Justin Tuck: 'We'll keep fighting'
Starting with a showdown with the undefeated Green Bay Packers on Sunday, the Giants likely have to win at least four of their last five games to finish the season with a realistic shot at the playoffs and winning the NFC East.
"We'll keep fighting," Tuck said in his weekly interview with WFAN radio. "There are some issues we have to get fixed. This is a playoff ... The playoffs have started for us. We haven't given us any margin for error."
"I understand that this is a season where things haven't gone our way in the last couple of weeks," Tuck added. "One game could be the difference maker in a season. Hopefully we can go out and shock the world. If that happens we are right back where we want to be."
The Giants (6-5) stagger into the Packers game having lost three straight. They are coming off a 49-24 rout in New Orleans where the defense was embarrassed by Drew Brees, who threw for four touchdowns and ran for another.
"This team will embarrass us in front of our home folks and it will be worse than it was [against the Saints]," Tuck said of the Packers if the Giants don't play better. "I am actually glad it is a quick turnaround [before playing Green Bay]."
"We played badly," Tuck added. "Hopefully for us we use that as motivation and that we are not going to come out here and embarrass ourselves out here again and what better week to do that than against the Super Bowl champion Packers."
Tuck admitted after the Saints' loss that it is almost impossible not to think about another Giants' late-season meltdown -- as has happened the past three seasons -- although he added that the Giants can still do something about their season.
Coach Tom Coughlin said he has tried reminding his team what it is capable of doing by showing the players footage of positive plays from the Giants' six victories.
"I am not as stuck on that as you are," Coughlin said when asked about the team's struggles after October popping up again. "Yes, I understand what you are saying and I am certainly aware of that our team is well aware of this and we have talked about staying focused."
"We've taken a look at the plays from our six wins to remind our players of the quality of their play and what we're capable of doing," he added. "We should be playing much better, much more consistently. We should know who we are and we should be performing much better. A win would help a lot. No question."
The Giants have been peppered by questions of another collapse since losing in San Francisco three games ago. Those questions have only intensified with their two most recent losses.
A loss to the defending Super Bowl champions would continue the Giants' downward spiral. But, there would still be hope of making the playoffs since the Giants have two games against Dallas and another divisional game at home against Washington remaining. The NFC East could still be in grasp and then there's also a crucial meeting with the Jets on Christmas Eve when both teams could very well be fighting for a playoff spot in their respective conferences.
When asked if he thinks the Giants will make the playoffs, outspoken safety Antrel Rolle emphatically answered yes.
"Absolutely. Absolutely, man," Rolle said in his weekly appearance on WFAN radio. "Let me tell you something: We're gonna fight. And you know what, everyone might be coming off the Giants' bandwagon, which is fine. We've only had us from the beginning anyway. We only need us in order to get where we need to get. If the fans want to be there, then be there."
"We will love you, we would love to have you, we will definitely appreciate you," Rolle added. "But if you're not there, if you jump off the bandwagon, that's fine too. We're gonna play ball regardless. We're the New York Football Giants. We are not going to go out without a fight."
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.
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