By Paul Dottino
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How many different ways can a team fritter away chances to win a game?
The Giants (3-7) may have an answer to that question by season’s end. The losing streak stands at five following Sunday’s 16-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium.
There were Eli Manning’s five interceptions, of which he only needs to take part of the blame. The offensive line failed to open rushing lanes and allowed the quarterback to be harassed throughout the day. The receivers had a few drops. And, of course, the lack of offensive execution prompted a debate as to some of the play selections.
In spite of a plethora of mistakes, the Giants forced a punt and took over at their own 15 with 1:09 to play and the result of the game still in doubt. But a failed four-down series – which included two long incompletions – ended their hopes.
Offense-Odell Beckham. What else can you say about the acrobatic 37-yard grab he made along the right sideline that gave the Giants a first-and-goal at the Niners 4? CB Perrish Cox still must be shaking his head at how Beckham got so high and grabbed the ball before his butt landed inbounds with 5:04 left in the game. Beckham finished with six grabs for 93 yards.
Defense-LB Jameel McClain. He made two stopped two runs on a series that forced the Niners to punt with 1:22 left in the game and allowed the Giants a final possession. He finished the game with 14 tackles, including 11 solos.
Special teams-LB Mark Herzlich. He recovered what was ruled a muff by up-man Bubba Vetrone during the Giants’ onside kick with 8:18 left in the third and the Giants down, 16-10. But the offense failed to convert, thanks to Eric Reid’s third-down interception on the Giants first series.
Offense-TE Larry Donnell. He caught what would have been the tying TD pass in the left corner of the end zone with 4:45 to play, but had the ball pop free when he landed on his shoulder. (Extra point would have made it 17-16.) But we won’t excuse the offensive line, which gave up way too many pressures (including seven quarterback hits and two sacks), so they can run some laps, too.
Defense-S Quintin Demps. He got burned overplaying a short crossing pass to Michael Crabtree, who then bolted straight upfield to where the safety should have been. The result was a 48-yard TD that made it 16-7 with 11:38 left in the third quarter.
Special teams-None. For the second straight week, there was nothing worth taking issue with here.
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