- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants coach Tom Coughlin met with the media Monday and broke down the team's 34-0 loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Here are some of the points Coughlin harped on, including a rather surprising opinion about the first half of the game.
NOT BAD?: Despite being down 17-0 at the end of the first half, Coughlin wasn't that upset with what he saw.
"To be honest with you, the first half was not bad," Coughlin said.
Coughlin pinned some of the blame on himself, but the Giants couldn't execute. They had two interceptions, a missed field goal, and couldn't convert twice on fourth down. Coughlin said he went for it on fourth down because he wanted to galvanize his squad.
MISSED TACKLES: Defensive tackle Chris Canty said the Giants missed 18 tackles in the game, as they allowed Atlanta to rush for 129 yards on the day. It's a problem that has plagued the Giants in the past.
"It’s frustrating anytime. Defensively and special teams, that’s what you have to do," Coughlin said. "Yesterday, we made a specific point about it because of Michael Turner’s history and the quality of back that he is, but not only that, the size of the receivers and the power and speed in which they play. You had to swarm the ball and get them down right away without allowing them to have a chance to get going."
COMING UP SHORT: The Giants went 0-for-3 on the day in fourth-and-short situations, with David Wilson being stonewalled on 4th-and-1, and Manning throwing two incomplete passes to Victor Cruz and Kregg Lumpkin. Coughlin saw chances to grab the first down, but the Giants couldn't make the play.
"The first short-yardage run, I think we had a chance; a couple things had to happen. We had to combo-block and get off and we didn’t get up on the mike-backer," Coughlin said. "We didn’t really clean the hole out and so it was congested. He just never had a real chance of any kind of day light to squeeze through.
"The other two were passes and the one (to Cruz), there wasn’t real good separation and I don’t know that there was pressure to throw it, but it was thrown. That was an incompletion. Later on, we were trying to go in the right spot (to Lumpkin), but the ball was tipped."
NO PASS RUSH: The Giants had just one sack on the day, courtesy of Canty, and struggled to get close to Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan. The once vaunted Giants pass rush is now tied for 16th in the league with 32 sacks.
"We’re being well pass-protected. We’re not getting, and when we do get the one-on-one, we don’t seem to be able to get there," Coughlin said. "The rhythm of the throw is gone. The ball is off. Should that be the case consistently? No, of course not. We should have more pressure on the quarterback, but it has not happened for us and so we continue to strive for it to happen."
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