Just to be clear, I'm not sure the New York Giants had a chance to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday even if they'd eliminated those six turnovers. But by constantly giving the ball away -- through the air and on the ground -- the Giants found themselves on the wrong end of a blowout in a 45-17 loss.
The Giants managed to overcome two early mistakes and tie the game at 14. But a fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw early in the third quarter ruled out any real hope of a comeback. I suppose the game was still in doubt when Brandon Jacobs contributed a fumble of his own later in the quarter, but Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was probably playing too brilliantly to allow the Giants back in the game.
New Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has looked like a savant at times this season, but over the past four and a half quarters, he's taken a major step back. The Giants' defense was torched by Rodgers for more than 404 yards and four touchdowns. Giants safety Antrel Rolle got caught napping on an 80-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson in the first quarter. Rodgers killed the Giants with the play-action game despite the fact the Packers weren't running the ball with much success.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning wasn't on the same page with his receivers for much of the game and he ended up with four interceptions. He now has 24 on the season to go along with his 30 touchdowns. After a couple of the interceptions, Manning could be seen trying to explain to receivers where they'd gone wrong. But honestly, the whole offense was a mess.
The Giants have had a lot of success in the second half of the season running the ball with Jacobs and Bradshaw, but those backs combined for only 78 yards against the Packers. And on Jacobs' longest carry of the game, he ended up being stripped from behind.
Now, coach Tom Coughlin's job security will be up for debate again. Giants co-owner John Mara has dismissed reports Coughlin's job could be in jeopardy, but he hasn't come out and guaranteed the man a job next season. Coughlin's signed through 2011, and I still think he'll be back one more season even if the Giants miss the playoffs.
But for now, Coughlin is embarrassed by the way his team is playing on both sides of the ball. In 2008, the Giants had a record-low 13 turnovers. They have 41 heading into the final week of the season.
"It's a very, very bad part of our team that we've demonstrated over and over this year," said Coughlin of the turnovers. "We thought we had it under control. Obviously, we didn't have it under control tonight."
But sometimes you have to tip your cap to an opposing player who takes his game to an otherwordly level. Rodgers, who sat out last week's game with a concussion, was unstoppable in Sunday's game. He made Fewell's defense look slow for much of the evening. And even though defensive end Justin Tuck applied plenty of pressure, Rodgers simply stepped up in the pocket and fired strikes. Outside of what Michael Vick did to the Redskins earlier this season, I don't think I've seen a quarterback play a better all-around game.
The Giants still have a shot at the playoffs, but now they need these same Packers to lose next Sunday to the Bears. After watching Rodgers and his receivers, I don't like the Giants' odds.