New York Suffers Giant Meltdown at MetLife

It’s a good thing the “Dream Team” down the Turnpike has turned into the “Nightmare” because at 3-2 the Giants are sure to look back at Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks with a whole lot of regret. New York’s three-game win streak came to an end at MetLife Stadium with a 36-25 loss to Seattle. And although the three wins were against the Rams, Eagles, and Cardinals (who have a combined record of 2-12) the Giants were sitting atop the NFC East until they fell apart once again in the fourth quarter. Here’s why they lost:Brandon Jacobs was out, but Ahmad Bradshaw is a No. 1 back and he should have been able to handle the load against a team that had given up 97 points in four games. Instead, Bradshaw rushed for only 58 yards on 17 carries. His backup Sunday, D.J. Ware, rushed four times for three yards. Eli Manning (five yards) was the team’s second leading rusher on the day. Manning threw three interceptions, but to be fair, only one can be considered a really bad throw. Victor Cruz slipped on one and was unable to make what should have been a catch close to the goal line late in the game, resulting instead in a Seattle touchdown, and then the last pick came on a tipped ball with under 1:00 to go and the Giants down by 11. Manning threw for 420 yards, forced into far too many passing situations because New York couldn’t run the ball. He got off to a strong start, connecting with tight end Jake Ballard twice on the opening drive (one for a 12-yard touchdown) and Cruz made a couple nice catches in the fourth quarter, including a 68-yard TD catch that gave the Giants their first lead of the game. Cruz had eight catches for 161 yards, but he had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter that led to a field goal, and when he slipped and couldn’t come up with the catch inside the red zone late in the game, Brandon Browner ran it back 94 yards for the score that essentially ended the game. Cruz is a nice receiver, but he’s a bit inconsistent and at this point he’s more of a No. 3, with Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham (nine combined receptions on Sunday) the team’s top receivers. The defense looked good at times, especially late in the second quarter when Aaron Ross picked off a pass from Tarvaris Jackson leading to a New York touchdown right before halftime. But the Giants made Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst look way too good at various points in the game, and although the Seahawks didn’t really hurt the Giants on the ground (145 yards rushing), you can’t give up the points the Giants did in the fourth quarter (especially the TD with 2:37 left that gave Seattle a lead they would not give up) against an offense that came in averaging under 15 points a game. Seattle coughed it up twice inside the red zone in the first half, but the Giants couldn’t capitalize.

Another fourth quarter meltdown? I think so. It wasn’t as bad as the loss to the Eagles last December, but considering the opponent, this one hurt. The Giants gave up 20 points in the final quarter. They stumbled on their last two drives. And watching Browner go in for the score sure did remind me of DeSean Jackson taking over the Meadowlands in that game last year.

Yahoo! Sports (statistics and play by play)

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