Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 12/17/12

One week after routing the Saints, the Giants were given a taste of their own medicine. Big Blue was blown out by the Falcons on Sunday, 34-0, the team's first shutout loss since 1996.

To defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, the defeat goes far beyond the box score.

"That's embarrassing not just to us," Kiwanuka said, via Newsday, "but to anybody who's ever worn a Giant decal on their hat or shirt or anything like that."

Head coach Tom Coughlin echoed those thoughts, calling the outcome "devastating."

And it was.

At 8-6, the Giants are now muddled in a three-way tie for first in the NFC East. Technically, they've been overtaken by the white-hot Redskins, and are another loss away from blowing a wildcard spot to the surging Cowboys.

While they still control their own destroy over the final two weeks -- win and they're in -- New York's path to the postseason isn't going to be easy.

In Week 16, they'll hit the road to take on a tough Ravens squad, one that is desperately vying for their own positioning. In the regular season finale, the Giants play host to the hapless Eagles, who'd like nothing more than to spoil their rivals' hopes a la 2010.

No stranger to high stakes, quarterback Eli Manning knows it's put up or shut up time.

"[Our fate is] in our hands in the fact that we have two games left and we have to win those two games," Manning said. "Whatever else happens after that, we don't know and can't control, but we can control these next two games. We know we need to win these two."

The playoffs, for all intents and purposes, have begun for the Giants.

"Next Sunday can't get here fast enough," Justin Tuck said. "What's the girl in 'The Wizard of Oz' and Toto? Dorothy? I wish I had some red shoes and I can wish myself right to next Sunday, because it can't get here quick enough."

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