Commentary

Giants running short on time

After playing Monday, Big Blue has less time to prepare for big game vs. Eagles

Updated: December 15, 2010, 3:01 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

Tom Coughlin's head finally hit his pillow sometime around 4 in the morning. Less than four hours later on Tuesday, the New York Giants' coach was up prepping for Michael Vick.

"There is no way to catch up [on rest] when you go to bed at 4 and you get up at 7:30," Coughlin said on a conference call Tuesday. "That is just probably where everybody is today. But you will get a little bit more, maybe perhaps a little sleep tomorrow, and then we will go from there. My catch-up night is usually the night before the game, so I had one night where I was able to sleep more than normal."

Coughlin and his Giants had their routine thrown upside down after a snowstorm in the Midwest forced the Giants to play the Vikings one night later than scheduled in Detroit instead of Minneapolis.

Because the Giants played Monday, Coughlin lost a crucial day of preparation for their next game.

The resilient Giants handled the Vikings 21-3, but now they have little time to prepare for their biggest Sunday of the season. The Giants (9-4) host the Eagles (9-4) with the NFC East hanging in the balance.

The Giants did start work on the Eagles on Monday but not the way they normally would for the next opponent if they were playing a scheduled Monday night football game. They left Saturday thinking they were playing a Sunday game and would be back to prep for the Eagles on Monday.

"When you play a Monday night game, you prepare for utilizing Monday, a great part of the Monday in terms of the next opponent," Coughlin said. "We did not know we were going into a Monday night game, so therefore we weren't able to be as efficient as you might want to be with all the time that you have. We did the best we could with it. We did have some down time when we were all waiting for the assignment of the exact schedule that we would keep so that was time that was spent waiting rather than being productive. We did get some work done and we're trying to make up for the rest of it right now."

Coughlin will start by giving his weary team some time to recover and rest. The team was off Tuesday and will start its Wednesday later than normal before going through something slightly more than a jog-through. He said he thought he saw some "heavy legs" on his team's less-than-stellar special teams coverage against the Vikings.

Then the Giants will return to their normal Thursday and Friday routines.

"We got a shorter week and we weren't prepared for that and we got to change our schedule around a little bit," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "But this game coming up against Philadelphia is tremendously big. We will be ready. We will figure out what we have to do the next couple of days to make sure guys are physically and mentally prepared for this game."

Tuck said the Giants won't have a problem getting ready because of the magnitude of the game and the atmosphere expected at the new Meadowlands stadium Sunday.

The Giants must win this game to have a shot at winning the division since the Eagles beat them 27-17 last month in Philadelphia.

Coughlin was asked whether he sees the winner of this game as the division champ.

"We'll see," Coughlin said. "I'm not going any further. This [conference call] is supposed to be about yesterday. Today is a day where we are just getting started and we are recollecting our thoughts on the Eagles. So let's basically leave it at that."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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