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Giants Give It up Late (Again), Fall to 0-2

Giants fall to 0-2

Another week, another late Giants loss. For those keeping score at home, that’s two straight weeks the Giants had a ten point lead in the fourth quarter and managed to blow it. And so it goes…

Let’s take a look at what worked and what didn’t (mostly didn’t) against the Falcons.

The Fumble

Already up two scores, the Giants had a golden opportunity to go up by 17, effectively putting the game away. But then Eli did Eli things.

(Photo: USA Today)

(Photo: USA Today)

Facing 3rd and 2 at the Falcons’ 8-yard line, Manning dropped back to pass. He couldn’t find a receiver, so he took off with the ball. Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann tackled Manning, and the ball came loose, recovered by the Falcons.

The worst part of this play is Preston Parker was wide open in the end zone, and it would have been an easy catch, even for him. But Manning somehow didn’t see him and doomed the Giants once again with a bad decision.

False Start

In the game’s final minutes, the Giants faced 3rd and 7, looking to continue the drive and perhaps score again, but at the very least kill some clock. But Manning somehow didn’t get the play off in time and was slapped with a delay of game penalty, making it 3rd and 12. A short pass to Geremy Davis was incomplete and the Giants had to punt.

Getting a delay of game at home is unacceptable. Getting one at home in that situation is even worse. A 12-year NFL veteran needs to know better. Manning’s little mental mistakes through two games have cost this team dearly.

Julio Jones

Let’s just get this out there. Julio Jones is really freaking good.

Jones dominated the Giants secondary to the tune of 13 catches for 135 yards on 15 targets. He also came close to scoring a touchdown, but it was ruled he was down at the one-yard line.

The best catch of the day from Jones came when the Falcons started at their own two-yard line after a great punt from Brad Wing. Matt Ryan avoided pressure, but had to heave up the pass to ensure he wasn’t sacked for a safety. It was a pass that would have been intercepted on any other play, but Jones made an incredible grab to haul it in for a gain of 18. Talk about a huge turnaround.

The Running Game is Still a Committee

The merry-go-round that is the Giants’ running back corps continued on Sunday, as these guys refuse to separate themselves from one another.

Andre Williams was the most impressive running back on Sunday, totaling 43 yards on six carries (7.0 YPC). Shane Vereen worked on passing-downs but also received some early-down work, managing 19 yards on six carries (3.2 YPC). Rashad Jennings led the pack in terms of carries (nine), but totaled an abysmal 12 yards with them (1.2 YPC).

None of these running backs can find a rhythm because none of them have emerged as a go-to guy.

Game Balls & The Goat

Offensive Game Ball: Wide receiver Odell Beckham

Beckham was a bright spot for the Giants on Sunday, as he torched the Falcons defense for seven catches, 146 yards and a touchdown. He did most of his damage in the first half before the Falcons made adjustments and covered him pretty tightly in the second. It’s a strategy many teams will employ, because with Victor Cruz sidelined, Beckham is the only receiver who has proven he can make plays on a consistent basis.

Defensive Game Ball: Defensive end Robert Ayers

Ayers may have only had three tackles on Sunday, but he also had a sack, two tackles for loss and two passes defended. The former first-round bust of the Broncos has really stepped up for the Giants when they’ve needed him most, and he’s done a swell job filling in for Jason Pierre-Paul. They’ll need more performances like this from Ayers if the Giants defense wants to contend this season.

The Goat: Wide receiver Preston Parker

Like last week, this could have gone to a number of players but Parker’s role on this team is by far the most baffling to me. He dropped multiple passes in this game, including on the Giants’ last ditch drive. The pass was a little low, but definitely catchable, and Parker simply dropped a fourth down pass that would have kept the Giants’ hopes alive. He simply has no business being used so heavily. The decision to keep him over James Jones gets more regrettable by the day.

(Oh, and Rueben Randle, don’t think I didn’t notice your pitiful one catch for five yards performance, too.)

The Giants will have to regroup, as they face a quick turnaround when the Washington Redskins come to town for Thursday Night Football.

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