Giants Embarrassed by Bengals – Grades: Diary of a Giants Fan
That. Was. Brutal. Giants lose 31-13.
Where do you begin with a game like that? What can you say other than, it was a vicious suck-fest from start to finish that left those who watched bitterly questioning the worth of everyone involved.
In many ways, it was the Con Air of NFL Football.
From the very start the Giants were out-matched. A blown coverage allowed Andy Dalton his choice of wide open receivers for the touchdown. He chose A. J. Green, and the Bengals never looked back.
While the Giant defense didn't play as badly as the score indicates, they were plenty bad - overshadowed, however, by Eli Manning and the Giant offense who never really got off the plane. Save for the ultimate junk-time drive, Big Blue's offense collected only six points and less than 230 yards of offense - one of their more lethargic performances in years.
And so rises the Ghost of November Past and the cruel, haunting images that come with it. A win on Sunday would have kept such reminders at bay, would have allowed the Giants to turn around their season before they were in dire need. But the opportunity was spectacularly missed; and as such, the Giants will need to take their bye week to confront their lamentable second half history, and find a way to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Grades: Defensive Line - F: I can't remember Andy Dalton ever being pressured...Ever.
Linebackers - C: The Giants had plenty of problems today, the linebackers were a minor one. They weren't good, but they weren't bad either.
Secondary - C-: After the first drive, the Giant secondary wasn't terrible - a rousing endorsement, I know. But really, Giant corners had solid coverage for much of the game, the Bengal receivers just made great plays over them. It should be noted, however, that it was week 10 and under no circumstances can Corey Webster and Stevie Brown still be having this kind of communication trouble.
Special Teams - C-: A great play by Blackburn to force the Bengals' lone turnover is the highlight, but is overshadowed by brutal punt coverage that gift wrapped a score for Cincinnati.
Offensive Line - F: At some point, just hold and hope it doesn't get called.
Running Backs - D+: Though they ran for over 100 yards, and though there are very few circumstances under which the Giants could possibly have won today, Bradshaw's fumble was an absolute backbreaker. Above all else, just hang onto the football!
Wide Receivers - C-: Outside of a few drops, nothing stuck out as particularly negative about their performance. Then again, outside of Hakeem Nicks, nothing stuck out as particularly positive either.
Eli Manning - F: ...How it pains me to say so. You can say he has a tired arm. You can say his wide receivers dropped balls. You can say the offensive line gave him no help. You can say whatever you want, but whichever you choose, you also have to say that he had a terrible game. Four turnovers, no touchdowns. Like I said, brutal.
And so the Giants head into their bye week at 6-4 and with the Green Bay Packers set to greet them upon their return. Oh boy.