Giants' Jabrill Peppers: Don't blame Pat Shurmur -- blame the players

DETROIT -- It was Accountability Sunday for the New York Giants' players after their 31-26 loss to the Detroit Lions.

They claim the fingers being pointed toward coach Pat Shurmur are unwarranted. The 2-6 record at the midway point of the season is on the players.

"Hell no, that isn't fair," safety Jabrill Peppers said after the defeat. "He's putting us in positions to make plays. We're just not making them in crucial situations.

"Never going to let our coach fall on the sword. Those guys work their ass off, give us great game plans week in and week out, man. It's up to us to execute. [We're] grown-ass men. We can't keep saying the same s--- every Sunday. That s--- don't fall on none of the coaches. That's us. It starts with us."

It's why the Giants plan to have a players-only meeting on Monday. The hope is that it will spark a turnaround, because this season is quickly spiraling out of control. The Giants have lost four straight.

But that hasn't caused those in the locker room to doubt their coaches. Tight end Evan Engram believes Shurmur still has everyone's full attention and respect.

"One hundred percent. No doubt about it!" he said.

Tight end Rhett Ellison agreed. He thinks the scrutiny Shurmur has come under lately is unfair, because the players have not been doing their jobs.

Defensive captain Alec Ogletree said it was "all 53 players" who called for the players-only meeting that will occur Monday morning. Engram thought it was necessary because everybody had to look at themselves in the mirror.

Peppers expressed a similar sentiment.

"Just us because we have to fix this problem," he said. "It's not a coach. Those guys work extremely hard. The game plans they give us, we know everything that they were going to do -- except for that throwback -- that was a good play. Everything that they showed us, those guys bust their ass watching tape giving us the best game plan, the tendencies, all the ... formations offensively and defensively.

"It's just up to us to make plays. They can't play for us. They can just put us in the proper position to make those plays and they do a hell of a job of that. We have to take ownership of that and start making plays."

Even the rookies.

"No slack gets cut. What is it, eight games -- you're not a rookie no more. After the preseason, you're not a rookie no more," Peppers said. "We'll take mistakes that you play hard and things like that, but we're not cutting slack for anybody, from the oldest guy on the team to the youngest guy. You out there, you expected to do a job at a high level. And you do that job. There are a lot of people depending on you to do that job."

So if it's not the coaches and it's on the players, one must again wonder whether the Giants have the right collection of players. That falls under the authority of general manager Dave Gettleman.

The results seem to indicate he's not close to finding the right combination, especially on defense. The Giants (2-6) allowed five pass plays of more than 20 yards. They allowed two 40-plus-yard touchdown passes.

Even their prized possession, star running back Saquon Barkley, nonchalantly ran after a backward pass from Daniel Jones and failed to tackle former Giant Devon Kennard as the linebacker scooped up the ball and returned it 13 yards for the game's first touchdown.

Barkley provided a lesson in accountability afterward when asked whether he had any regrets about the play.

"That's not who I am. That's not the type of player I am," said Barkley, who was also critical of his blocking on the play. "That's not the reason I'm captain. I've got to have better effort on that play."

And that capped off Accountability Sunday.