Turns out that the overtime win over the Falcons wasn't a sign of better things to come for the Giants. With a shameful performance on the road in Denver on Thursday evening, the Giants fell two games behind the Cowboys in the NFC East, and there's a good chance they'll be a game behind the Eagles by Sunday evening.
The Giants can forget about a division crown. At 6-5, they would not go to the playoffs if the season ended today. Facing a Broncos team that had dropped four straight, the Giants didn't even show up in the first half. The offense put up 38 yards of total offense in the first half and the Broncos took a 16-0 lead.
The Giants are a team without an identity at this point. They can't run the ball with Brandon Jacobs. And even when Danny Ware broke off a nice little run, he was stripped of the ball and the Broncos recovered. The secondary continues to have trouble making plays on the ball, although Brandon Marshall made a couple of incredible one-handed catches. The Broncos' final touchdown to Brandon Stokley came against busted coverage. You couldn't tell whose fault it was because there wasn't a Giants defender within 10 yards of Stokley as he raced toward the end zone.
Defensive end Osi Umenyiora spent quite a bit of energy hollering at his teammates on the sideline. And Tom Coughlin had a bewildered look on his face throughout the evening. The Giants are a very average football team right now. They basically went through the motions on a night when they needed a win to keep pace in the playoff race.
It's hard to believe how far the Giants have fallen since their 5-0 start. They'll have a chance to climb back into the playoff picture against the Cowboys in 10 days, but they have a lot to work on between now and then. They allowed a quarterback with a gimpy ankle, Kyle Orton, to carve them up for 245 yards and a touchdown. And when he finally made a mistake in the second half, the Giants could only respond with a field goal.
It was a meek performance in a big spot. I'm sure someone played well, but I certainly couldn't tell it from watching the highlights. We'll have more on this game in the morning.