The Giants dropped their third straight game, as the Colts grinded them into the turf for a 40-24 loss Monday night.
Big Blue was coming off the bye week, following two straight defeats to divisional rivals, and one would’ve thought they’d come out with a renewed sense of urgency. But it was the Colts (6-3) who meticulously dismantled the Giants (3-5).
Metro breaks down what went wrong in the defeat.
1. Dropping the ball
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin preached all week his team needed to “play above the Xs and Os,” but his squad literally dropped opportunities to change the game’s momentum. Coughlin committed the first guffaw when his slow trigger to challenge a call led to the Colts’ first touchdown. Andrew Luck hit tight end Coby Fleener for a 32-yard touchdown as the duo caught the Giants napping while their sideline deliberated whether to challenge the previous play that was ruled a completion, but looked otherwise.
Safety Antrel Rolle dropped a sure-fire interception on the Colts’ final drive of the first half. The misplay led to a 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri.
The final dagger came when Luck hit Reggie Wayne for a 40-yard touchdown just one play after Big Blue failed to bring down Luck for a sack and he avoided what would’ve been damning field position.
2. Garbage man
Eli Manning and his offense paled in comparison to Indianapolis’ efficiency, as the quarterback was off-target on most of his throws — when he wasn’t getting harried. Manning finished 27-of-52 for 359 yards, but much of it in garbage time with the Giants down 30 points late.
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New York’s passing attack failed to even come close to producing half of the passing output that Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers had last week when he scorched the Colts for 522 yards.
Manning was sacked only once, but it was a strip-sack that resulted in a game-icing touchdown a few plays later.
3. Clean pocket
It was an all-around porous effort for the Giants, as the defense was just as anemic. Luck was only sacked once and had lots of time to make the necessary throws downfield. Big Blue rarely even hit or knocked down the elusive Luck, as he connected with nine different receivers and threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns.
The Giants had trouble defending the Colts’ dual tight end sets featuring Fleener and Dwyane Allen, who combined for eight receptions for 125 yards and two scores.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.