O-line struggles continue for Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rich Seubert didn’t have a lot of answers after the Cowboys' 33-20 win over the Giants at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Serving as the center with starter Shaun O’Hara out with a foot injury and backup Adam Koets out for the season after tearing his ACL last week, Seubert had been responsible for a bad snap that precipitated a fumble.

It was one of several errors on a patchwork offensive line. Starting left tackle David Diehl is out with a hip/hamstring injury, and Kevin Boothe, Will Beatty and Mitch Petrus each had a penalty filling in after not playing much this season.

Would the line have been better if they’d had more time to develop as a unit?

“No, we don’t make excuses for not playing well,” Seubert said.

Boothe had a holding call that nullified a touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks in the fourth quarter. He said he asked the referee afterwards, because he wasn’t sure he had earned the call.

“I haven’t seen it yet,” said Boothe, who started at left guard.

Still, coach Tom Coughlin thought committing a penalty as the team mounted a comeback was not helpful.

“There’s no excuse,” Coughlin said. “There really isn’t. It would have been nice to have that touchdown and have a chance with that much time to kickoff and play defense and maybe get the ball back.”

Shawn Andrews started at left tackle, and said the Cowboys were in the right frame of mind after all the upheaval, and the Giants hurt themselves.

“In this league, penalties and turnovers are the fine line from winning and losing,” Andrews said. ”It kind of put us in a hole today. We fought and clawed today, but when we tried to get back in the end it just wasn’t enough. We just have to start fast and finish strong.”

The Giants aren’t likely to have Diehl or O’Hara return before next Sunday’s game at Philadelphia, so the members of this offensive line are going to have to pull it together quickly. Each penalties and bad snaps will be exploited against one of the best teams in the NFC. After a five-game winning streak, the Giants don’t need much to get back on top.

“Too many mistakes; we didn’t come out good today,” Seubert said. “We had to play catch up the whole game. It’s a tough way to get beat. Give them credit -- they played hard today. They beat us today. They just came in here and didn’t make as many mistakes as we did. We didn’t play well.”