5 Things That Will Ultimately Cost New York Giants a Chance at Super Bowl Repeat
While it will be noted that the Falcons might be as good as their record, New York's woes extend beyond just this game. The defending champs have lost four of their last six games and have lost their division lead.
The 2012 season is slipping away quickly, and here are the reasons why.
Every team has to battle injuries. The next-man-up mantra has sustained numerous teams while enduring key players' physical struggles.
But there is a breaking point, and the Giants have found it.
Their problems didn't step from sheer volume, but an extremely discriminatory injury bug that has only targeted the most talented players.
New York was forced to lineup without top receivers, running backs and pass-rushers. Other times, without key linemen or important cornerbacks .
And the lack of talent on the field has taken its toll.
Too Much Offensive Inconsistency
All of the blame cannot be heaped onto Eli Manning. He did throw two picks against the Falcons and have a three-week stretch where he failed to throw a touchdown pass.
Plus, he just looked terrible in Atlanta as he sailed passes a few feet over his receivers.
But the offense as a whole has struggled. The running game has been sporadic, leaving Manning to power the entire offense. That's not his game.
The Secondary Isn't That Good
The Giants are terrible against the pass. And in case you took a five-year sabbatical from the NFL, I'll inform you that the league is more pass-heavy than it has ever been anything else at any point.
Seriously, three quarterbacks topped 5,000 yards last year.
New York hasn't figured out what to do with that problem when it comes to its secondary. It allows 8.1 yards per attempt, which is the second-worst average in the league.
And Neither Is the Rush Defense
The rushing defense hasn't provided much resistance either.
The unit allows opposing running backs and quarterbacks to gain 4.7 yards every time they tuck the ball. That's terrible.
It's so bad that it's the fourth-worst such average.
Therefore, since the Giants can't stop the run or pass, they have trouble getting off the field and controlling the tempo.
The Division Is Slightly Better
The Giants were able to sneak into the playoffs due to a flaw in the system. Since the NFC East stunk, the playoffs were virtually a certainty.
New York barely finished above .500 at 9-7. Luckily, no one else was able to achieve such a lofty record.
That's a nice schedule for a team that has hit its stride.