Big Blue Morning: Dealing with 'reality'

Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants

The news of the day: The Giants are always professionals in the locker room, so while they were glum and disappointed Monday, they came out and spoke openly about their circumstances. "We have to deal with reality," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We are what we are. We've created this situation for ourselves." They're not waving any white flags, and you can count on them to play the remaining games on their schedule with a hard and honest effort to win them. But the situation to which Coughlin refers is the extremely uncomfortable one in which the Giants can't afford any more mistakes at all... and would still need a mountain of help even if they managed to be perfect the rest of the way. Coughlin did say he wasn't happy to hear about all the chirping his players did last week and would address it in a meeting Wednesday. And he seemed rather aggravated about the Hakeem Nicks situation, which continues to remain one of the weird mysteries of this season. He also said Jason Pierre-Paul is playing hurt, which it seems as though he'll be doing the rest of the year at this point. Pierre-Paul played fewer than half of the Giants' defensive plays Sunday due to his shoulder injury.

Behind enemy lines: Impressions from "Monday Night Football": If the Giants can generate a pass rush with their front four, which has been a trouble spot for them for much of this year due in part to Pierre-Paul's health problems, they should be able to cause problems for the Redskins' offense Sunday night. Robert Griffin III just looks horrible. And while he's making more than his share of poor throws and decisions, a huge part of his problem in Monday's loss to the 49ers was a seemingly complete lack of protection. Don't get me wrong: The Giants would still have to score enough points to win, which is no sure thing. Just saying they won't be the only team on the field with big problems Sunday night in Landover, is all.

Around the division: The Cowboys won the big game against the Giants on Sunday and move into a tie for first place with the Eagles, but that doesn't mean they think all their problems are solved. They want DeMarco Murray to be more aggressive in the way he finishes his runs. And they'd like Dez Bryant to be a little bit less greedy about the yards he's trying to pick up after the catch. These are contrasting sentiments, but both problems were on display Sunday.

Around the league: The NFC East has taken a lot of well-deserved abuse for the overall lack of quality it's put on display this season. But as John Clayton pointed out in the wake of Sunday's games, no one seems to want the NFC North either. What an opportunity the Lions have blown with Aaron Rodgers injured and the Packers weakened.