In Xavier McKinney’s estimation, the Giants have bigger issues to tackle than their inability to get ball-carriers on the ground.
The defensive co-captain suggested Monday that the Giants’ 16 missed tackles in last week’s loss to the 49ers is a concern but not indicative of a panic-inducing trend.
The Giants face the Seahawks and tackle-breakers Kenneth Walker (14) and DK Metcalf (six) on Monday.
“That’s not why we lost two games,” McKinney said. “We have to be better with it. The fundamentals matter, and we have to be a lot better in that aspect — which we will. But that’s not the reason why the games are going how they’re going.
“I’m not going to stress too much over that because I know that we’re a good tackling team. Obviously, we’re just going through a little hiccup, but, like I said, we’ll correct it and we’ll keep moving forward.”
McKinney’s attention is focused on two points recurring over the first three games: The Giants have zero takeaways — after going five-plus games into last season without recording an interception — and have allowed 10 first-half scoring drives responsible for halftime deficits of 26, 20 and 14 points, respectively.
“I think those are two of the big keys in my mind,” McKinney said. “Right now, we’re just trying to figure out a way where we can be able to force these turnovers. For me, that’s something that I’m constantly trying to figure out — how to get the ball back for our offense.”
It’s not as if the two are mutually exclusive, however. An emphasis on stripping the ball instead of wrapping up could lead to more missed tackles.
NFL teams are allowed to practice in pads 14 times during the regular season — including once per week over the first 11 weeks (with one exception for twice in a week) — so tackling won’t be a practice-makes-perfect situation.
“We all rely on each other,” McKinney said. “I think that’s how our building works, that’s how this team works, that’s how this organization works. Depending upon each other to do whatever you have to do to be able to do your job at the highest level. We hold each other accountable at all times. I think it’s a collective, not just players to coaches. We’ll be able to fix a lot of the issues that we’re having problems with right now.”
McKinney and Julian Love — who started side by side at safety last season — will be on opposite sides Monday. Love left the Giants for a two-year, $12 million free-agent contract with the Seahawks.
But this past weekend? The former teammates played video games together via an online connection.
“I miss him, playing next to him, he’s a good friend of mine,” McKinney said. “It’s going to be fun, but at the end of the day we’re still brothers. We talk. It’ll be good, though.”
WR Wan’Dale Robinson reported no ill effects from his first game in 305 days, after recovering from the torn ACL that cut short his rookie season. He had four catches on 11 snaps last week against the 49ers.
“Never having to really miss time like that before,” Robinson said, “I’m definitely cherishing all of the moments being back out there and just wanting to give everything I’ve got with all of the snaps that I’m getting right now.”