Excerpt: "Should the Giants be concerned? They're now only 1.5 games up in the East after their second straight loss and the Cowboys' comeback win in Philly. The Eagles fell to 3-6 and Michael Vick was hurt, dropping them to a new level of desperation. The Redskins were on bye. Here's a look at what happened in the division in Week 10:
What we learned: The Giants’ lead in the East has dwindled to a game and a half despite no other division team sitting above .500. With a second straight loss following four straight victories, the Giants fell to 6-4 and sounded some alarm bells in the process. It’s a formula the Giants have patented — hot, cold, hot at the right time — in their championship seasons, so a November swoon isn’t always something to fret over. But really, some ugly trends that have developed (a struggling passing game, spotty rushing and critical breakdowns on “D”) go back prior to the two losses.
What’s in store next: The bye comes at a good time, as this is a team that looks like it could use some recharging. Eli Manning reportedly has a “tired arm” that will earn some rest; his mechanics, and even footwork, have looked off the past few weeks. A defense that has been gashed in myriad ways will spend some time healing, but also looking at game tape to try to diagnose what’s been going wrong. Zero sacks Sunday and a handful of blown coverages in allowing four TD passes — inexcusable numbers for this group. After the bye, there is no rest, at least as things appear now. Every remaining game is either a division contest or against a team in the playoff hunt, three at home and three away.
What the heck? What’s up with Eli? Yes, it’s the second week in a row we’ve asked that in this very space. And yes, it was not that long ago — 2010 to be exact — that Manning was mired in a slump that lasted most of a season. But coming off a championship season and a strong start in 2012, we are just not accustomed to this. It has been three straight games without a TD pass now, although to be fair, Victor Cruz dropped an easy one, perhaps dreaming too early about salsa. Manning’s two INTs Sunday also led directly to 14 Bengals points, but also in his defense, the protection was lousy. After being sacked only seven times in eight games, Manning has gone down six times in the past two contests, including four Sunday. He was also hit four other times, and those two picks came on throws on which he was hit. “He was under duress a lot today,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. Dave Diehl started a second straight game and was bad again Sunday. His sack allowed near the end of the first half was a rally killer after the Giants had good field position at the Cincinnati 14." Read more...