Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/14/12

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 13: Tom Coughlin, head coach of the New York Giants, reacts during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Giants Stadium on December 13, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Despite their struggles in the last three weeks, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin decided to give his players a full week away from football to relax, recuperate from nagging injuries, and self-scout the tendencies that has seen a 6-2 record slide to a 6-4 mark. Meanwhile, this week, Coughlin and his assistant coaches will take a comprehensive look at everything that has gone into their 2012 season to date, looking for solutions to ongoing issues that have kept the Giants from widening their lead in the NFC East. "We call it a worst-to-best," Coughlin said of the goals he's set for his staff this week. "We'll look at ourselves, and then we'll go on to looking at some of the teams that are very good in the league in those particular situations." On offense, coordinator Kevin Gilbride and staff will be looking at the passing game. While Coughlin, Gilbride, and quarterback Eli Manning have disputed the idea that Manning is in a slump, the fact of the matter is that Manning is not connecting with his receivers the way he did earlier in the season. Part of those issues has been the quarterback's decision making. "He had some decisions that he would like to have back, and I think that's probably indicative of us pressing to get back to where we were," noted Gilbride. "Certainly, if we give him the time and the protection, I have no doubt in my mind that he'll put the ball where it needs to go, accurately, correctly and give guys a chance. Gilbride also noted that the pass protection and the receivers' inability to get open as much as they used to have contributed to the passing game's sluggishness as well. From a protections standpoint, Gilbride disputed the suggestion that the return of David Diehl to the starting right tackle position, a move that coincided with the start of the Giants' current two-game losing streak, was to blame. "You would love to say it's this one thing or one person or one aspect, but it doesn't work out that way," Gilbride said. "Believe me when I tell you this -- it's all of us. We all have to do better. "Sometimes it's (Eli) trying to force the ball because he's trying to make a play to get us going. Sometimes it's the protection just not being quite as solid as it needs to be. Sometimes it's the receivers, and sometimes it's the call that's not the best call for that defense. It's everything." Another issue that Gilbride will look to resolve is how to compensate for the fact that opposing defenses have been taking away the deep pass from the Giants. "It just forces you to go to a different facet of it, and that's where the running game needs to come to the fore," he said. "You have to be able to throw underneath; you have to be able to run the ball effectively. You have to be able to do things where they're more vulnerable defending against the deep stuff, and when you get the chance for the deep stuff, like we had (Sunday), you have to catch the ball." The other pressing issue for the offense is to resolve its red zone woes. The Giants have made 41 trips this season inside of the opponents' 20, but have scored just 18 touchdowns for an abysmal 43.9 percent conversion rate. "We'll certainly do a self-evaluation, but then we'll also try to look at some of the other teams that are doing well, particularly against the people that we're playing against," Gilbride said. "See if we can come up with some ideas to help galvanize (the offense)." Moving over to the defensive side of the ball, among coordinator Perry Fewell's objectives this week will be to figure out a way to get the pass rush more consistent, improve the run defense, and cut down on the big passing plays. "We haven't been consistent at either run-game or pressure-game," he said. "We haven't developed that consistency that you like to see at this point in the season." While Fewell believes he has the right personnel for the most part and the right schemes called, the one thing that has been missing from the equation has been consistency in the execution. "I would say mental errors and then sometimes players get a key, or get a tip, and sees something that they thought they saw, but it really didn't happen. So they jump at something, and they let a coverage responsibility go," he said. While consistency is a large part of what ails the Giants defense, that doesn't mean that Fewell won't alter some of what he's been doing. "I'm always looking to tinker," he said. One thing that should benefit Fewell is the anticipated return of players that have missed large chunks of time due to injury, such as linebacker Jacquian Williams and safety Kenny Phillips. "Yes, that's all part of it," Fewell said. "Some of the key guys that we count on to contribute to our football team have been on the sideline." With a tough six-game schedule awaiting the Giants after the bye, Coughlin is hoping the findings from the self-scouting result in an ending similar to last season's. "Every year is a different year. Every situation is a different situation. Every team is a different team. Every circumstance with regards to health and well-being and so on and so forth is a different situation," he said. "My standard answer for last year was, 'It didn't come out too bad.' Regardless of what it was at what time, it didn't turn out too badly. So I'll stick with that one."
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