Excerpt: "What a race we have. The Cowboys and Redskins both won in Week 15, the Giants lost big on the road, and with two weeks to play we have three 8-6 teams atop the division. (Pity the poor Eagles, who likely watched the madness from home on Sunday after their blowout loss on Thursday.) The madness is just beginning.
What we learned: It’s Week 15 and we still have no real idea which Giants team will come to play each week. As a result, the division lead is gone. The Giants went from first place to third, by tiebreakers, after losing 34-0 at Atlanta and watching the Redskins and Cowboys win. Now we know why Tom Coughlin thought the Giants would need to win its final four games to keep the NFC East crown. But Sunday, the Giants had very little pass rush, couldn’t cover Julio Jones and were a combined 4-of-13 on third and fourth downs in an embarrassingly bad loss, even to a team as accomplished as the Falcons.
What’s in store next: The Giants will attempt to pick themselves up in a road game against the Ravens, who clinched a playoff spot in Week 15. They’ll still play hard because the AFC North remains up for grabs and plus, well, they are just not playing that well. It will be the second time this season that an NFL team (the Bengals are the other) has faced Peyton Manning and the Broncos and Eli Manning and the Giants in back-to-back games. The Giants followed up a loss to the Steelers with a loss to the Bengals on the road, so the Ravens cannot be taken lightly.
What the heck? Fifty-two points scored one week, zero the next. How exactly does that happen? Well, it actually happened on defense, believe it or not. The Falcons picked on rookie CB Jayron Hosley in his first start and put the Giants in a 17-0 hole less than 20 minutes into the game. That put the Giants in a pass-first mode and took David Wilson (eight first-half rushes for 46 yards) out of the mix after a promising start. He finished with only 12 carries and one catch. Manning was picked off twice — both times throwing to Hakeem Nicks — and new RB Kregg Lumpkin lost a fumble. Defensively, the Giants never could get that cauterizing turnover or tide-shifting play. So, you can’t blame the fact that the Giants were blanked solely on the offense. The defense didn’t help either." Read more...