By Flint Wheeler

For the second time in as many seasons, the New York Giants are at 3-6 after nine games, their playoff hopes all but evaporated.

As bad as the Giants have looked this year, the latest meltdown coming on Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks blew open a 17-17 deadlock en route to a 38-17 win, the Giants still believe that they are not that far away from turning things around.

“I think we know and understand the position we’re in and what we need to do,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “We know we can do it; we just have to put it together. We have flashes of playing very good football and I think we are just a few plays, a few mistakes away from doing some really good things.”

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who echoed his quarterback’s sentiments, noted how the Giants were able to move the ball despite not having much of a running game as an example of some of the good things to come out of Sunday’s loss.

“We had the momentum going in at halftime with the field goal to give us the lead,” Coughlin noted. “It wasn’t perfect, but there were some good things that did happen, both offensively and defensively.

The problem with Manning and Coughlin’s take on the Giants’ situation is that every week going back to the second half of 2012, it seems like the same problems, such as a lack of execution, a costly turnover or a penalty that puts them in long yardage is popping up.

The Giants are 13-19 dating back to Week 9 of the 2012 season. Of their 10 losses, they have been shut out in four, and have seen the margin of defeat in each of those games range from 15 to 38 points.

Perhaps even more frustrating, is the fact that these recurring issues don’t seem to have an end on sight because they’re popping up at random, affecting a different unit seemingly every week.

So how, then, can the Giants break out of this vicious cycle that they are seemingly stuck in?

“I feel like we’re doing some good things,” Manning said. “We’re just not for whatever reason, able to put four quarters together.

“It’s not like we come out and don’t do anything — we had some chances in the second half (vs. Seattle) to do some good things. We just have to find ways to keep competing keep putting pressure on the opposing teams and make the plays that are out there to be made.”


PASSING OFFENSE: B+ — Quarterback Eli Manning finished with 283 passing yards and one touchdown, and completed 65.9 percent of his passes, with 24 percent of those going to electrifying rookie Odell Beckham Jr. However, it was the one game-changing interception on a pass to the rookie that was tipped to the waiting arms of safety Earl Thomas that changed the course of the game. Still, there is much to like about Beckham’s performance. Going against Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman, Beckham became the third receiver this season to have 100 or more receiving yards against the Seahawks defense.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D — The Giants’ rushing game has desperately missed Rashad Jennings, who could be back this weekend against the 49ers. Andre Williams gives an effort, but his lack of experience behind the soft run blocking offensive line is hurting the team. To make matters worse, Michael Cox, who was starting to get some snaps, suffered a season-ending broken leg while Peyton Hillis suffered a concussion, his second in as many seasons.

PASS DEFENSE: C — The Seahawks only attempted 27 passes, completing 10 for 172 yards, so there wasn’t much to defend in that regard. The Giants’ pass defense did manage to come up with two interceptions and two sacks on the day, so they had that at least going for them.

RUSH DEFENSE: F — When a run defense gives up 350 yards on the ground, there is just no way to justify a passing grade. What was perhaps the most frustrating thing of the debacle is that repeatedly, the Giants were gashed on the edges, their defensive ends and linebackers were continuing to overcommit on lays instead of exercising patience and waiting to see where the ball was going. Six of the Seahawks’ 10 biggest plays of the game were runs, with all going for at least 15 yards at a clip, and it didn’t really matter who was carrying the rock-the Giants had no answers.

COACHING: C — Coach Tom Coughlin, one of the hardest working people in the business, has been riding the wave of 2011 while the Giants have easily proved why they were 14 point underdogs that year to the Pats. Is it just me or would Mr. Coughlin live a few more years if he ‘Voluntarily’ stepped down. 🙂

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