Ouch! Giants grades: Three F's and a D

Domenik Hixon catches the ball as Atlanta Falcons Domenik Hixon catches the ball as Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson defends. (Dec. 16, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

OFFENSE

F Shut down, shut out and shut up. A week after putting up 52 points against the Saints, the Giants were blanked by the Falcons. On a positive note: The Giants are averaging 26 points per game over the last two. Eli Manning was off for most of the game, missing targets and being pressured by the Falcons' pass rush. He completed 13 of 25 passes for 161 yards and two interceptions. His 38.9 passer rating was the lowest this year.

 

DEFENSE

D Matt Ryan missed on only five of his 28 passes and threw three TD passes as the Giants' pass rush barely touched him. The defense was handcuffed a bit by short fields off turnovers, but they could not stop the Falcons from converting third downs (they were 9-for-16) and gave up 394 yards.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

F Lawrence Tynes missed a field goal for the third straight week. It was early,

but his pull of the 30-yarder wide left forced the Giants to have to gamble on future fourth downs to get back in the game; 17-0 looks a lot different than 17-3 (or 17-6). Tynes was nearly perfect for most of the season but is now 4-for-his-last-7. The Falcons neutralized David Wilson with long kicks for touchbacks.

 

COACHING

F Tom Coughlin said the decision to go for it on those fourth downs was his. If the team converts them he looks smart. They didn't, so he doesn't. The second one in particular, late in the first half from the 11, would have been an opportunity to at least put points on the board. But having already gone all-in on fourth downs, it was hard to pull the chips back from the pot. A week after Perry Fewell's defensive game plan was to not get sacks against the Saints, the Giants looked like they were sticking with it (even though they weren't). The Giants played from the shotgun on two of the fourth-and-1 attempts and passed on both. The Falcons looked ready for the throws, likely because of the setup.

You also may be interested in: