in the dumps before," he said. "It's unfortunate, but I really feel like you get evaluated more when things are bad. They want to see what type of person you are, what type of character you have."

Will the Giants change their strategy now that they have been eliminated? Perhaps use some younger players?

Coughlin doesn't think so. "We're going to try to do the best we can no matter what," he said. "I don't know where else we go. Our team is our team, this is who we are."

Now that they are eliminated, will hobbled veterans such as Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) or Brandon Jacobs (knee) be put on injured reserve?

"Not unless it's called for," Coughlin said.

Did anybody have a good statistical game?

Hakeem Nicks caught five passes for 135 yards, including a 51-yarder in the first quarter that seemed to kick-start him and the offense. But on the next play, Eli Manning threw an interception. Nicks also made a nice catch on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half but came down at the 6-yard line. "I thought I was in the end zone until I got up and everybody was just looking at me," Nicks said. "I was thinking, 'Why isn't anyone celebrating?' " Nicks still has not scored a touchdown this season.

How many times was the Giants' defense offside?

Four, including a key one against Justin Tuck on third-and-4. Coughlin said Philip Rivers is "good with the cadence . . . but there's no excuse for that."

Did beating Eli Manning for the second time in his career make this even more special for Rivers?

"No," said the former Giants draft pick, who was promptly traded to the Chargers for Manning in 2004. "That's more for you all [in the media] and the fans, I guess . . . I know that's a sidebar story, but I've never felt like it's me versus him."

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