Giants look terrible in a blowout loss at Cincinnati

If this is just the Giants' annual trick of looking really bad in midseason, only to turn it on for the playoffs, they're really taking the midseason slump part of it to a new extreme.

A week after the Giants looked pretty bad in a home loss to Pittsburgh, the Giants looked flat-out awful in a loss at Cincinnati.

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The Giants' day didn't start very well as the defense completely lost A.J. Green on an easy 56-yard touchdown catch — one of Andy Dalton's career-high four touchdown passes — in the opening minutes.

The Giants never got on track. They were down 14-3 in the first quarter. Any hope of a comeback was flushed by a pair of poor interceptions by Eli Manning in the third quarter. By the end of the third quarter the Bengals led 31-6, and the final was 31-13.

That isn't the look of a Super Bowl team, but the Giants have struggled in October and November before, and come alive late in the year. And the beauty of this mid-season swoon is that the rest of the NFC East is so poor, nobody is there to challenge the Giants atop the division. Every other team in the NFC East was at least two games under .500 coming into this week's action.

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The Giants are more unpredictable than usual this season. They've had to furiously come back to beat mediocre (or worse) opponents in Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Washington at home. They've had ugly losses to Dallas, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Yet, they've also looked like the defending champions in dominant wins at Carolina and San Francisco.

The Giants are 6-4, and who knows what they'll look like after next week's bye. But we can probably assume they'll be fine in time for the playoffs.

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