The Giants failed to flip that proverbial switch when they needed it most, as they got drubbed by the Ravens, 33-14.
New York took the train to Baltimore in an old-fashioned travel move, but looked just plain old, as their postseason chances are now on life support. The Giants (8-7) came out the gates slowly, as the Ravens (10-5) jumped to a quick 14-0 lead as wideout Torrey Smith torched Giants’ cornerback Corey Webster on two occasions — one a 6-yard touchdown reception and the other a 43-yard reception to the Baltimore 1-yard line to set up a Joe Flacco quarterback sneak for the score.
Flacco’s counterpart, Eli Manning, had a rough afternoon as he went 14-of-28 for 150 yards, one late inconsequential touchdown and no interceptions. He was also sacked three times and under duress many other times. The Giants’ offense as a whole was awful, as the running game sputtered, the receivers couldn’t make key drive-extending catches and the offense didn’t even convert a third down until the 4:26 mark of the third quarter.
Big Blue’s defense can’t be let off the hook either, as they couldn’t get off the field on third downs, and allowed Flacco all types of time to pick apart the outclassed secondary. The Giants’ pass rush was again non-existent, as they barely even touched Flacco, let alone bring him down. Sure, defensive end and team captain Justin Tuck (shoulder) didn’t play, but that’s still no excuse for the immobile 6-foot-5 Flacco never being sacked, as he had plenty of time to hit seven different receivers.
The Giants have a slim playoff chance, but need a lot to go their way next week. They need to beat the Eagles, and get the Redskins to beat the Cowboys, Lions to beat the Bears and Packers to beat the Vikings.
What went wrong …
1. Big Blue’s defense beaten black and blue
As Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh prophesied, the Giants’ once-vaunted pass rush didn’t put fear into Flacco, as the statuesque pocket-passer had his way with the Giants’ undermanned secondary. Flacco went 25-of-36 with 309 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions and connected with numerous open receivers, as the pass rush failed the secondary, and the secondary failed to cover anyone.
2. Manning comes up short
This is usually the time of year when Manning works his magic and carries the offense on his shoulder. But Baltimore was a nightmare for the two-time champion, as he failed to generate any offense. It wasn’t like Manning got any help from his supporting cast, as the receivers couldn’t get separation from Baltimore’s clingy cornerbacks, and the sickly running game produced next to nothing. That being said, Manning has worked with less before and still carried the team to victory, so ultimately the poor showing falls at the feet of their elite franchise quarterback.
3. Inexcusable flat performance
There aren’t enough words to express what will surely be a quiet locker room and train ride back to New Jersey, as head coach Tom Coughlin will need some time to figure out why his team came out so flat. Sunday’s game wasn’t do or die for the Giants, as they are inexplicably still alive for the postseason, but it was still crucial. Big Blue will have some explaining to do to its fervent faithful, as they allowed the Ravens to march down the field for two early touchdowns to forge a quick 14-0 lead. The Giants were outclassed in just about every way, especially in crucial situations, as the Giants went 41 minutes without garnering a successful third-down conversion.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.