Instant Analysis: Giants not playing like champions

Rob Carr

The New York Giants still have a chance to make the playoffs, but they don't look like a playoff team, or one that even wants to be a playoff team.

The New York Giants are not a championship-caliber football team right now. And that is probably being kind. They still have a chance to make the playoffs in the NFC if they win next week against the Philadelphia Eagles and get lots of help, but they certainly can't claim to be deserving.

The Giants have lost five of seven and, playing games they knew they needed to win the past two weeks, have looked completely disinterested while being outscored 67-14 and outplayed every way imaginable. This is not the way a Super Bowl-winning team is supposed to go about defending its title.

Defensively, the Giants were helpless again on Sunday. I can't make up my mind if Corey Webster looked like a clueless rookie or a shot veteran. Either way, it seemed like the Raven's game plan was drop back, find No. 23 and throw it to whoever Webster was supposed to be covering. Because he couldn't cover anybody.

Of course, the Giants could not rush the passer -- getting one measly late-game sack from Mathias Kiwanuka. They could not stop the run, giving up 224 yards. They couldn't do anything -- giving up 533 total yards and allowing the Ravens to hold the ball for a stunning 39:21.

Defensive end Justin Tuck and safety Kenny Phillips didn't play because of injuries. Tuck, however, hasn't helped much this year, anyway.

Offensively, the Giants weren't any better. They gained only 186 total yards. They got just 11 first downs. They went 2-for-10 on third-down conversions. Before a meaningless 11-play, 65-yard drive for a score late in the fourth quarter their longest drive last six whole plays. The Giants punted eight times.

Hakeem Nicks had no catches. Victor Cruz had three, none for impact plays. Eli Manning was sacked three times and hit nine other times.

The Giants seem like a shell of themselves offensively. Ahmad Bradshaw is obviously limited and the Giants don't seem to really trust any other back, David Wilson included. The offensive line is beat up. Nicks is having a lost season due to foot and knee injuries.

Manning is not having a great year, either. Yes, he was under duress often Sunday. There are many throws, however, he is just missing -- behind, short, long. Just enough to miss opportunities.

Speaking of opportunities, the Giants still have one if they can beat the Eagles on Sunday. That will be the opportunity to scoreboard watch and hope all the other dominoes they need to get into the playoffs fall into place.

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