PIck your poison in the St. Louis Rams Monday Night Football loss to the New York Giants. They turned the ball over. They made dumb penalties. They blew assignments. And once again, receivers failed to hang onto passes that would have made a significant change in the outcome of the game.
Contrast that with the Giants. For much of the game, certainly the first half, the Giants played terrible football. Eli Manning completed 2 out of 12 pass attempts, until his final drive of the first half. On that drive, he nailed all six of his attempts, including a 31-yard and a 22-yard pass, to take the Giants to into the end zone. On the final play of that drive, Domenik Hixon made a bobbling catch in the end zone to give the Giants a 21-6 lead.
A fifteen point differential is an insurmountable lead for the Rams these days. In fact, they've topped 15 points just three times in their last seven games.
Hixon's catch offers a very good contrast between the Giants and the Rams. Rams receivers failed to catch far easier passes. The St. Louis receivers came up short when it mattered in the red zone. The Giants receivers did not, and it's not as though Domenik Hixon is one of those "number one" receivers we keep pointing to as some kind of magic elixir for the Rams' troubles. Though the 300+ yards of passing were nice, the Rams offense failed to execute when it mattered.
The Giants, for as much as they stunk during the game, made the plays when they needed to make them. It's as simple as that.
Spagnuolo and his team need to dig deep, ask themselves if they are in fact capable of making important catches, staying the right gap, or not drawing a flag when they can least afford it. Right now, going all the way back to last season, it looks as though they cannot.
If you can stomach it, plenty of great photos from last night's game. Just click on the image above.