...Sigh. 33-14 Ravens.

Rob Carr, Getty Images
Rob Carr, Getty Images

What is the duty of a fan?

Is it to unquestionably support?  To be unapologetically optimistic?  Or is it to be cruelly realistic, uncompromisingly objective?

The answer is one better left for another article, but one I find myself pondering following the Giants' second embarrassing loss in as many weeks - unable to find a way to get anywhere near the area code of optimistic.

I don't know how anyone could after bearing witness to all that was - perhaps more appropriately, all that wasn't - Sunday's performance.

Before much of the crowd had found their seats the lead was 14 for Baltimore, and with neither side of the ball able to establish any sort of presence, the condition only worsened.  The Ravens had their way with the Giants.  They ran at will, they passed with an efficiency at which Joe Flacco's wildest dreams scoffed, and they allowed the Giants offense nothing.

To say that the Giants were beaten up on Sunday would be an embarrassment to...I don't know.  I tried to find an appropriate analogy but they were all too dark.  Apparently, along with the Giants' realistic playoff hopes, my capacity for levity has been destroyed by this loss.

GRADES: Offensive Line - D: They gave up three sacks of Manning and more pressures than I care to look up.  Another bad game in a bad second half for this unit.

Running Backs - C-: They didn't account for much yardage, but both backs ran for over four yards per carry.  Though their blitz pickup left a lot to be desired, I have a hard time laying much of this loss at their feet.

Wide Receivers - D+:  Drops.  Inability to make the big play for their quarterback.  Just. Bad. Play.

Eli Manning - D: Manning was consistently off the mark on Sunday. Throws were late, behind their targets, or under thrown with receivers running free behind the Ravens secondary.  All told, despite the fact that the performance was turnover free, it proved to be another uninspired one in what has been a disappointing year.

Special Teams - B: Weatherford punted well. So we got that going for us...

Defensive Line - F: The Giants' dominant, game changing defensive line is a myth, one perpetuated by a reputation built on past dominance.  When was the last time their impact was felt?  Certainly not Sunday.

Linebackers - D: The Giants had more glaring problems on Sunday, but this unit did little to stem the onslaught of a running game that collected over 200 yards.

Secondary - F:  I've run out of things to say about this secondary.  With Phillips injured it has significant holes and they were unmercifully exploited by the Ravens.

Coaching - F: I don't usually grade the coaching, but it needs to be mentioned that fault lies as much with them as with the players this week.  Kevin Gilbride's suspect play calling has long been, in my opinion, a contributing factor to the Giants' offensive woes.  This week, that tradition continued - the most glaring representation of which was personified by his calling of a second and 12 inside draw to HENRY HYNOSKI.  Worse than any Gilbride offense, however, were those of defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

Corey Webster had a terrible game Sunday night; anyone watching knew he could not cover Torrey Smith.  And while the corner deserves to be called out for his poor play, there is a limit to what can be laid at his feet.   He needed help, and it never came.  At some point, the man becomes the victim of a defensive coordinator refusing to give him the support he needed.

With that, I'm done. I have more to say, but not the will with which to do it.  Next week, with the playoffs still, somehow, a possibility, the Giants will take on the Eagles.  In the mean time, I urge you all to forget any of this has ever happened and have a Merry Christmas.  May your holiday be blessed.

Check back next week for a preview of what is likely the fiery end to this slow-motion derailment.  Go Giants?

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