Every time the Giants struggled this year, some member of the team would smile and explain that it was just a matter of time before the Giants flipped a switch and morphed back into last year's title team.
That switch was not flipped on Sunday. A week after getting pasted 34-0 by the Falcons, the Giants were dreadful again in Baltimore and lost control of their own playoff destiny in a 33-14 loss to the Ravens.
Figuring out whether the offense or the defense was worse on Sunday would be the kind of problem that the smartest minds of our country would struggle with for decades. We'll make the case for the defense first.
They allowed Joe Flacco, whose has basically been a rich man's Mark Sanchez this season, to tear them apart from the start of the game all the way through the point that it became garbage time. Flacco was never pressured and he tore the Giants secondary apart as a result of having so much time to throw the ball.
Corey Webster was his most frequent victim and it was another bad day in a season overstuffed with them for a guy who was once the best cornerback on the team. Torrey Smith went over, around and by Webster all day as the Ravens moved down the field pretty much at will.
Ray Rice had 158 total yards, Bernard Pierce ran for 123 yards, the Ravens converted 11-of-17 third downs and Baltimore held the ball for nearly 15 minutes on two second half field goal drives that sucked away what little life remained in the Giants. Perry Fewell has failed to produce a defense with any teeth this season, something the Giants can only survive if their offense is clicking.
Their offense is not clicking. Eli Manning was harried by the pass rush all day -- Ahmad Bradshaw's pass protection was so awful that it is hard to imagine rookie David Wilson could be as bad -- and turned in another dismal day (14-of-28 for 150 yards, one touchdown) when the Giants needed him to be at his very best.
Running plays went nowhere, third downs were left unconverted and the Giants gained just 109 yards outside of a 77-yard scoring drive that made the score 14-7 in the first quarter and represented the last moment it looked like the Giants had a shot in this game. No matter how much the Giants argued otherwise, something went very wrong for this Giants offense around midseason and they were never able to correct the flaws in the second half of the season.
There's still playoff hope for the Giants. They can't win the division, but they can gain a Wild Card by beating the Eagles and getting some help with losses by other teams.
Right now, though, this isn't a team that deserves a playoff spot any more than the Jets. This is a team that looks totally lost in every part of their game.
It's going to take quite a bit of work from Tom Coughlin to get them right by next week. He should start by making it clear that the Giants need to start working harder and stop waiting for some mythical switch to flip into position.