Eli and Giants Fading: The Giants lost 26-10 last night to the Jaguars in Jacksonville in a game that was not as close as the final score. The Giants were lucky to be trailing only 10-3 at halftime as the Jaguars out-gained the Giants in the first half 215 net yards of offense to a measly 73 yards. The Giants finished the game with an embarrassing 25 yards rushing. QB Eli Manning was dreadful and his supporting caste was not much better. Blocks were missed, receivers dropped passes. The play-calling was questionable. The Jaguars held the ball over 40 minutes of the game and ran 75 offensive plays. The Giants, on the other hand, had the ball less than 20 minutes and only ran 56 plays. The Giants only picked up 13 first downs all game – a season low (and two of those came as the result of penalties). The Giants’ defense ended up surrendering 414 yards of offense, including 165 rushing yards. It was a pathetic all-round performance.

The Giants have fallen to 6-4, tied for first place in the NFC East with the surging Dallas Cowboys. The two teams are heading in opposite directions.

“There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how bad it was today and how we played,” OC Shaun O’Hara said. “As professionals, it’s inexcusable. It can’t happen. We should all turn our paychecks back in.”

“It was a pretty pitiful performance all the way around,” said HB Tiki Barber, who rushed for only 27 yards on 10 carries. “We made a lot of mistakes. It’s unacceptable. We didn’t execute. I’m shocked that our running game could be this unproductive. It’s the first time in a long time we’ve been a non-factor. That’s how I felt today. Like a non-factor. We didn’t run the ball. We didn’t even attempt to run the ball.”

“The last three halves in a row we haven’t played the way we’re capable of playing,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “There are an awful lot of plays being left out on the field in my opinion. We made some plays. But the number of plays that are being left out there vs. the plays we’re making – we’re just not making any plays. We just didn’t play well. There is no excuse for it. We expected to come in and play well. We were leading the division and we had a lot at stake and we didn’t play well. So we need to go back to work.”

Manning (19-of-41 for 230 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions) played his second terrible game in a row. He looked gun-shy, made questionable decisions, and was inaccurate. “I didn’t play well,” Manning admitted. “I’ve just got to start playing better football.”

“He’s frustrated,” said Coughlin of Manning. “He’s trying to make something happen, and he’s looking for someone to help him make something happen…With no run game, we threw the ball maybe more than we should have. And we didn’t have the results.”

The tone for the offense’s ineptitude was set on their first possession of the game. After the Jaguars began the game in terrible field position and were forced to punt from their own 1-yard line, the Giants’ offense only picked up two yards in three plays and New York settled for a 40-yard field goal. The Jaguars, on their second possession, then drove 52 yards in eight plays to set up their own successful 39-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3 in the first quarter.

The Giants went three-and-out on their second possession as HB Brandon Jacobs was stuffed for a 1-yard loss on 3rd-and-1. Jacksonville then picked up two first downs, but was forced to punt. The Giants went three-and-out again on their third possession. On the Jaguars’ ensuing drive, Jacksonville marched 57 yards in eight plays to take a 10-3 lead as HB Fred Taylor scored from 10-yards out right up the gut of the Giants’ defense.

The Giants went three-and-out on their next possession. Four possessions – NOT ONE SINGLE FIRST DOWN! New York finally picked up one first down on their fifth “drive,” but Manning then threw the ball right at a Jaguars’ defender and was picked off. The intended target on the play – WR Plaxico Burress (who also had a very costly drop of a deep strike) – failed to tackle the defender and the Jaguars picked up another 24 yards. Jacksonville should have taken a 17-3 lead at this point as Fred Taylor was stripped of the football as he was about to score after a short pass. The Giants recovered the fumble in the end zone. The Giants picked up their second first down on the first half on their last possession. At halftime, the Jaguars led 10-3.

In the third quarter, New York went three-and-out again on their first possession. The Jaguars then moved 41 yards in eight plays to set up a 24-yard field goal. Jaguars 13 – Giants 3. When the Giants got the ball back, New York was extremely fortunate that an illegal use of the hands penalty was called on the Jaguars on a play where Manning fumbled the ball away. The defensive end picked up the loose ball and scored from 18 yards out, but the play was nullified due to the penalty. The drive continued and the Giants cut the lead to 13-10 as Manning found Burress for a 25-yard touchdown on a quick pass and some nifty after-the-catching running.

The Jaguars responded with a 12-play, 59-yard drive that ended with another short field-goal. Jacksonville now led 16-10. Three-and-out again for the Giants. Then the Jaguars took charge of the game for good as QB David Garrard found WR Matt Jones for a 49-yard gain on 3rd-and-7. On the very next play, HB Maurice Jones-Drew scored from three yards out as the Jaguars now were ahead 23-10 early in the fourth quarter.

Manning was intercepted for the second time on the ensuing possession (again, throwing right at a Jaguars’ defender) and Jacksonville then picked up a couple of first downs and then kicked a 48-yard field goal to take a 26-10 lead with less than six minutes to go in the game. The Giants successfully moved the football from their 40-yard line to the Jacksonville 8 on the ensuing series, but WR Tim Carter fumbled the ball and the Jaguars recovered. The Giants got inside the 20-yard line again near the two minute mark, but could not score.

Injury Report: DT Barry Cofield appeared to have injured his right leg or groin early in the game against the Jaguars and was limited for much of the rest of the night.

OG Chris Snee injured his left knee in the game. No word on the severity of the injury.

Post-Game Notes: This was the first time the Giants have lost back-to-back games since 2004.

The 25 yards rushing by the Giants was the lowest ever for a Tom Coughlin-coached team. The last time the Giants were held to that low a figure was 2003.

The Giants did not record a sack in the game.

Inactive for the Giants were LT Luke Petitgout (fractured fibula), WR Sinorice Moss (quad), DE Michael Strahan (foot), DE Osi Umenyiora (hip flexor), CB Sam Madison (hamstring), LB Brandon Short (quad), LB Tyson Smith, and QB Tim Hasselbeck (third quarterback).