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Tom Coughlin and the audacity of hope

Tom Coughlin reacts after the Giants score in

Tom Coughlin reacts after the Giants score in the second quarter of a game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. (Dec. 3, 2012) Credit: Getty

Last year, after the Giants lost to the Redskins in Week 15 and their playoff chances were as dim as they could be, Tom Coughlin surprised his team by accentuating the positives of their situation. Many players credited his tone the day after that Redskins loss as the spark to the Super Bowl run, and they didn’t lose again that season.

Today, Coughlin again was able to focus on the big picture positives against the disappointment of the immediate loss, this time a 34-0 blowout by the Falcons.

Same time of year. Almost the same situation. So, same meeting?

“I’m not going to say it was as rosy a picture,” Chris Canty said, “but the facts of the situation are the facts. We still have an opportunity to be where we want to be, we can control our own destiny as far as a postseason berth.”

Coughlin said the mood of the team was “sullen” on Monday morning, but he noted that the playoff scenario in which the Giants can clinch an invitation to the postseason with two wins in two games – again, same as last year – provided the team with at least one thing.

“Hope,” Coughlin said. “Hope is the word. Hope is a nice word.”

“Obviously yesterday’s performance, when we had everything to play for, doesn’t quite make sense,” Canty said. “But we have to move past that. We have to learn from our mistakes. We have to fix our mistakes because this is a copycat league. And we still have everything to play for. We have to get ready and get our heads up and get ready to prepare to take on a very tough Baltimore Ravens team.”

And Canty said most of that was understood and unsaid.

“No big speeches,” he said. “No big speeches. Go to work.”

New York Sports