By Paul Dottino
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BALTIMORE – How much worse can it get for the Giants? Perhaps the only way would be the door slamming on their now faint postseason hopes.
They don’t have anybody else to blame but themselves after a 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens that has left them needing a combination of four results in Week 17 to get into the playoffs: Giants def. Philadelphia while Dallas (at Washington), Minnesota (vs. Green Bay) and Chicago (at Detroit) each lose. This is what happens when a 6-2 team trips over itself and becomes 8-7 seemingly overnight.
We’ll look at the big picture another time. Here is our game review:
Offense- WR Rueben Randle. No. there should not be any rewards in this category. But Randle made a nice stab of Eli Manning’s pass for a 43-yard gain on a post route after the Ravens had taken a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. In review, Randle’s play was the only carrot (coupled with David Wilson’s ensuing 14-yard TD dash) the offense could have used to jump-start itself. However, it never happened.
Defense-CB Jayron Hosley. The rookie gets applauded for his effort long after the game was decided. In the fourth, RB Bernard Pierce raced 78 yards but a sprinting Hosley tracked him down and knocked him out at the Giants 1. Great effort by a young, impressionable player who refused to give up on the play.
Special teams-P Steve Weatherford. He punted eight times for a strong 52.0-yard average and dropped three kicks inside the 20.
Offense – QB Eli Manning. The offense gained 186 yards on the day – again, all are to blame. But we will go to the trigger man, who was unable to either inspire his teammates or could not make a big play that could draw them out of the quicksand. He was hurried for most of the game (three sacks) and victimized by a handful of dropped passes. He was 14-of-28 for 150 yards and a TD, but 43 of the yards came on a first-quarter bomb to Reuben Randle. Manning’s yardage total was his second-lowest of the season and was his fifth output of less than 200 yards of the year.
Defense-CB Corey Webster. Sure, the defense got throttled for 533 yards, so they all could run sprints after this one. But Webster had a horrible game once the video replay officials overturned his forced fumble on the Ravens’ opening drive. Two plays after the review, WR Torrey Smith beat him for a 6-yard TD on a slant and a 7-0 lead. It was the in Baltimore’s third completion in five targets at Webster on the drive. The Ravens set up their second TD with Smith’s 43-yard catch against Webster, who also was targeted o the Ravens’ third scoring drive (Smith for 11 and Anquan Boldin between Webster and Antrel Rolle for 39). The Ravens’ fourth scoring march started with Smith’s 21-yard catch against Webster and Baltimore took a 24-7 lead into the half.
Do the Giants even deserve their faint playoff chances? Let us know…