Giants Embarrassed by Falcons – Grades: Diary of a Giants Fan
In the midst of an impossibly close divisional race, the Giants went on the road and were - with no better way to say it - embarrassed by the Falcons.
More and more, the Bill Murray classic, Groundhog Day, is becoming the perfect allegory for the New York Giants. A few weeks ago I wrote about the purgatorial angst that is the Giants' inability to separate from those below them in the standings. After the win over the Saints, it was their ability to learn from their repeated past that I detailed.
This week, the hopelessness of realizing that there is no escape from this hellish suspense has finally taken hold - much the way it did for Murray above.
That realization came in spectacular fashion Sunday as, with the Redskins and Cowboys hot on the Giants' NFC East-leading heels, Big Blue was dominated in every facet of the game by the Atlanta Falcons.
An opening-drive interception got the Giants off to the bad start, and though it hardly seems possible, the condition only worsened from there. Big Blue never got any momentum going offensively, barely ever stopped the Falcons defensively, and fell to their rivals 34-0.
Without the stomach, nor the need, to detail each unit, I'll highlight those whose performance was particularly poor.
Offensive Line - F: More than once the Giants were stuffed on fourth and one, and while Manning was only sacked once, the running game was done no favors by this unit. Poor job.
Eli Manning - F: You can say a lot of things about Eli Manning, but never has it been said that the quarterback was outsmarted - until today. The Falcons played Manning perfectly on both interceptions - laying off to invite the throw and jumping the route when it came - and dropped a few other opportunities. Manning's penchant for trying to make something out of nothing has got him in trouble recently, but today, the problem was far more disconcerting. Manning was beaten at his own game, and he was simply outplayed.
Defensive Line - F: For too long, the reputation of this Giant front four has far out shined their production. Today proved another addition to that book, as Giant fans have been forced to confront the possibility that the unit is, at this point, vastly overrated.
Secondary - F: It was a vain hope to ever believe that, given Corey Webster's regression and injuries to Amukamara and Phillips, this unit had a chance to hang with Matt Ryan and company. Again, the much maligned unit was decimated, the combination of rookie mistakes and all around poor play proving far too much to overcome.
The loss, combined with a Redskins win, relegates the Giants to second place in the division, knocks their playoff hopes into a state of flux, and keeps the merry-go-round spinning. Will the Giants ever get off? Will it ever be easy? Like always, we'll have to tune in next week to watch, wait, and hope.
They'll take on the Ravens next week. Look for a full preview of that game right here and, as always, Go Giants.