If New York Giants fans are wondering what is wrong with the team right now the quick answer would be everything. Not a single facet of their game plan is working. Offense, defense, special teams, are all doing their part to frustrate Giants fans recently.
The Giants 31-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals wasn’t as close as the score indicates and the score isn’t exactly close. It was that bad. Eli Manning has reverted to, well, he has never been this bad, now going a career-high 99 pass attempts without throwing a touchdown. That is 3 games and 12 quarters for those keeping score.
The Giants passing game has been, well, I don’t know where it has been. Heading into this season the Giants offense was primed to solidify themselves among the best in the NFL. Now? Well, not exactly elite.
The Giants offense killed themselves in this game. During their second possession of the second half, the Giants were finally putting together a decent drive only to watch Ahmad Bradshaw fumble at the Bengals 16. Had the Giants actually scored a touchdown on that drive the Bengals lead would have been cut to 17-13. Instead, the Giants continued to shoot themselves in the foot.
The first play of the next possession ended with an Eli Manning interception. Manning was under pressure and tried to shovel pass the ball to the nearest Giant who happened to be left tackle Will Beatty. Rather than take the sack Manning chose to risk a turnover. It was reminiscent of the old Eli Manning. The Bengals took over at the Giants’ 12 yard-line and three plays later had a 24-6 lead.
Not an insurmountable lead by any stretch, especially given what the Giants have done in the past, including this year against the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, it wasn’t to be. On the Giants’ next possession Eli once again felt the pressure and tried to the ball where it shouldn’t go and saw Nate Clements pick it off at the 37. By the time he was done running he was on the Giants’ 16 yard-line.
Once again, three plays later, the Bengals scored another touchdown and were up 31-6, essentially ending the game right there. The Giants escaped another turnover when Bradshaw’s second fumble was overturned, a correct call as he was down by contact. However, he was soon riding the bench, replaced by Andre Brown who would score the Giants’ only touchdown.
Turnovers killed the Giants but the mental mistakes that I saw today came in every aspect of the game. This was probably the worst game I have seen in years and I, along with every other Giants fan, hope things turn around after their bye.