Eli & Co. Can't Mann Up In Red Zone
Excerpt: "Eli Manning seemed sharp. Ahmad Bradshaw and the ground game were rolling. And Victor Cruz, seemingly sleepwalking throughout November, finally had awakened.
And that all added up to exactly one touchdown in Monday night's 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. One week ago, the Giants seemed to have their offensive woes all figured out, exploding for 38 points in a rout of the Packers.
But against the Redskins, the offense slipped back into another red zone coma. The stats looked pretty, with Manning throwing for 276 yards and the Giants piling up 390 yards of total offense. Yet it took Manning and Co. nearly an entire half to find the end zone, and when they needed it most — in the pivotal fourth quarter — an offense that's supposed to be explosive turned pop gun.
“We had to drive the ball down and get scores (in the fourth quarter),” Manning said. “And we couldn’t do it.”
The same Manning-led offense that was so clutch in the fourth quarter last season — and began 2012 in similar fashion — fell apart in the end. Things seemed to click in the first half, when tight end Martellus Bennett caught five passes for 82 yards and scored a TD just 2:32 before halftime. Big Blue rolled up 273 total yards in building a 13-10 lead.
Cruz had been held without a 100-yard game since Oct. 21, the last time the Giants faced the Redskins. But with Bennett rolling, Cruz finally found room to roam. The receiver made three first-half catches — including a 30-yarder down the sideline — and finished with five catches and 104 yards.'" Read more...