It was easy to see which side of the ball showed up to play for the Giants Sunday.
And the fact that the offense was so “pathetic” — the word of coach Tom Coughlin — during a 23-0 loss to the Seahawks created a natural divide.
So it was no surprise when Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said there was some real tension between teammates.
“Yeah. Absolutely there’s tension,” Kiwanuka said on ESPN Radio, via Dave Hutchinson of the Newark Star Ledger. “We’re human. We’re a team. We consider ourselves like a family. Any family there are going to be issues that come up. It’s about how you deal with it.
“In the heat of the game, things need to be said if somebody’s not getting the job done. Somebody needs to step up and tell them what is going on so we can get out of that fight with a win.”
“I have no problem with that. I think where it starts to get into trouble is where you get into things that are said, not behind somebody’s back, but when the other person isn’t there or (you) say something to somebody else about another player.
“That becomes an issue because that can get misconstrued and it takes a lot longer to get resolved whereas if you just go to somebody’s face, . . . you can get it settled much faster.”
Kiwanuka said Coughlin told players in a passionate post-game speech that he “felt sorry” for players who hadn’t given full effort.
“It was real,” Kiwanuka said. “He was speaking from the heart. That’s somebody’s real heart, real passion. You see how much he cares and how much he loves this game. He meant it.
“You don’t get a lot of chances to play this game. You have to make sure you take advantage of every single opportunity. I think that’s what he was referring to. The fact that I feel bad for you because you didn’t give your best in the opportunity you had.
“You’re not going to get that game back. You’re not going to have a whole lot of chances to prove what you can do.”
And it’s likely that some of the culprits won’t be Giants much longer, as they go back and try to fix a season that went impossibly wrong from the start.