If you are looking for a place to find optimism concerning the New York Giants, you won't find it here. After an embarrassing 17-10 loss to the 3-6 Philadelphia Eagles, there wasn't much good to find.
Despite a good showing by the defense, it was an 18-play, 8:51 80-yard touchdown drive that put the Eagles ahead for good. They let Vince Young convert six third downs, including the go-ahead eight-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-goal.
I don't care how good they played all game long, letting Young do that to you is inexplicable.
But as bad as that was, the offense had its worse game of the season by far. They gained only 278 yards, were 5-for-14 on third down conversions and only scored one touchdown on a defense ranked 19th in points per game.
Oh, and wouldn't you know it, the Eagles' first touchdown was set up on a DeSean Jackson punt return that gave the Eagles the ball on the 14-yard line.
So as you can see, there wasn't much good about tonight's loss, so the five things we learned will reflect that.
I'm done with this offensive line. They are among the worst in the NFL, which is pathetic considering they have been one of the best units in football the past several years.
The Giants have gone from being one of the best rushing teams in the NFL to one of the worst in just one season. They couldn't get anything going against a defense that has been giving up 120 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry.
They had 29 rushing yards on 17 carries. That is absolutely disgusting
The Eagles were all over them in the first half rushing the passer as well. Eli never had time to get a throw off and it resulted in the Giants having just one first down in the first half—until their two-minute offense was able to get a field goal at the end.
Someone needs to tear into the offensive line and get them motivated; they don't have the mean streak they had in the past.
Under Tom Coughlin, the Giants are 8-20 at home after they enter the second half of the season. Everyone talks about it, the coaching staff knows about it, but all efforts are futile to get the Giants to play well at home when the weather turns cold.
The Giants have only had a winning record at home in the second half one time, and that was their only NFC East title in 2005.
Amazingly, they had a stretch of eight straight losses at home in the second half between 2006 and 2007. No one talks about that because they made the playoffs both years and won the Super Bowl in 2007.
Coughlin's job is going to come under scrutiny very quickly unless he rights the ship.
Sure, they silenced some doubters with their win at New England, but they have done more to bring about those doubts than they have done to quiet them.
The win against Buffalo is looking less and less impressive.
It is hard for me to say this, and you will obviously never hear the defense admit to this, but it looked to me like they sent the offense a message by completely giving up on the Eagles' last drive.
The Giants were driving to tie the game when a Jason Babin forced fumble on Eli Manning effectively ended the game with 1:18 seconds and two timeouts.
LeSean McCoy hit the Giants for seven on his first carry, then he proceeded to take an outside handoff 60 yards to the Giants' 1-yard line. The defense clearly wanted nothing to do with the play.
The Giants had one timeout and could have possibly gotten the ball back with little time left, but it would have been a small chance for them to score.
At first glance, the defense was not thrilled with the offensive performance. Normally, holding the Eagles to 17 points would result in victory; such was not the case tonight.
The defense played a good game and were completely let down by their offense in every way.
Judging by the Giants' gutless performance on offense tonight, I feel pretty safe in predicting the Cowboys will win the NFC East. Just last week I was confident the Giants could hold them off, but not anymore.
The Giants are in a downward spiral while the Cowboys are playing their best football of late. Not to mention the next two weeks of the schedule.
That's a great question, actually, considering the Giants play better when the crowd in the stands is cheering against them. Still, the Saints are virtually unbeatable at home, and the Packers have proven to be unbeatable in 2011.
I will still cheer for the Giants like hell, but in the back of my mind I can't help but think the Giants will be 6-6 and the Cowboys will be 8-4 when the Giants travel to Dallas for the first big matchup of NFC East rivals.
Two games is hard to make up in four weeks time, but they may have caught a break in terms of the wild-card race—Jay Cutler is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a thumb injury.
Two weeks ago it looked like there was no way two NFC East teams could make the playoffs—amazing how much can change during the NFL season.
That said, the Giants have to actually win games in the second half, and it would be nice to do that in front of the home crowd for once.