Easiest report card of the year coming up here. Nobody did anything real well in that 26-6 loss to Denver, save for the two kickers Lawrence Tynes and Jeff Feagles.
Here are the grades.
QUARTERBACK: Eli Manning was 24 of 40 for 230 yards and two turnovers. He failed to engineer a touchdown drive at all, and did not lead his team to a score until the second half for the first time since 2006. One of his biggest problems might have been his reverting to the slow tempo that cost his team rhythm and opportunities during the losing streak. He didn't have much time back there, but when he did he often missed his receivers. GRADE: D.
RUNNING BACKS: Brandon Jacobs had little running room and carried just 11 timds for 27 yards. DJ Ware had a fumble, and the 57 total yards was the ground game's lowest production in three years. Jacobs also looked like the hesitant running back of the early season that couldn't make up his mind about which hole he wanted to go through. Things didn't get much better on the blocking game, as several blitz pickups were missed. GRADE: F.
RECEIVERS: Rookie Hakeem Nicks had a big play of 36 yards, and Mario Manningham made a nice sideline catch for a first down. Otherwise, nothing much here as nobody was able to get separation. A defensive scheme that occasionally dropped eight into coverage had them blanketed the whole game, and nobody made any adjustments to their routes to throw off the DBs. Kevin Boss was almost non-existant (thrown to twice) just a week after he served as a prime Red Zone target. GRADE: D.
OFFENSIVE LINE: Horrible. Just horrible. Even if Jacobs had barreled straight ahead on his runs, there was no hint of a hole to run through. The pass protection was awful as Manning was under attack much of the game. The heck of it was, the Denver defensive front is a light, finesse group that absolutely manhandled a unit that at one time prided itself on its physicality. David Diehl at left tackle was no match for Elvis Dumervil, who beat him for two sacks to extend his league-leading total to 14. Shaun O'Hara was pushed into the backfield constantly by the defensive tackles. Rookie Will Beatty went in as a blocking tight end after Darcy Johnson was injured and did little to speak of. The 57 yards rushing says it all. GRADE: F.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Nothing there, either. Mathias Kiwanuka was cut off at the edge by the quick zone blockers of the Broncos' front. Kyle Orton had all the time in the world to pick out his receivers. And the middle of the front was non-existant, as Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield, Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard neither stopped the run with any great efficiency or got any push up the middle to force Orton out of the pocket. Osi Umenyiora only noticeable contribution came on the sidelines as he yelled at Chase Blackburn. Otherwise, zero tackles, zero pressures, zero hits for him. Justin Tuck, with six tackles, a batted pass, and a tackle for a loss, looked like he was trying, but there is only so much he can do with one arm in a harness. GRADE: F.
LINEBACKERS: That monster game Michael Boley had against Atlanta? This one looked nothing like it. Tight end Tony Scheffler took him apart in coverage, and he failed to be a factor on the pass rush. Chase Blackburn missed some tackles, but still finished with eight, including one for a loss. Danny Clark was active and came up with the team's only sack. But the Broncos 138 ground yards and total control of the clock indicated that whatever contributions Clark and Blackburn made, they were way too few. GRADE: D.
SECONDARY: Mistakes, miscommunications, plain bad play all killed this unit. The safeties, whether it's Michael Johnson, Aaron Rouse, C.C. Brown, or Aaron Ross, might as well have stayed on the sidelines because they certainly weren't covering anybody. How else does one explain Brandon Stokley running free down the middle of the field for a 17-yard touchdown catch when the Giants were theoretically still in the game? Terrell Thomas had his team-high fourth interception of the year, but Corey Webster was victimized by two one-handed grabs by Brandon Marshall. The only reason the Broncos didn't have a 100-yard receiver was because they ran it 40 times. There was simply nothing to fear from this group. GRADE: F.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Lawrence Tynes hit a 52-yard field goal and made the end zone on one of his kickoffs. Jeff Feagles had a 50.2-yard average on five kicks, knocking three inside the 20. Yay! The rest? Meh! The kickoff coverage unit allowed a 42-yard return on that kick into the end zone, and Domenik Hixon was neither here nor there on kickoff and punt returns. GRADE: C.
COACHING: Real bad. Granted, it was a short week. But there should have been more adjustments just the same. The offensive staff had no answers for the Broncos' exotic alignments, and the defensive staff seemed defenseless against the run and befuddled when the pass rush turned to dust. An outright staff failure, starting from Tom Coughlin on down. GRADE: F.
Okay. Your turn.
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