It was like this once, back in the darkest days of John Mara’s football Giants life, when the defense would shout across to the offense, “Just hold ’em.”
Deja Blah all over again.
Eli Manning & Co., 24-7 losers to the Seahawks have the look of an overweight hiker laboring to trudge uphill carrying a 20-pound backpack wearing 20-pound cleats.
Three yards and a cloud of bust.
It is a sorry sight to behold.
So much for Ben McAdoo relinquishing the play-calling.
Manning cannot make chicken salad out of this farce, not now, maybe not ever.
They are the anti-Yankees. Instead of a city and a stadium all rising as one behind a magical team, here are the New York Football Giants, battered and bloodied by the football gods, no one feeling sorry for them, no one to blame but themselves anyway, all falling again.
You know who Thumbs Down Guy is for the 2017 Giants? Mara, and that’s not a good thing for anyone.
Thumbs down on Ben McAdoo, the 1-6 head coach.
Thumbs down on Jerry Reese, the 1-6 GM.
How many days until pitchers and catchers?
A Game 7 that ended for the Giants exactly how Game 7 ended for the Yankees. One difference: The Yankees overachieved. The Giants have underachieved.
All Rise? Uh, no. All Fall.
Giants fans still awake early in the fourth quarter began a chant of “Let’s Go Giants” and Manning was promptly strip-sacked, and Russell Wilson launched a 38-yard touchdown bomb that Paul Richardson wouldn’t let Landon Collins wrestle away from him in the end zone.
The scoreboard clock showed 9:34 remaining, and in truth, Manning & Co. would have needed hours, perhaps days, to overcome this 16-7 deficit.
When Manning needed 8 yards on third down on the ensuing possession, he completed a 1-yard pass to Shane Vereen.
The boo birds, who have yet to witness a win at home, made themselves heard.
When Orleans Darkwa needed 2 yards on third down, he gained 1. When Wayne Gallman needed 1 yard, he didn’t get any.
When Tavarres King tried an end-around, he lost 8 yards.
When Evan Engram made what would have been a 72-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline, he stepped out of bounds on his way to the Seattle 3 and was flagged for illegal touching.
Big Blue had been gallant in the first half, fashioning a goal-line stand thanks to Jimmy Graham’s butterfingers.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo had tormented Russell Wilson with a package that often included six defensive backs, with Nat Berhe and Donte Deayon playing complementary roles.
Collins upended Tyler Lockett emphatically on first-and-goal at the 10 and then Keenan Robinson was flagged for roughing Wilson on the next play.
Third-and-goal at the 5, after Damon “Snacks” Harrison barged inside to spill Eddie Lacy for a 3-yard loss: holding against B.J. Goodson on Paul Richardson in the end zone.
Now it was third-and-goal at the 2. Harrison and Avery Moss stuffed Thomas Rawls at the 1.
Fourth-and-goal at the 1: Wilson looks for Graham, isolated on Eli Apple. Graham, with Apple draped over him, bobbles it.
But of course the Giants cannot punch it out from there, Darkwa gets a yard on third-and-2.
Big Blue to the rescue: Moss knifes through to force a Rawls fumble that Collins returns 31 yards, and Manning found Engram with the 5-yard TD that makes it Giants 7, Seahawks 0.
Then Wilson was flagged for intentional grounding with Devon Kennard in the process of bringing him down.
Wilson drove into Giants territory at the end of the half, tried a deep shot in the end zone for Doug Baldwin, denied by Apple, and the Seahawks settled for a field goal.
Finally, Wilson lobbed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin over Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and it was Seahawks 10, Giants 7 midway through the third quarter, and no one had any right to expect Manning, throwing to Engram & The Miracles, to bring the Giants back.