- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Coughlin spent a good portion of his media conference on Wednesday discussing the New York Giants' turnover epidemic.
Specifically, Coughlin talked about Eli Manning's seven interceptions that were tipped into the air off his own receivers' hands and how the Giants aren't alone in feeling nauseous when getting tipsy.
"You know, when I look around the league, the tipped-ball interceptions, it's an incredible thing," Coughlin said. "Don't ask me why, but it's all over the place. It's like a damn plague. The ball is thrown, the ball is tipped -- sometimes it's not a ball that's thrown behind, it's a ball that's catchable -- but it comes out of somebody's hands. There are certainly some examples of some unbelievable plays that [the Seahawks have] been able to take advantage of. [And] the other day Oakland got a couple of them, too."
Manning isn't the only quarterback who has been plagued by interceptions that glanced off his targets' hands. Dallas' Jon Kitna saw three of his four interceptions on Sunday go off his receivers. Of course, the Cowboys haven't been as fortunate to survive the miscues as the Giants have.
Manning and Coughlin know, though, that if they do not clean up their turnover act this weekend, things might get ugly in Seattle.
The Seahawks (4-3) are 3-0 at Qwest Field this season. They are a plus-two in turnover differential and are at their most dangerous at home.
"They have an incredible plus-eight in turnovers at home, 12 of their 13 takeaways are at home," Coughlin gushed.
The Giants (5-2) are riding a four-game winning streak but have been careless with the ball. They have turned the ball over 21 times so far. Manning has 11 interceptions with seven going off the hands of his receivers. And the Giants have lost 10 fumbles.
Manning spent most of his time during his meeting with reporters talking about how the Giants need to fix their turnover problem and how deafening it is at Qwest Field.
Those two things go hand-in-hand because if the Giants lose the ball a few times, they'll only feed fuel to Seattle's infamous 12th man. The Giants have had their share of problems at Qwest Field. In a 24-21 overtime loss there in 2005, Jay Feely missed three field goals and the Giants committed 11 false start penalties. In 2006, the Seahawks exploded to a 42-3 lead before taking a 42-30 win at Seattle.
Manning has insisted for weeks that the Giants' miscues are fixable and that he just has to be more accurate and the receivers have to concentrate a bit more.
"We have to make sure we are watching everything and not running before we catch the ball or looking at the defenders," Manning said. "You know that part of it is on me. I have to make sure the ball is down low and I'm not leading them into headaches or throwing things high where there is a possibility of getting tipped up. All of us can work on trying to eliminate those possible plays that might turn into an interception."
In their last win over Dallas, the Giants committed five turnovers. Manning threw three interceptions, two going off the hands of Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks. Manning threw a ball too high for Smith while Nicks said he and Manning were not on the same page on the other interception.
The receiver vows that the Giants have solved their tips issues.
"I think we got it all out of the way," said Nicks, who has had several of Manning's interceptions glance off his fingers. "I definitely think we will pick it up this second half of the season and take off from here. That is just a feeling."
Nicks better be right because his head coach will not be able to stomach too many more of these turnovers. Remember, Coughlin is a former wide receivers coach.
"As a former anything, that drives me crazy," Coughlin said. "The turnovers drive me crazy."
His solution to fixing the problem is simple.
"Catch it," Coughlin said. "Don't be surprised by it. Get your eyes on the ball. Know what's happening there. [But] there's been some incredible athletic moves on the part of people intercepting balls, whether they're low, whether they're high, whether they're one-handed. We've seen a lot of that this year. Not just with our team."
The Giants just hope that the bye week cured their turnover plague. Coughlin and Manning will find out on Sunday.
7hBy Ian O'Connor
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