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Justin Pugh and Giants offensive line look to bounce back against Cowboys

Justin Pugh of the Giants speaks to the

Justin Pugh of the Giants speaks to the media before practice during training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on July 22, 2013 in East Rutherford, N.J. Photo Credit: Mike Stobe

Justin Pugh felt so badly about his performance against the Eagles last Sunday night that he apologized.

To everyone. On Twitter.

"Definitely owe everyone an apology for how I played yesterday,'' he posted on Monday. "I'm going to fight my [butt] off and will be better. Back to work.''

What prompted the unusually public mea culpa?

"It's uncharacteristic of me,'' Pugh said of his performance. "And it hurt. When I got back [from Philadelphia], I didn't sleep. I went home and I felt sick to my stomach.

"It's something where I felt I owed it to my teammates to apologize. They know how I feel, but I just wanted everyone to know that that's not how I am. I'm going to go back in and work that much harder to make sure that never happens again.''

The night started poorly for Pugh, who allowed a series-ending sack on the first drive.

"After that first sack, I was thinking to myself, 'I can't let up another one, I can't let up another one,' '' he said. "Then I started overthinking it, and when you overthink it, you lose that confidence. That's when it goes downhill.

"Toward the end, I was just in survival mode, just trying not to screw up something. That's the worst way you can play.''

Pugh was far from alone in his misery. The entire offensive line collapsed, allowing eight sacks to the Eagles and never allowing the Giants' offense to get started. What it showed is that the Giants are a go-nowhere team without the boys up front blocking the way.

"We've got to take it personally, because a lot of the success of the offense is dependent on what we do, and obviously the offense was not successful,'' rookie guard Weston Richburg said. "That comes back to us not having a good night. We all took it personally. Our goal now is to move forward, forget about it and focus on Dallas this week.''

Before they did that, Pugh said he watched tape of himself playing against Washington, Atlanta and Houston, victories in which he and the line played well. It was to remind himself that he is capable of performing at a high level.

"My confidence is sky-high right now,'' he said. "I looked at some of the games from before. I'm going to build off what I've been doing.''

In terms of making amends with Giants fans, a strong showing against the Cowboys would go a lot further than anything he could ever post on Twitter.


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