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

Report: NBA exploring moving start of Finals up

Isaiah Thomas: Danny Ainge wants my input on free agents

Brian Matusz suspended eight games for substance on arm

Report: Ray McDonald arrested again for domestic violence

Baseball players in the military: A tribute

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

'Free Tom Brady' rally draws about 150 Patriots fans

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

Mascot creates controversy with 'Police Lives Matter' sign

The Talented Mr. Blatt

The curious case of Frank Kaminsky

Is the Cavs' Matthew Dellavedova a dirty player?

LeBron lifts Cavaliers to brink of Finals, but are they ready?

Will Phil Jackson give himself a chance to succeed with Knicks?

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

Seahawks fan starts GoFundMe for Russell Wilson's contract

Billy Donovan thanks Florida fans with full-page ad

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

Could the NBA Finals be moved up?

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

Ballplayers in the military: A tribute

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

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.