If you can remember how the regular season went for the New York Giants last season, then you realize how much their 2012-13 regular season run mirrors that of last year's. Going into Week 11 Big Blue gets a much needed bye week coming off a two week stretch of losing two the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Cincinnati Bengals. Just like last season the G Men head into the later half of the season at 6-4, with many issues.
The offense has been ineffective in regards to the standards Eli Manning, and the Coaching staff holds themselves to. We've seen defenses not only stifle, but shut down the passing attack of the Giants since their Week 8 match up against the Dallas Cowboys. This is due to a number of factors, the most important factor being the low level of play from the team's top wide receivers Hakeem Nicks, and Victor Cruz. Nicks has been in the line up, but hasn't been 100% since suffering his knee/foot injuries in the off season. Cruz (8 rec, 93 yards, 0 tds in Nov) on the other hand has cooled down since his sensational Week 7 performance against division foe the Washington Redskins (7 recs, 131 yards, 1 td), which resulted in him catching the game winning 77 yard touchdown. The other issues we see with the passing attack is none of the receivers have been able to create separation on routes, and the defensive backs for opponents have been stifling any one the Giants put on the field.
The rushing attack has cooled down as well which may prove to be the most damaging to the team. Ahmad Bradshaw went on a two week tear compiling over 316 yards on the ground in Weeks 5-6. With his performance level dropping, and lingering health issues along the offensive line it not only has affected his performance but also the team's most important weapon. That people is Eli Manning, who out of everyone has seen a big time slump this November (55.7% comp, 50.9 rating, 340 yards, 0 tds, & 3 ints). This is a complete turn around from Manning's performance in September, and October in which he was one of the clear candidates for MVP. The most damning stat is Manning's inability to score points these past three weeks, in fact Manning's last touchdown was his Week 7 game winning touchdown to Victor Cruz (77 yards). That's 12 quarters without a single passing touchdown for one of the more proven scorers in the NFL.
Now the problems haven't all been on the offensive side for the defending champs. Head coach Tom Coughlin has taken high notice of the defenses low performance especially after their Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. There were many missed tackles in that game, and the defensive line was pushed back too much for his liking resulting in him calling his defense "soft", and "mushy". Now Coughlin has been known to be one of the better motivators in the entire NFL, but that shot at his defense did very little as they were lit up by the Bengals, who scored 31 points.The defensive line, and their stars Jason Pierre Paul, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora have not been getting to the opposing quarter back like we are use to seeing, and the secondary which has always been iffy continues to give up the big play. Against the Bengals we saw Corey Webster, and the rest of that secondary get scorched by Andy Dalton & A.J. Green's passing attack. In fact the Giants secondary leads the NFL in giving up plays of 40 yards, or more.
The Giants will use this much needed bye week to their advantage. Rumors of low stamina, and a tired right arm of Eli Manning make this week off much more important to the G Men. Their struggles haven't been a surprise how ever when it comes to the month of November, as Head Coach Tom Coughlin's record shows it. He is a career 13-21 in November for his 9 year's as the Giants head coach. So that raises the questions, Should we be worried? Or is this just another one of those Giant roller coaster seasons that end with Eli & Co. raising the Lombardi trophy? We'll have to wait and see, but until then your 6-4 New York Giants resume action next Sunday, November 25th against the Green Bay Packers (6-3).