Broncs Beat Down Blue

DENVER – Why bother? Why bother to leave their families behind on Thanksgiving, make the trip all the way out here and for a few nationally-televised hours and then go through the motions and gag through a game as if they had a wishbone stuck in their throat?

The Giants wanted to believe that they shed their losing ways after they snapped a four-game skid with last week's overtime victory over the Falcons. Instead, they once again showed they aren't any good. They allowed a struggling Broncos team that came in with its own four-game losing streak to dominate from the very start, at times toying with the rag-tag Giants.

Calling the Giants (6-5) mediocre is an insult to the truly average. They excelled at nothing and struggled with almost everything in an embarrassing 26-6 loss to the Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High.

"We played very poorly tonight,'' a soft-spoken and tired-looking Tom Coughlin said. "There is no excuse for it, no short week, none of that stuff.

"It's very disappointing to me to stand here in front of you and talk about this game because we didn't play well, I don't have a lot of good things to say.''

The less said the better about this football atrocity. On offense, the Giants were abysmal. On defense, they were ineffective. Then add in what seems to be a lack of emotion and you've got a real mess.

"We made it like that … we did it to ourselves,'' said running back Brandon Jacobs, who had just 27 rushing yards. "These games we lost we didn't want it bad enough, especially this one here. They wanted it more, they came out and they outplayed us. Look at the way we played.''

The Giants fifth loss in the last six games was as bad as it gets and leaves them looking like playoff pretenders. It was a costly holiday, as earlier in the day the Packers (7-4) forged further ahead in the Wild Card race and the Cowboys (8-3) strengthened their hold on first place in the NFC East. The Giants return home to face the Cowboy and Eagles the next two Sundays, which could be the death-knell for their season.

"We're not a bad team, we're a good football team, we just played bad today,'' Osi Umenyiora said. "We'll get it right.''

Eli Manning was awful and had no help, not from a slow-footed Jacobs, not from a receiving corps that often could not come close to escaping the clutches of the Denver defensive backs and not from an offensive line that allowed three sacks and appears to no longer have the ability to dominate up front. There were no touchdowns and the fewest points mustered by the Giants in the regular season since Nov. 28, 2004, a 27-6 loss to the Eagles in Manning's second-career start.

The sagging Giants defense wasn't dreadful but again failed to deliver when called upon. The Giants were within 16-6 late in the third quarter but the Broncos then marched 64 yards and broke things open when Kyle Orton hit a ridiculously wide-open Brandon Stokley on a 17-yard touchdown pass.

By halftime, it was 16-0 – the first scoreless first half for the Giants since 2004. The Giants were out-gained 213-38 and looked as if they were groggy with jet-lag or having trouble with the altitude or simply incapable of competing. A lost fumble by DJ Ware – he no longer wants to go by the first name of Danny – led to a Knowshon Moreno scoring run to make it 13-0 and it never got any better.

The Giants had a season-low 57 rushing yards and allowed 138 on the ground to the Broncos. Kyle Orton, playing despite a sprained ankle, was barely touched as he out-played Manning.

"For whatever reason we didn't have any tempo, we didn't make any plays … there was no production, obviously,'' Coughlin said.

Is this a time of crisis?

"No, I'm not worried,'' Manning said. "We know we can play better and we just got to do it.''

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