Pat Shurmur: 2-9 Giants 'just need to keep fighting'

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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October came and went, just as November did.

Nary a Giants win was had and now December is about to dawn.

As autumn is fast turning to winter, the Giants are mired in a seven-game losing streak, having last won all the way back in September.

As Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North's first-place Packers come to town, New York coach Pat Shurmur's message to his beleaguered 2-9 team is a simple one.

"We just need to keep fighting through it," said Shurmur, whose fourth full season as an NFL head coach was long ago assured of being his fourth losing campaign.

The seven-game skid is the worst for the franchise since 2014 and if the underdogs fall against Green Bay on Sunday, they'll lose eight games in a row for the first time since the 2004 campaign.

Shurmur, who's 7-20 through his second season with the Giants and 17-43 as a head coach that includes a pair of seasons in Cleveland and an interim win with the Eagles, maintains that progress has been made and positives have been found. Unfortunately, it hasn't translated to a win since a Sept. 29 triumph over the Redskins that seems so very long ago.

"I love the way our guys train," Shurmur said. "I love the way they work. There are many things that happen in the ball game that is really good football. Then there are things that have been happening to us. ... For a team like ours, we have things happen, big plays, turnovers, that have affected us in a lot of close games. I appreciate the fact that these guys are tough and resilient and keep playing. The games have been close, and so we just need to find a way to get over the top."

When or if that happens, Shurmur believes real change will become apparent. Easier will come the grins, lasting at least for the afternoon will be the cheers and just a bit brighter will the horizon look.

Alas, it's been two months and the Big Blue faithful's restlessness and frustration is warranted.

"[Winning] will change the way we feel about ourselves, it'll change the way the fans feel, and it'll change the way everything feels when you finally get over the top," Shurmur forecasted. "At one point, I used to think that saying your team was young was an excuse. It's a descriptive term for this team, and it's important that they figure it out quickly. The good news is even though it hasn't been quantified with wins, and I get that, that's the reality of this business, that changes the opinion of everybody when you win. Even though that has not happened, I've seen the improvements behind the scenes that I think are necessary as we reset this thing and move forward."

That's all behind the scenes, though. In front of the fans, the Giants are in the final month of their third consecutive losing campaign and the sixth below-.500 season over seven years.

All the promise of tomorrow, viewed in the potential of Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and others, comes with the asterisks of sub-par play, turnover problems, injuries and the end result of mounting losses.

An uncertain future, which no doubt includes Shurmur's job security, won't necessarily be helped by the end of a losing streak. At the least, though, perhaps it will begin to change some perception.

"The good news is that when we start winning and start winning consistently, then people can change their opinions of what's going on," Shurmur said.

For so long, good news related to the Giants has been hard to find. As of now, it's two months in the making.

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