Giants in real trouble

Chances of making NFL playoffs are looking grim

The Associated PressNovember 28, 2009 

The New York Giants have reached a crossroads in their season after losing five of six games.

Following a 26-6 loss at Denver, the Giants are 6-5, with three NFC East opponents up next on the schedule, two at home.

"We have a five-game schedule," coach Tom Coughlin said Friday. "It's one game at a time with these divisional games coming up. We have got to see how we come back now and rally back from a loss which none of us is proud of. We'll use every aspect of motivation we can to get our guys back on track and get them to realize you are one game away from turning this thing back around."

But with New York having lost to nearly every winning team it has faced this season, a turnaround might not be within reach.

Defensive tackle Barry Cofield said Friday it was "good to know you have control over what happens" because the Cowboys and Eagles come to Giants Stadium, then New York is at Washington. A sweep of those games would make the Giants contenders again.

"I have a good feeling that if we go out and play well and win these next three games, we're in a real good spot," Cofield said. "Obviously, it's a stretch of games that can make or break you."

How do the Giants avoid it breaking them?

"We can play better, more physical, smarter and faster," he said. "A lot of things that can be better. This is the type of game you can either go up or down; this can be the closing statement to our season or this little break can rejuvenate. It's just going to be up to us which is the case."

The Giants are off until they host Dallas on Dec. 6. Of course, the Cowboys also have that extended break.

Coughlin said the Giants will use some of the time to self-scout, as they did during their bye week before beating the Falcons to snap a four-game slide. Cofield knows how he wants the team to use the extra time.

"I am a guy who always leans towards individual accountability," he said. "Guys just have got to make plays, guys have got to be in their gaps. Last night, there were times when guys were not in gaps, not beating their guys off the ball."

No regrets for Lions coach: Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz isn't second-guessing his decision to start Matthew Stafford.

"No second thoughts at all," Schwartz said Friday, a day after his rookie quarterback threw four interceptions in a 34-12 loss to Green Bay. "Him throwing the interceptions had nothing to do with his shoulder."

Stafford separated his left, non-throwing shoulder at the end of a Nov. 22 game against Cleveland, but after a penalty returned to throw a touchdown pass with no time on the clock to secure a 38-37 win over the Browns.

"He started feeling better the day before," said Schwartz.

Injuries update: Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has returned to full practice from an injury to his backside and is probable for Sunday's AFC South game at Houston.

Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner went through another full practice on Friday, but the Arizona quarterback was listed as questionable for Sunday's game at Tennessee.

Warner practiced all week after sustaining a concussion in last Sunday's 21-13 victory at St. Louis. He passed all the required mental tests on Tuesday.

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