Giants’ offensive slump continues in Baltimore
Sam Spiegelman , Contributor
I’m not sure what Peyton Manning told his brother after his Broncos dismantled the Ravens last week, but it certainly did not hold true on this Sunday.
The Giants offense, shutout last week in Atlanta, continued its slumber seven days later in Baltimore. After eight quarters, New York’s anemic offense had mustered a mere 14 points.
Of course, a touchdown in garbage time doesn’t take away from the offensive futility.
Eli Manning was a quarterback under duress for four quarters. On every dropback, it appeared Manning had a Ravens defender in his grill.
On 28 dropbacks, Manning was hit nine times and sacked thrice. The constant pressure led to the Giants quarterback complete half of his passes for 150 yards and one touchdown – to Domenik Hixon with the game out of reach.
The Ravens, who were embarrassed defensively last week against Peyton, brought their A game. Not only did their front seven harass Manning, but the defensive backfield was strong and physical with the Giants’ primary receivers.
Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks combined for three catches for 21 yards, and yes, that is including a doughnut for Nicks.
Reuben Randle led the Giants with 43 yards.
The Giants’ final drive helped the team avoid setting a season-worst mark in terms of total yardage. Against the Steelers, the Giants managed just 180 yards. On this afternoon, they totaled 186.
The return of Ahmad Bradshaw did not seem to matter much. Bradshaw carried the ball nine times for 39 yards. His counterpart, David Wilson, added another three attempts for 17 yards and the Giants’ first touchdown back in the first quarter.
The Giants’ running game is hardly to blame, however, as the Giants trailed early and the team had to stray from it in order to play catch-up.
After possessing the ball just fewer than 21 minutes and running 45 – almost half as many plays as Baltimore – New York’s most glaring inability was converting on third-downs.
The Giants converted two of their 10 third-downs, their first coming with under five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
It was clear in a game where momentum, playoff aspirations and even the ability to rediscover their championship pedigree, the Giants disappointed themselves. Baltimore showed a greater sense of urgency, wrapping up the AFC North and getting back on track on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
In contrast, the Giants continued where they left off last week in Atlanta, lagging offensively and becoming overwhelmingly porous on defense.
Though after all this, and with one game remaining at home against the Eagles – which a month ago you could presume would be an easy win – the Giants have a chance to return to the playoffs.
The questions remain, beginning with who are the real New York Giants?
Follow Sam on Twitter @SamSpiegs