Giants Must Put This Game Behind Them, Quickly

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

All you need to know this morning is that the Giants season has hit critical mass. They need to start winning and time is running out. The good news today is the Giants are still very much alive in the NFC Playoff picture. The bad news is yesterday they played like the team that will be selecting first overall come next April’s NFL Draft.

One week after drubbing the Saints in the rain, the Giants (8-6) had the tables turned on them in Atlanta, getting outplayed, outcoached, outhustled and outclassed by the 12-2 Falcons. It was painful to watch.

The Giants were shut out in a regular season game for the first time in 16 years and first time in the Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning era (they were blanked 23-0 by Carolina in the 2005 NFC Playoffs).

Eli epitomized the Giants’ frustration with one of his worst performances ever: 13/25, 161 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT and a 38.9 rating. David Wilson, who had 327 total yards last week, was held to 132 yesterday. The Giants were 4/10 on third downs and 0/3 on fourth downs. They committed three turnovers to the Falcons’ none. They recorded only one QB sack…again.

Tom Coughlin would not blame the loss of focus on the latest tragic event to hit the Metro area: The Newtown shootings. He said being affected was unavoidable, but no excuse for playing this poorly. His stress is on the future, where his team still holds the cards:

“We have two games to play. There is a lot of fire and a lot of character in that locker room. We have to come back from a devastating loss and shake it off somehow, someway. We have to comeback as competitors and prepare ourselves for a very difficult game next Sunday and then one to follow. With these two games left unfortunately we are 2 and 2 in this six game schedule and we needed to be better than that.”

GEICO SportsNite gets reactions from the Giants following their 34-0 loss to the Falcons.