The New York Giants' 49-24 loss on Monday Night Football to the New Orleans Saints was the team's third straight, putting the Giants annual second-half of the season collapse into full throttle. The Giants have gone from 6-2 and looking like NFC East champions to 6-5 on the outside of the playoffs looking in with little reason to believe they can get things turned around.
Let's look at the good, bad and ugly from Monday night's game from the Giants perspective.
The play of Eli Manning. He passed for 406 yards (33-of-47) with two touchdowns and one interception. He completed a franchise record 19 straight passes in the second half. He is playing the best football of his career, and he won't get any credit because the team is crumbling around him.
The work of wide receiver Victor Cruz, who caught nine passes for 17 yards and two touchdowns. He also showed maturity by skipping his Salsa dance touchdown celebration twice in the fourth quarter with the Giants trailing badly.
The hustle of Jason Pierre-Paul. He stopped a fake field goal with pure hustle, and played to the whistle on every snap. Sadly, the same can't be said for many of his teammates.
On special teams the Giants had a fumbled punt by Aaron Ross. They also had a failed fake punt when punter Steve Weatherford took off on his own, something that drew the wrath of coach Tom Coughlin.
Brandon Jacobs did a good thing in the third quarter running for an eight-yard touchdown, then did a stupid thing with his chicken-wing celebration despite the fact that the Giants were still behind, 21-10. Ridiculous, and incredibly selfish.
The Giants defense. Plain and simple, there really wasn't any. New Orleans totaled 577 yards (372 passing, 25 running) and had five touchdown drives ranging between 73 and 88 yards. Drew Brees toyed with the Giants.
New York could not stop the run. They could not cover the pass. They could not put any pressure on Brees. They couldn't even get lined up correctly much of the time.