In an NFC East battle with the Redskins, the Giants fell 17-16.

Rob Carr, Getty Images
Rob Carr, Getty Images

Bob Dylan lied to me.  These times aren't a-changing. They're staying exactly the same.  If they were a-changing, then last week's dominant performance over the Packers wouldn't have been followed up by the undisciplined mess witnessed on Monday Night, and the Redskins' 0-545 streak on Monday night football would still be intact.

And yet here we are, trying to explain another woeful underperformance against a team whom the Giants should have beaten - trying to explain what the hell happened out there.

Though Big Blue looked impressive early, their offensive dominance of the line of scrimmage failed to yield more than one touchdown, missed field goals and penalties keeping Eli Manning's side frustrated.  And though Chase Blackburn did his best, forcing the game's only turnover, the Giant defense was beaten too efficiently by the Redskin running game and, while it only amounted to 17 points, gave up too many big plays.

Really, though, I find myself struggling for words after what was a bit of a weird game.  It's difficult to pin-point exactly what went wrong for the Giants, but equally as difficult to pin-point what went right. I guess this may sum it up best:

And so because a two game lead in the division is too easy, and because nothing about these times have changed at all, the Giants find themselves again in a tight battle in the NFC East with four games to play in 2012.

Grades: Defensive Line - D: Not only did the Giants' defensive line fail to sack RGIII in this game, they were gashed by the Redskin ground game to the tune of over 200 yards rushing.  Such a performance is simply unworthy of this group.

Linebackers - C: Chase Blackburn continued to make my case for the former substitute teacher as the Giants' best and most consistent defensive player in 2012, but 200 yards rushing doesn't fall solely on the shoulders of the defensive line. Gap responsibility?  Anyone? Bueller? No?

Defensive Backs - B-: In the annals of Diary of a Giant Fan lore, you'd be hard-pressed to find an opportunity to criticize the Giants' defensive backs left alone.  And yet tonight, I find myself holding my tongue.  While they were far from shut down, the secondary kept RGIII and company to less than 170 yards through the air.  There's a lot of blame to go around for Monday, I'm just not sure much of it belongs here.

Special Teams - D: It's hard remember a special teams play that didn't involve a penalty - except, of course, Tynes' missed field goal.  At least they didn't give up a special teams touchdown.  So they've got that going for them...

Offensive Line - C-: Though only one sack of Manning was given up, undisciplined play killed Giant drives and turned what should have been touchdowns into Tynes field goal attempts.  Passable night on the stat-sheet, but a poor one overall.

Running Backs - B-: Ahmad Bradshaw continued to play like a man who almost lost his job earlier in the season, averaging over four yards per carry en route to another 100-yard game.  If you're looking for the problem, look elsewhere.

Wide Receivers - C: The resurgence of the Black Unicorn was the highlight of the night for this unit, a drop or two and some miscommunications with the quarterback serving as the lowlights. Not a terrible game, but certainly not a good one.

Eli Manning - C: To me, Manning's game encompasses all that was the lackluster performance of the Giants. Nothing overly significant went wrong, but nothing of significance went right either.  Everything was just that little bit off.

Next week the Giants try to right the ship at home against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Look for a full preview of that game right here and, as always, Go Giants!

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