Eli Manning (176217)

This past Sunday, when the Giants could have added separation between themselves and the rest of the NFC East, they instead embodied the maddening inconsistency that has plagued them for four straight seasons, falling on the road to Washington 20-14.

Coming off their bye week, the Giants were out of rhythm and off-kilter, losing the game and, as a result, first place to Washington. Although the defeat did not cause irreparable damage to the Giants’ aspiration of winning the division title, the setback has made the mission much more arduous.

“We’re disappointed in ourselves, but we’re not discouraged,” said defensive back Prince Amukamara after the Giants slipped to 5-6. “We’re excited that we have another game this week to go out and prove ourselves, and we feel like our goal, which is winning the NFC East, is still achievable. Guys just have to be excited about that.”

Enthusiasm is not always enough to overcome poor execution. With ample time to prepare for the new division leaders, the Giants came out of the gate stumbling and fell behind Washington 17-0 by halftime. Both teams failed to score in the third quarter, and the Giants’ fourth quarter comeback attempt fell short.

At 5-6, Washington moved ahead of the Giants in the standings by virtue of a 2-1 record in the division and a 5-3 record against NFC opponents. Conversely, the Giants are 2-3 in the division and 4-5 versus teams in the conference. They have lost three of their last four games and will face the 6-5 Jets Sunday (1 p.m.) at MetLife Stadium.

“I don’t think you can really gauge how we’re going to perform [against the Jets] by how guys feel after a game,” Amukamara asserted. “We just hope to have the right mindset on Sunday.”