X's and O's: Giants 6, Broncos 26

Here is a look at how the Giants did, position by position, against the Broncos.

QUARTERBACKS

What a difference a week makes. While this game was hardly all the fault of Eli Manning, he did cough up the ball twice and post only a 65.6 QB rating. Not only was Manning picked off among his 16 incompletions, but his late fumble eliminated whatever brief comeback hopes the Giants harbored.

Bottom line: There was plenty of blame to go around for this awful loss, but a fair share of it can be pinned on the signal-caller.

RUNNING BACKS

DJ Ware's big breakout game included four nice runs – and also a key lost fumble and a concussion that ended his evening early. The jury is still out on the man formerly known as Danny. However, unfortunately, it was more of the same for Brandon Jacobs, who was ineffective once again.

Bottom line: It looks like Ahmad Bradshaw's nagging injuries are going to hurt the Giants a lot more than they'd like to admit.

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

Between them, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham caught a dozen passes for 119 yards. But, like everyone else on the offense in Denver, neither was able to get a sniff of the end zone. Hakeem Nicks turned in the biggest play of the night, when he gained 36 yards on a deep ball down the middle.

Bottom line: Of all the awful units in Denver, the WRs actually did a good job of contributing as much as they could. The TEs? Maybe not so much.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Eli Manning was sacked three times and hit on seven other occasions. Not a good night at the office for the front five, especially when you consider that New York couldn't run the ball in any way, shape or form. The Giants OL isn't the first group to be victimized by Denver's Elvis Dumervil; just the latest.

Bottom line: No one can really pinpoint what's different about the offensive line lately, but it's unfortunately clear that something's just not right with these guys.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Justin Tuck played one of his better games of late, chipping in with six tackles, and the Giants actually got something from Chris Canty, who posted two solo stops. No, they didn't stop the game to give Canty the ball because he finally made a play. But you wouldn't have been surprised if they had.

Bottom line: While it was very noble for Osi Umenyiora to try to rally his teammates, how does he go an entire game without even one tackle?

LINEBACKERS

Sans Antonio Pierce, Danny Clark made a huge play when he bust through the line and brought down Kyle Orton for a 10-yard sack. That's the type of inspired play we know Clark is capable of; hopefully we'll see more of it going forward. Chase Blackburn did a good job of making the plays in front of him, but he didn't really make any impact plays; same goes for reigning Defensive Player of the Week Michael Boley.

Bottom line: Does anyone else want to see Bryan Kehl and Clint Sintim play a little?

DEFENSIVE BACKS

It looked like Terrell Thomas's key interception was going to turn this game in the Giants' favor. Well, maybe for a few minutes at least. Thomas played very strongly against the run as well. Michael Johnson's injury thrust poor C.C. Brown back onto the field, where he actually fared pretty well. Aaron Rouse topped the tackle charts with eight total stops, including one for a loss.

Bottom line: Hey, where'd Aaron Ross go?

SPECIAL TEAMS

You can bet plenty that Jeff Feagles and Lawrence Tynes wouldn't have minded had the Giants charter plane left them behind. Both benefited nicely from the thin air. Tynes drilled both of his FGs, including a 52-yarder, and Feagles averaged more than 50 yards on five punts.

Bottom line: If the Giants were winning they could live with 10 yards a punt return and 20 on kickoffs from Domenik Hixon. But they're not…

COACHING

No one knows exactly how – or when – this season got away from the Giants, but one thing is certain: the coaching staff seems entirely helpless to stop the downward spiral at this point. There was no offensive creativity and the defense continued making the same mistakes from the same positions. We know that the players are the ones that have to play, but shouldn't the coaches be able to help them out even a little bit?

Bottom line: The season all but officially ends if Tom Coughlin and Co. can't find a way to beat Dallas Sunday.

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