After Eli Manning completed a touchdown pass to make it 16-7, Coughlin and his staff planned to spend halftime plotting how to come back, not how to play out the clock.
"We were thinking along those lines," Coughlin said. Then, "We gave up some big plays. We've worked hard to try to not do that. We certainly are a work in progress in regard to that."
The big plays came from Donovan McNabb to his young receivers. DeSean Jackson caught a 54-yard touchdown pass. After Manning threw an interception, Jeremy Maclin struck from 23 yards out.
The loss to the Eagles came in the middle of a hellish run that began with the Saints, continued against the Cardinals, stopped in Philadelphia and ended against San Diego, a gut-punch of a four-game slide that sucked the wind out of their 5-0 start.
Memorably, the Giants lost to the Chargers, late, on another long pass. Then came their bye week.
Big wins over Atlanta and Dallas sandwiched a loss in Denver. Since the bye, they haven't allowed a significant scoring play as long as the winner to San Diego.
They haven't faced Jackson and Maclin, either.
Fired in Jacksonville, embattled in New York, Tom Coughlin knows how tenuous an NFL head-coaching job can be. He looks down the New Jersey Turnpike and sees Andy Reid, Eagles Coach for Life, and Coughlin admires.
"Andy Reid is an excellent football coach who is very deserving," Coughlin said. "He obviously has the loyalty of his owner, and vice-versa. He's to be applauded for that. However you want to look at it, it's a tribute to his staff and the job that they've done and continue to do."