COMMENTARY | When you boil it down to basics, football is not that complicated. It only seems that way when you're watching the New York Giants.
The Giants (8-6) failed to make tackles, turned the ball over and were a combined 4-for-13 on third and fourth downs against the Atlanta Falcons on December 16. The result was a humiliating 34-0 loss, which dropped Big Blue into a three-way tie with the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East. However, both the Redskins and Cowboys hold tie-breakers over New York, so the Giants could win their final two games and still not win the division title.
What's so maddening about the Giants is that they make winning look easy at times. The G-Men have dismantled the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints this season. Unfortunately, they followed up the victories over the Packers and Saints with frustrating losses. As defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul told Giants.com, "Week after week, we come out on top, then we fall back down, come back up top, go on a losing streak, then come back on top again."
Leave it to the Giants to make matters difficult. Big Blue now must win its final two regular season games just to make the playoffs via the Wild Card. That's why the Giants must get back to basics -- see my keep-it-simple keys to victory -- when they face the playoff-bound Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, December 23 at MT&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore (9-5) is coming off its own humbling loss to the Denver Broncos, 34-17, but has won 16 of its last 18 home games and can clinch the AFC North with a victory.
"We have the two-game schedule and we have to win both games to get in the playoffs and everybody's aware of that," said coach Tom Coughlin during his press conference earlier this week. "Hopefully, we'll play the way we feel like we're capable of playing."
That's easier said than done.
Will the Giants win their final two games to make the playoffs? Can Big Blue make another run at the Super Bowl? Let me know in the comments section below.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. He proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.