New York Giants finally get that winning feeling back
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — After five straight weeks of preparing and coming up empty, the New York Giants have something to smile about starting off a week.
It's amazing what a win can do for a team.
"Anytime you win, it kind of verifies that what you're doing is right," coach Pat Shurmur said Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the Giants (2-7) rallied late to snap a five-game losing streak with a 27-23 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
"The reason we all started playing and coaching football is because we love the competition, we love the physical nature of the game, and we love the process of getting ready to play the next opponent," Shurmur added.
"Then on game day, you put all your energy into winning, all your energy into putting a winning performance on the field, and so I sensed real joy in the locker room yesterday — a bunch of guys that put a lot into it, and we were able to overcome some adversity and win a football game."
The goal now for the Giants is to try to put a couple of wins together. They haven't done that since December 2016. They have a 5-20 record in their past 25 games.
The difference Monday night against the 49ers was the Giants made plays. Eli Manning threw three touchdowns and engineered a late drive capped by a short touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard.
The offensive line, aided by the addition of newcomer Jamon Brown at right guard, allowed only one sack and the defense got two interceptions from linebacker B.J. Goodson.
Special teams also contributed as Aldrick Rosas kicked two field goals and Corey Coleman had three kickoff returns for 92 yards.
The performance by Manning was excellent. There have been many calling for the 37-year-old to be benched with the team losing again. The two-time Super Bowl MVP answered the critics.
"Any time a player puts a winning performance on the field, he should feel good about it at least for a day or so," Shurmur said. "The challenge is to then prepare to do it again in a week, so I don't know. That's a question for him, but he had a winning performance, he helped us win a game, and he should feel good about that. Now we just have to build on that going into Tampa."
The Giants will play host to the Buccaneers in their bid for their first win of the season at home (0-4).
While the Giants' chances of making the playoffs remain dim, Shurmur likes the team that has been assembled in his first season.
"This is a really good locker room — we're young, we're new, but these guys believe in each other and try to play the game for each other," he said. "I don't know if they were loose, I don't know if that's the right term, but I thought they were just out there playing hard and having fun playing football."
NOTES: Shurmur said the Giants had the usual wear and tear in the game, but he expects no one to miss Sunday. ... Brown played very well considering he had been with the team only a week. ... Shurmur also said rookie linebacker Lorenzo Carter had his best game in both the pass rush and coverage. ... Saquon Barkley had 20 carries for 67 yards and caught four passes for 33 yards. It was the eighth time in nine games Barkley had at least 100 scrimmage yards. "If we're just going to talk about Saquon and his involvement in the game, whether we hand it to him or throw it to him, it really doesn't matter. You'd like to see your back touch the ball or run the ball close to 20 times," Shurmur said
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