New York Giants
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The good news for the New York Giants is that they weren't shut out or embarrassed on national television on Sunday by a divisional opponent.
Of course, the bad news is that a loss is a loss, whether it is by 27 points or one point, and the Giants, who fell to the Dallas Cowboys 31-21 have now lost two in a row and are 1-2 against division opponents.
The worst of it is that the Giants, who this week enter their bye, must do some major soul-searching to find answers as to why they are unable to find success against teams with winning records. They will begin a post-bye week stretch against four clubs that have winning records the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.
"We have to come together and figure out a way," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "I'm concerned with playing better football with our execution, our ability to run the football, defensing the runI hope we come back with great resolve after the bye and look at the opportunities that are in front of us."
While there are external concerns about whether the Giants have what it takes to climb out of the hole they have created for themselves, no one on the team is pressing the panic button just yet.
"I think we have the talent, yes," said quarterback Eli Manning when asked if the Giants had what they need to get it done.
"Some of it is developing just because we've got some new guys playing at positions. There are still some young aspects to it but there is definitely the talent there. When you get through some of the growing pains of these young guys they're doing a lot of good things."
"The effort is there for everybody so now we've just got to string some things together, eliminate some of the mistakes, some of the mental mistakes that occurred," Manning continued. "They're not huge oneswe're playing smartwe've just got to play that much better to be able to get back in that win department."
"There's a lot more football to be played," added defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. "Don't give up on us yet. Don't count us out."
That is a lot to ask from a fan base who has seen very few encouraging signs from the Giants during these last two weeks.
"We play some very good teams, but we continue to try to improve on things we're doing poorly and look forward to the opportunities that are coming ahead of us," Coughlin said.
"We have nine more games to play," Pierre-Paul said. "Let's win all nine games. I think we can do it; we just have to believe."