The Giants said no one should panic when their defense got strafed by Drew Brees and the Saints two weeks ago. They said no one should panic when Eli Manning threw three interceptions in a home loss to the Cardinals last week. They very well might say that there's no reason to panic after today's humiliating 40-17 loss to the Eagles, but is anyone really going to believe them?
They shouldn't. This is a very sick football team right now with whatever strain of virus they've contracted infecting every unit on the team. The defense gave up big plays on the ground and in the air all day long to an offense that could barely generate positive yardage in consecutive losses to the bottom-feeding Raiders and Redskins. Manning threw two more interceptions, tossed up ugly ducklings on many of his other passes and brought back the petulant child body language of past seasons. Even the special teams were putrid in this abomination of a performance.
This is a team in need of wholesale changes at a point in the season where that simply isn't an option. The defense was more aggressive today, but all that accomplished was exposing the secondary for an undermanned, undertalented group incapable of competing at a high level. That may be because of the injuries to Kenny Phillips and Aaron Ross, but it's starting to feel like the loss of Steve Spagnuolo was underestimated by everyone involved with Big Blue.
Manning is going to have to answer some questions about whether his foot is still bothering him, and it might behoove him to say that it is. True or not, it would at least absolve him of the awful decisions he's made over the last three games and redirect some of the feeling that he's regressing as a quarterback before our eyes. The other possibility is that the Giants were wrong to mock the idea that they might actually need experienced and talented offensive players around Manning, something that would make these three losses a pretty fair price to pay for so much arrogance.
Taken as a whole, it seems that the Giants believed their own hype after winning five games against teams of dubious quality. Their effort, if you can call it that, on Sunday was never particularly evident and the necessary fight never materialized for a team with designs on actually winning a football game.
That doesn't really jive with the image that Tom Coughlin's tried to create over his years at the helm, so it is up to him to fix this mess and fix it quickly. Best of luck, Coach, because it seems like you're going to need as much as you can get.