Jim Mancari, ContributorWe thought this season couldn’t get any worse for the 0-4 New York Football Giants. But I guess they still found a way to surprise us.
Big Blue dropped to 0-5 Sunday with a 36-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but the worst thing about this game was the Giants were actually alive for most of the way and totally blew it late.
However, three Eli Manning interceptions in the fourth quarter sealed the Giants’ losing fate. He continued to add to his league-lead in interceptions with now 12.
It was an inconsistent offense performance right from the start. The Giants looked great on their first drive, which concluded with David Wilson’s first touchdown run of the season.
The team also moved the ball well on its second drive, but a bad intentional grounding penalty forced a punt.
From that point on, it was a total crapshoot on offense.
After five drives that yielded zero points – including a fumble by Brandon Jacobs – Manning and company final showed their true potential. Back-to-back drives ending in Rueben Randle touchdowns got the Giants right back in the game.
But as good as Manning looked on those two drives, that’s how lost he was on his three late interceptions. The woes continue for the G-Men, but there were a few positives to take away offensively from this game.
It was nice to see the offense actually find the end zone a few times after scoring only seven points the last two weeks.
The Giants’ makeshift offensive line did not play too bad. They only allowed one sack, and it came when the game was already out of reach.
It seemed that quick slants were working all game for the Giants. Manning was getting the ball out quickly and allowing his receivers to rack up yards after the catch.
Hakeem Nicks showed up in a big way in the first half with six catches for 120 yards, but he was held to only three for 22 yards in the second half. Still, he made up for a poor game from last week – gaining more yards this week than the past three games combined.
All game, the Giants took deep shots down field. They hit on some of them, but it’s tough to constantly rely on the big play. When the Giants were able to methodically move the ball downfield, it seemed the drive was stalled by a bad penalty or – even worse – a turnover.
With David Wilson leaving early with a neck injury, we knew the Giants would rely on the pass. But the problem was that the team was constantly faced with third-and-long plays since they threw the ball on almost every play.
Without picking up a few yards on first or second down, it made third-down conversions very difficult. The Giants lead the league in plays of third-down and 10-plus yards.
At this point, any miniscule glimmer of hope for a playoff run looks bleak. No team in NFL history has started the season 0-5 and reached the playoffs.
There’s a chance the Giants can write a new chapter in history, but with all these mistakes, the season is as good as over.
Sure, the division is weak, but in reality, the start of the 2014 NFL season could not come any sooner.
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