Excerpt: "Last season, Eli Manning and Victor Cruz pushed the Giants toward a Super Bowl run with a memorable 99-yard touchdown hookup against the Jets in Week 16.
But in Sunday’s 33-14 loss to the Ravens, the Giants offense simply got pushed around.
The Giants went three-and-out on six of 10 drives and gained just 186 yards all evening — 121 not counting their throwaway 65-yard, fourth-quarter TD drive with the game out of reach.
“It’s one thing to lose, it’s one thing to be in there and something happens at the end of the game,” said Manning, who completed 14 of 28 passes for 150 yards and a meaningless late TD pass to Domenik Hixon. “But to not give yourself a chance, to get down early and gain no momentum, get no spark to get us going, and just consistently not make the plays that are there and not execute to our ability, can be confusing.”
The Ravens’ defensive line had its way with the Giants’ front, and Manning was never comfortable, which he admitted. Baltimore sacked him three times, hit him nine times and also stymied the rushing attack, despite the return of veteran back Ahmad Bradshaw (knee), limiting Big Blue to 67 rushing yards on 14 carries, including a 14-yard David Wilson TD dash.
“They did a good job getting some pressure,” Manning said. “I had to move around, try to buy some time and give the guys a chance to get open downfield, and (the Ravens) had good coverages, good calls and better play than we did.”
Manning’s 43-yard completion to Rueben Randle set up Wilson’s first-quarter score to make it 14-7. But neither of those plays swung the momentum the way Cruz had last season with his electric touchdown catch-and-run.
“Half of it (was) due to the fact that Eli had a lot of pressure in his face this game and couldn’t really get settled in the pocket as much as I guess we would like him to,” said Cruz, who danced no salsas, with just three catches for 21 yards.
“Obviously I’d love to be the guy to make that play again.” Read mopre..