Excerpt: "So many things have gone wrong for the Giants this season, and the whole tapestry began to unravel long before Game 1. But of all the disasters they’ve experienced, the one thing they could never overcome is the one thing they never expected would be a problem.
Eli Manning is having an awful season. Maybe the worst of his 10-year career.
And this Giants team wasn’t good enough to overcome that kind of handicap. With Manning out of sync, the Giants were out of sync. As he struggled, so did they.
Now they have a much longer-than-expected offseason to figure out why.
Manning said on Sunday that he’ll save the self-analysis for later, but he had another typically middling performance on what became the Giants’ Elimination Sunday, when they were officially bounced from the playoff race with a 37-14 loss to the Chargers. He completed 20 of 32 passes for 259 yards and threw two more interceptions.
That gave him an NFL-worst 20 interceptions on the season with three games to go – a startling number for a player who once proudly insisted “I’m not a 25-interception quarterback” after he threw 25 interceptions in 2010. He’s in the midst of what likely will be his worst statistical season since 2004. But he was a rookie then, not a 10-year veteran and two-time Super Bowl MVP. This incredibly disappointing Giants season isn’t all his fault, of course, but he could’ve made it so much better.
“It’s been tough,” Manning said after his eighth loss of the season. “You try to compete, try to make some things happen. I haven’t analyzed the whole season. Just try to go game-by-game and make adjustments and get better. After the season we’ll look at it and try to figure that part out.”
They’ve been trying to figure it out since Manning threw a mind-numbing 15 interceptions in the first six games. He had plenty of legitimate excuses at his disposal, too. His offensive line has ranged from barely adequate to total disaster. The running game wasn’t consistent until Andre Brown showed up. And Hakeem Nicks has played like he’s been someone else – or somewhere else – all season. The defense was also awful at the beginning of the season, and struggled on Sunday, too." Read more...