After enjoying a week off, the Giants are preparing to go back to work for what is shaping up to be a difficult second half of the schedule, which commences at Seattle on Sunday.
Of course, given the Giants' history -- they are 5-16 in games played after the bye, including a 3-3 mark under Tom Coughlin -- Coughlin is well aware of the challenges that lie ahead for his players.
"The challenge (is) not just to come back where you were, but to come back and escalate the quality of your performance (and) lift your game to another level," he said.
The good news is that Coughlin sees no reason why the team can't continue its winning ways because the players understand what's gotten them to their 5-2 record, and what needs to be corrected in order for them to continue their push toward a playoff berth.
He identified two primary sticking points that he hopes to see improved moving forward, specifically improved ball security on offense, and getting better production out of the return game on special teams.
If the players can deliver on those objectives as well as continue to play at the level they were at prior to their bye week, the bye week will have had little to no effect on their rhythm.
"I think this team is capable of playing outstanding football and being able to support ourselves with all three phases," Coughlin said of his expectations moving forward. "What we have to do is continue to play together and show the quality of team that we are."
--Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has done a lot to improve a Giants defense that last year was a disaster. However, for as good as the Giants have been in controlling opponents, there are still some areas in which Fewell would like to see the league's second-best defense improve as the team commences the second half of its season this week.
"We're trying to be a physical defense," Fewell said of his visions for his unit. "We're trying to punish the runner and punish and destroy the run game and anything that gets in its way."
What's been getting in the way of the Giants accomplishing those goals have been the Giants, who were tied for 24th in the league in the red-zone defense, having allowed opponents 12 touchdowns and four field goals on 15 possessions.
"That's one area that we've really got to improve on, our red-zone defense," Fewell said. "I'm not too pleased with that."
Another area that Fewell would like to see improved is in the turnover department, where the Giants were tied for 24th in the league with a minus-5 ratio that included just 16 takeaways.
Fewell believes that if the Giants can work toward achieving those goals as well as continuing to build on what they have started in their first seven games, they ultimately will become the type of defense that will go down in franchise history as one the best.
"If we can create more turnovers, (the defense) doesn't have to play a lot," Fewell said. "You go three-and-out, and then you watch your offense from the sideline, so if we can do all of those things, then we will be well known."
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