Slumping, rested Giants get back to work

By TOM CANAVAN - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-20 02:52

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Coming off a bye week and riding a two-game losing streak, the New York Giants realize it's time to turn things around.

While they have a one-game lead over Dallas in the NFC East, the defending Super Bowl champions (6-4) also have a brutal six-game closing stretch that starts Sunday night against the red-hot Green Bay Packers (7-3), winners of five in a row.

``It needs to start now,'' defensive captain Justin Tuck said Monday after the Giants returned to work following six days off. ``It definitely needs to start now. Our sense of urgency has to be great, we have to come out of this bye running. That is important for us leading up to the next couple of weeks to get that momentum swung back in our direction.''

It's not an unfamiliar position for Tom Coughlin's team. It also had a tough stretch run a year ago and managed to right things just in time to win its second title since 2007. The difference this year is that the Giants don't have two games remaining with the Cowboys. They have already split games with their rivals from Texas, and Dallas' schedule is easier the rest of the way.

``We've got a one-game lead and we just want to build up that,'' leading receiver Victor Cruz said. ``We control our own destiny just like you always do, every year potentially at this time. We just have to continue to win.''

The Giants are healthier following the rest. Receiver Hakeem Nicks, who has been slowed all season by foot and knee problems, said this is the best he has felt all season.

Safety Kenny Phillips, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since the end of September, also hopes this will be the week he returns.

Quarterback Eli Manning also sounded refreshed and once again downplayed any thought that his arm was tired in the weeks before the bye. He enters the Packers' game having not thrown a touchdown pass in three contests.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who has battled foot problems most of the season, and guard Chris Snee (ankle) also worked out Monday.

``You don't get almost a week off very often with this job and during the season. It was nice to get away, but I think everybody was kind of itching to get back,'' Manning said. ``We're excited about where we stand right now, excited about this final stretch of the season and it should be fun.''

The Giants are very familiar with the Packers, having played Aaron Rodgers and Co. three times over the past two seasons. The one the Giants like to remember is the NFC divisional game last season, when New York stunned the top-seeded Packers 37-20 in Green Bay.

During the offseason, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said the Giants didn't beat Green Bay as much as the Packers beat themselves. So, New York expects Green Bay to be ready to back that up.

``Like I said here last week, there is no panic,'' Snee said of the skid. ``We're all disappointed, sure, and maybe didn't enjoy the first couple of days of the bye as much as we wanted to. We're not panicked. We're excited about this game and we know they are going to come in (angry) about last year and we have to be ready for that intensity.''

Coach Tom Coughlin said his staff spent much of the bye self-scouting and trying to get the offense back on track after a couple of rough weeks.

``Six-game schedule. That's it, six-game season,'' Coughlin said. ``We're excited about that. Watched a lot of football yesterday, as you all did, I'm sure. Got excited, got upset, got excited, got all the emotions in play, but we're excited to be back on the field and seeing all of our guys again.

``Hopefully they're well rested and ready to go.''

After the Packers, the Giants will play Washington (4-6), New Orleans (5-5), Atlanta (9-1), Baltimore (8-2) and Philadelphia (3-7).

``We have been down this road before,'' Tuck said. ``I know the leadership and the veteran guys know what we are up against. We have come out of these situations on top more than not. But every year is different. We can't rely on the fact that we have the experience of being in these situations. We have to go out and play the game and play it at a high level to be successful.''

The Giants haven't done that in about a month. Before starting the slump, they edged Washington and Dallas, games they easily could have lost.

``It's about how you finish,'' Nicks said. ``We put emphasis on that. Finish the deal.''

They did that, and more, last year, winning the final six games, including the Super Bowl.

``This team feels that we can be the best team in the league when we're playing our style of football,'' Tuck said. ``It's just unfortunate we haven't played our style of football the last couple of weeks. We have to find a way to get back to playing because it's going to be needed.''

So, consider the confidence still intact.

``We've always been very confident,'' Tuck added. ``Sometimes maybe too confident - borderline cocky, a little bit. But our confidence, I don't think, will ever waver on this team.''


Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Steve SmithOct 7 03:43p

Baltimore Ravens WR Steve Smith (back) is week-to-week with microfractures in his back, but he hasn't been ruled out for Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns yet, according to [ More ]

Davante AdamsOct 7 03:33p

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Ronnie HillmanOct 7 02:03p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson is still considered the starting running back by head coach Gary Kubiak, but RB Ronnie Hillman has 'earned the right' to see more chances. [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsOct 7 01:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (calf) is not being ruled out for Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans despite missing practice Wednesday, Oct. 7, according to head coach Rex Ryan.

Julius ThomasOct 7 01:12p

Updating an earlier report, Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (hand) has not been cleared to play in Week 5, but he has been cleared to begin catching passes Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Dan CarpenterOct 7 01:03p

Buffalo Bills PK Dan Carpenter (knee) had a left knee injury last week, but head coach Rex Ryan said Carpenter is fine. PK Billy Cundiff was signed, and Ryan [ More ]

LeSean McCoyOct 7 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) is out of practice Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Lance DunbarOct 7 12:33p

Dallas Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar (knee) is scheduled for surgery Friday, Oct. 9, and his season is over.

Anthony DixonOct 7 11:23a

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon will likely be the main running back against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5, according to head coach Rex Ryan

Karlos WilliamsOct 7 11:13a

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams (concussion) is out of practice Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Josh JohnsonOct 7 11:13a

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Colts) re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts Wednesday, Oct. 7. He'll serve as insurance if QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) isn't ready for Week 5.

Eric EbronOct 7 10:03a

Updating previous reports, Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (knee) said part of his knee ailment is a bruised knee that can take up to three weeks to heal, depending on the individual.

Denarius MooreOct 7 09:53a

Free-agent WR Denarius Moore (Bengals) and PK Billy Cundiff (Ravens) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, Oct. 7. PK Jordan Gay and WR Marcus Thigpen were cut.

Billy CundiffOct 7 09:53a

Free-agent WR Denarius Moore (Bengals) and PK Billy Cundiff (Ravens) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, Oct. 7. PK Jordan Gay and WR Marcus Thigpen were cut.

Andre EllingtonOct 6 10:23p

Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee) is expected to play in the Week 5 game against the Detroit Lions, head coach Bruce Arians said in [ More ]

Brandon PettigrewOct 6 08:13p

Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (hamstring) will return to practice this week and could play in Week 5 if he doesn't have any setbacks.

Arian FosterOct 6 07:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited in practice Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Andrew LuckOct 6 06:02p

Updating a previous report, Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) took the majority of snaps in practice Tuesday, Oct. 6, giving the indication that he will play in Week [ More ]

Andrew LuckOct 6 05:02p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) said he's better, improved and making gains. He did admit that he's not where he wants to be, however.

Gerald HodgesOct 6 04:22p

Minnesota Vikings LB Gerald Hodges was acquired by the San Francisco 49ers Tuesday, Oct. 6. The 49ers sent C Nick Easton and a sixth-round pick to the Vikings.

Latavius MurrayOct 6 03:32p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray still has the confidence of head coach Jack Del Rio, despite a rough outing in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears. Murray accounted for [ More ]

Andrew LuckOct 6 03:22p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) does not have a partial shoulder subluxation, as had been reported previously, according to a source. Head coach Chuck Pagano said he heard [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsOct 6 02:13p

Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley said WR Sammy Watkins (calf) will play in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans 'fingers crossed.'

Dan HerronOct 6 02:13p

Free-agent RB Dan Herron (Colts) was signed by the Buffalo Bills Tuesday, Oct. 6. TE MarQueis Gray (forearm) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Daniel FellsOct 6 01:52p

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells (ankle) had surgery this week on his ankle and was diagnosed with MRSA, which is a very serious condition.

Roddy WhiteOct 6 01:42p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White could be open to a trade due to a declining role with the Falcons.

Devin HesterOct 6 01:32p

Atlanta Falcons WR Devin Hester (toe) was placed on the short-term Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Fred JacksonOct 6 01:22p

Seattle Seahawks RB Fred Jackson (ankle) is dealing with a high ankle sprain, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Eric EbronOct 6 12:32p

Updating an earlier report, Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (knee) had an MRI reveal no structural damage in his left knee. His status is to be determined for Week 5.

Markus WheatonOct 6 12:22p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton (ankle) looks dramatically improved from his ankle injury and has a good chance to play in Week 5 against the San Diego Chargers.

Eric EbronOct 6 11:52a

Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (knee) had X-rays on his left knee, which were negative. He'll have an MRI as well.

Connor BarthOct 6 10:43a

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Buccaneers) has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, Oct. 6, as he beat out other kickers to replace PK Kyle Brindza. Brindza was released.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group