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Perry Fewell could be coaching final game for Giants on Sunday

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell speaks to the

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell speaks to the media before a day of team training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Aug. 13, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Perry Fewell may be coaching his final game for the Giants on Sunday. The defensive coordinator's job could be one of the casualties of a second straight losing season; his unit is ranked 28th in the NFL in yards allowed and 21st in points allowed.

Fewell said he is not thinking about any of that. He's just thinking about the Eagles.

"I wouldn't even reflect on it," he said. "I just prepare for the next opponent and I go at it like that."

Fewell certainly has had highs and lows with the Giants during his five seasons as defensive coordinator. He won a Super Bowl with the team in 2011, but the Giants missed the playoffs in every other season he's been with them.

This year, the defense was expected to carry the Giants while the new offense found its footing. A lot of money was invested in the defense: free agents such as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond III and Robert Ayers Jr. were brought in and veteran Jon Beason was re-signed. None of those four players played a full season and Rodgers-Cromartie is the only one who is not on injured reserve as 2014 ends.

Fewell certainly has lost his thunder in his dealings with the media. His weekly news conferences used to be tinged with excitement and energy, but for the last few weeks, there has been an air of resignation to them.

Of course, no coach is retained or fired based on how he performs with the media -- if that were the case, Rex Ryan would be crowned Jets Coach For Life -- but if Fewell's demeanor has trickled into his meeting rooms with the players, it could be difficult for the Giants to retain him.

But it's not all about attitude. The numbers are damning on their own.

The low point this season was allowing 350 rushing yards to the Seahawks. That capped a four-game stretch that was the worst defensive month the Giants have ever played. It marked the first time four straight opponents each had at least 423 total yards against them.

After that Seattle loss, when the Giants were ranked last in the NFL in defense, Fewell spoke about blocking out the criticism and the rumblings that his job was on the line.

"My concern is improving the New York Giants," he said in early November. "We all want the same thing. We want to win. We want to be the best we can possibly be. And we're going to put every effort into doing that because we have seven games to crawl out of that [32nd-ranked] spot."

They've done that. Whether they have crawled far enough remains to be seen.


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