Originally written December 24, 2012 on The Other Paper:
Eli Manning might want to change his nickname from "Easy" to "Woozy" after the consecutive beatdowns the New York Giants quarterback has gone through over the past two weeks. Last Sunday's 34-0 blowout by the Atlanta Falcons was compounded by yesterday's ugly 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens which left the Giants signal caller looking for more than an "aw, shucks" to describe the futility. "It's one thing to lose, it's one thing to be in there and something happens at the end of the game," said a  dejected Manning after the game.  "But to not give yourself a chance , to get down early and gain no momentum, get no spark to get us going , and just consistently not make the plays that are there and not execute to our ability, can be confusing." Manning, who finished the Ravens game going 14-of-28 for 150 yards with a meaningless TD pass in the closing minutes, stated the obvious after the debacle. "We haven't played the style of football that we needed to get into the playoffs, to win the division," said Manning.  "And when you're not playing your best, teams come out and embarrass you. "It's disappointing." He was almost as understated about the Giants' pride as he was about the Ravens bruising defense. "We knew we had to play our best football at the end of the season to get into the playoffs," Manning said.  "And we haven't done that over these last few weeks." "They [the Ravens] did a good job getting some pressure," Manning admitted.  'I had to move around, try to buy some time and give the guys a chance to get open downfield, and (the Ravens) had good coverages, good calls and better play than we did." Some pressure?  It looked like Manning had a crow in his face all day. After being outscored 67-14 in the last two games, the Giants playoff chances are smaller than the Giants pass rush but Manning is still counting on some kind of Christmas miracle. "The confidence doesn't waver from game to game," he said.  "You always feel confident going into a game. "It wasn't pretty out there.  It wasn't a matter of preparation or anything.  It's just a matter of execution and playing at a high level and everybody doing their part.  That didn't happen today." The Giants are not officially out of the playoff race but, after the way the team is closing out the season, is there any reason to think they deserve to make it. "It's shocking," is the best Manning could come up with.
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