Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/17/14
The New York Giants are coming off one of their worst losses in recent memory — a humiliating 34-0 beatdown by the Atlanta Falcons — and have fallen into a three-way tie looking up at the Cowboys and Redskins for first place in the NFC East. Nevertheless, the team still insists it is at its best when their backs against the wall.  At least that's what they publicly say citing last season's playoff run and Super Bowl victory as proof. Now former Giants linebacker and current ESPN analyst Antonio Pierce says the Giants past success had to do more with their heads than their backs. "I really think they are a team that's mentally drained right now," Pierce said of the Giants team that will look to save its season with a must win against the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday. "Coach [Tom] Coughlin  is preaching mental toughness, and I don't know if they can say that have that right now.  They are a team that is not as strong as in years past, as far as being mentally tough." Pierce says Big Blue might be relying on last season's playoff run, after they reeled off a six-game win streak culminating with the victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, as some sort of blueprint for doing it again. In September, Pierce said the Giants were basically overlooked last season because they came out of nowhere.  This season they have a shiny Lombardi Trophy as a bullseye on their jerseys. The "we can turn it on when it counts" philosophy doesn't jive with Pierce. "My concern with the Giants is them constantly talking about what they've done in the past," said Pierce, who played on the 2007 Super Bowl championship team.  "They are looking in the rear-view mirror, thinking they can always rely on that.  Our backs re against the wall, this is the way we like it, and after [Sunday's] performance — an embarrassing, slap-in-the-face loss — I didn't see any players out there that played like everything really mattered at the time." Pierce pinpointed the once ferocious defense as the main culprit for the Giants' shortcomings and named names. "Opponents studied and figure out ways to block these guys and slow them up," he said.  "So, I don't see the defensive coordinator [Perry Fewell] being as creative, coming up with different designs to free them up." The ex-Giant didn't go easy on his former teammates either. "Honestly, [Justin] Tuck has not been Tuck for three years now.  and Osi [Umenyiora] is a situational pass-rusher.  He comes in on the third down and he makes plays.  But, for the most part as a group, they are being asked to make plays without any more creativity." The Ravens are in the same boat as the Giants and looking to regroup after collapsing in the second half of the season. "You come off back-to-back years without being in the playoffs and then you win a Super Bowl and things change," said Pierce.  "Every year with coach Coughlin we had a different slogan.  This year's team has to stick to that and not regurgitate what they've been able to do in the past."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

HBO's Lampley feels 'terrible' for those who paid for fight

Has Blake Griffin taken the next step?

Mike Evans liked Winston more than Mariota

Ernie Johnson gives his Emmy to Stuart Scott’s daughters

Titus Young avoids prison, receives probation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland to golf community

Ex sues Mayweather for $20M for lying in Couric interview

The NBA needs to leave 'hack-a-whoever' rules alone

Top Rank threatens to sue over Mayweather-Pacquiao piracy

Titans already tailoring offense to suit Mariota's strengths

Pettine: Manziel isn't favorite for Browns' starting QB job

Mike Wallace: 'I'm the fastest player in the NFL'

Ty Lawson could be trade target for Celtics

WATCH: Zack Greinke does great bat flip after hitting double

WATCH: Fan uses beer as ice pack after being hit by ball

La'el Collins reportedly has 'airtight alibi' in murder case

WATCH: Stephen Curry nails shot from hallway prior to game

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

No homers, no problem for Cubs' Kris Bryant

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

NFL releases times and dates for preseason slate

Fans file $5M class action suit against Pacquiao over injury

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

Chris Bosh on blood clot diagnosis: ‘I’m lucky to be alive’

Projecting the All-Star Game rosters

Tiger hasn't slept in three days since Lindsey Vonn breakup

2015 NBA Draft big board, first edition

Eliminate Hack-A-Player: Don't reward violating sports rules

No easy solution to the problem of early NFL draft entrants

What’s next for the Spurs?

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.