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Giants Trying to Wash Away Bad Taste of Cowboys Game

Giants get back to work after disappointing loss

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012  |  Updated 3:06 PM EDT
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The Giants are trying to work their way off the mat.

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There's nothing quite like the overreactions to the first week of the NFL season. 

After so much time without football, it's understandable that everyone goes overboard when they finally get a chance to watch games again. Robert Griffin III is the greatest thing since sliced bread, the Ravens offense is an unstoppable juggernaut and the Jets are the most misunderstood team in football history.  

That leads us to the Giants, whose reaction to the Cowboys loss has been a little bit bigger than you might think is reasonable given the fact that the team won a Super Bowl after losing four straight games in the regular season last year. Tom Coughlin acted more upset than if one of his players was three minutes early for a meeting and defensive end Justin Tuck said that he is still "disgusted" on Monday.

"I'm not saying Dallas didn’t beat us, they definitely did,” Tuck said. “They did a lot of things better than we did. We didn't play well. In certain situations, we didn't give ourselves a chance to win the game. That's not to say that if we would have played well, we would have won. I don't know."

While any thoughts that the Giants are heading for the dustbin qualify as unhinged at this point, Tuck's response is deadly accurate. The Giants have to know that they were fortunate to wriggle out of danger last year and they also know that teams don't tend to succeed when they spot the rest of the league a big advantage heading into the later weeks. 

Compare that to Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush, who parroted his teammate Clay Matthews after the loss to the 49ers by saying that the Packers beat themselves. It's ludicrous to anyone who watched that game just as it was ludicrous of Matthews to suggest the same about the Giants' playoff victory. 

The only way you can correct problems is by admitting that you have them in the first place and the Giants haven't always been so quick to do that. The offensive line and secondary were obviously in bad shape heading into the season and the first game did nothing to change that impression. 

Fixing the line won't be easy with the cast on hand, but the secondary would get a big lift from a healthy Prince Amukamara. The oft-hazed cornerback practiced Monday on his sprained ankle, which he said still feels sore, and getting him back would make it easier to stop the Buccaneers passing game this weekend. 

But it's not just about Amukamara. Tuck and the rest of the pass rushers need to show up much bigger than they did against the Cowboys or the secondary will get picked apart regardless of who is playing out there. 

The good news for the Giants is that Tuck seems to realize that. Now he's just got to channel his rage back into the game. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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