By Paul Dottino
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The Giants dropped the ball — literally — on a chance to jump back into the middle of the pack.

Nearly everything broke down on offense, with an unofficial eight dropped passes in the 40-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The defense, which did its best to keep the game within reach (16-3 at the half), missed several turnover opportunities and eventually wore down under the assault.

So the Giants have lose three straight games to bridge their bye week and must prepare for a road game in Seattle.

Maybe worse, they likely will be without cornerback Prince Amukamara for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn bicep. He’s played about as well as anybody on the defense this year but joins fellow corners Walter Thurmond and Trumaine McBride on the sideline.

Left guard Westin Richburg injured his left ankle. X-rays were negative but the team should know more today.

Let’s get to the review:

GAME BALLS

Offense-WRs Odell Beckham and Corey Washington. The rookies gave you a glimpse of they hope is a productive future. Beckham registered his first career 100-yard game (156 on eight catches, including a long of 59). Washington, who didn’t get into the game until it was long out of reach in the fourth quarter, made a nice stab while fighting off cornerback Josh Gordy in the end zone for a 1-yard TD grab — his first as a pro.

Defense-DE Robert Ayers and LB Jacquian Williams. It’s true. There were many breakdowns on defense on this night, mostly in the second half, but it’s impossible to ignore Williams’ career-high 17 tackles. He also knocked down a pass and added a stop on special teams. And quarterback Andrew Luck has to be very sore today, courtesy of Ayers and his seven — that’s right — seven quarterback hits. Ayers finished with three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. It’s not often a defensive end can pound on a passer that many times and not come out with something positive for his effort — so he has to get a game ball.

Special teams-Steve Weatherford. He hit one or two punts that could have been higher, but a 44.1 gross with a 39.4 net will work on most weeks.

GASSERS

Offense-Preston Parker. He had three drops in the first half and finished the game with one catch for seven yards on six targets. He had two drops on a drive that saw the Giants settle for a 38-yard field goal to make it 10-3 midway into the second quarter.

Defense-Antrel Rolle. This is unfair because the unit suffered too many breakdowns in the second half to hang this on one person. But Rolle, a team co-captain, has a tremendous amount of pride and we know he’s still upset at himself for not making a play while the game was still in the balance. With 1:32 left in the first half, Luck missed on a deep ball over the middle to Reggie Wayne — and the ball slipped through Rolle’s hands. Three plays later, the Colts kicked a field goal to make it 16-3.

Special teams-None. They played well enough to say that this was not a place any blame.

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