It's getting ugly for Big Blue.
With their playoff chances fading away, the New York Giants were crushed by the New Orleans Saints, 49-24, on Monday Night Football (November 28). Who's to blame for the team's latest clunker, the players or coaches? Frankly, the entire team from top to bottom shares some of the responsibility for this embarassing loss. With that in mind, here's the team report card for week 11.
Offense: Eli Manning just couldn't keep up with Drew Brees.The Giants' QB finished the game 33-of-47 passing for 406 yards and a pair of touchdowns (both to Victor Cruz). Those numbers are slightly inflated, as the Giants moved the ball in the fourth quarter against the Saints' "soft" defense. Once again, the Giants' running game failed to go anywhere. Brandon Jacobs finished with a team-high 46 rushing yards and a touchdown. In fairness, it's difficult to stay with the run when you trail 21-3 at the half. Grade: C
Defense:The Giants' defense was facing a tall task heading into this game, but to allow Brees and the Saints to rack up 577 total yards and 49 points in a crucial game is a total embarassment. Brees shredded the Giants for 363 yards and four touchdowns on 24-for-38 passing and added a rushing touchdown to boot. Furhermore, Brees wasn't sacked once and the Giants failed to force a turnover. Grade: F
Special Teams --Other than covering a fake field goal in the first quarter, there was nothing really special about the special teams. Lawrence Tynes hit a 42-yard field goal and missed a 61-yard prayer at the end of the first half. Darren Sproles had a couple of solid punt returns for New Orleans, while Da'Rel Scott racked up 115 yards on kick returns for New York. He had plenty of chances (four). Grade: C+
Coaching --Whatever gameplan the Giants had against the Saints likely went out the window by halftime. Unfortunately, that's because the team looked ill prepared to compete and fell behind 21-3 at the half and 35-10 after three quarters. Granted, the Saints are monsters at home and injuries have taken a toll on the Giants. But the coaches have to find a way to turn this around. Grade: D
Extra Credit --Cruz's breakout season continued against the Saints. He had nine catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns, including a 72-yard catch-and-run to the house early in the fourth quarter. The Giants have found a long-term replacement for Steve Smith.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans.
NY Giants at New Orleans Box Score. Yahoo! Sports.