You can excuse Giants defensive end and team captain Justin Tuck for not being in a very good mood on Monday. The Giants were coming off of a 41-23 defeat to the Denver Broncos in a game that saw the defense allow 307 passing yards while registering zero sacks.
"Today is a day of sulking," said Tuck, "We'll sulk today. We'll come back and win and get this thing right."
Getting things right for the Giants is mostly about establish a running game right now, but it also means improving a pass rush that didn't exactly intimidate Denver quarterback Peyton Manning on Sunday. New York's defensive line didn't pressure Manning often, and when it did, the veteran was able to escape danger.
"Everything kind of has to work on your favor if you're a good pass rusher," explained Tuck. "For some reason, we haven't had the opportunities. Peyton did a great job of keeping us off rhythm with the run and play action passes. He gets you to stutter your feet and obviously the ball is coming out pretty quickly. That's not an excuse. We still have to do a better job of getting to him and feeling the pressure even when we didn't sack him."
Although Manning isn't the most mobile quarterback out there, he's plenty skilled at avoiding a pass rush. The Giants will face a different challenge in Carolina's Cam Newton this week. While Newton won't get rid of the ball as quickly as Manning did, he's fast and strong enough to escape even a diligent pass rush.
Week 3 will be a challenge just like the two that game before it, but the Giants are eager for another opportunity to prove they are better than the team that has shown up on the field so far.
"We have to stop beating ourselves," said Tuck. "We had a lot of opportunity to win both of these football games and didn't do it. Granted we played two pretty good football teams, but like I said, we had opportunities to play better than what we did."