In a must win game, the New York Giants (0-5) fell to their bitter division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) 36-21. This marks the first time since 1979 that the Giants have started a season 0-5, and it’ll be near impossible for them to turn it around in time to make a playoff run. Giants turned over the ball 4 times and they currently lead the NFL with 20 turnovers. Their defense which has been marred by injuries continued to struggle and were unable to stop the Eagles high octane offense.
The Giants started the game positively with forcing the Eagles to a 3 and out on the first drive of the game. Eli Manning led the Giants down the field on their first drive which included a huge completion to Hakeem Nicks for 48 yards. David Wilson capped off the drive with a 5 yard rush for the touchdown. After a Josh Brown extra point, the Giants went up 7-0. Unfortunately, those were the only points Giants scored in the whole half and Eagles were able to build a lead before the half ended.
Michael Vick didn’t complete a pass in the 1st quarter and the Eagles were held to only 3 points. In the 2nd quarter, Eagles offense began to put points on the board. Vick led the Eagles on a quick 4 play, 71 yard drive which included a big play to DeSean Jackson for 56 yards. DeSean Jackson was able to concentrate and catch the ball despite the ball going right through Trumaine McBride’s hands. The NFL’s leading rusher, LeSean McCoy completed the drive with a one yard run to put the Eagles up 13-7. Later in the 2nd quarter, Vick had to be pulled from the game due to a hamstring injury and Nick Foles deputized for him for the rest of the game. In the final 2 minutes of the second quarter, Foles was able to lead the Eagles down the field and a Alex Henery 36 yard FG increased the lead to 19-7 at the half.
Giants offense and defense continued to struggle as the Eagles offense found it’s footing. Giants also committed their 18th turnover of the season with a Brandon Jacobs fumble which eventually led to a Henery 29 yard FG. Overall, the Eagles could only complete one of their drives for a touchdown and had to settle for 4 FGs.
The Giants began to show some life in the 3rd quarter and came back to take the lead. Giants had to depend on the pass more in the 2nd half as opposed to the 1st half due to a neck injury suffered by Wilson and Jacobs’ fumble. On their second drive of the quarter, Manning led the Giants on a huge 7 play, 87 yard drive for a touchdown. Manning completed big passes to Brandon Myers for 24 yards to start the drive and to Reuben Randle for 26 yards to end the drive. Then after forcing the Eagles to go 3 and out on the next drive, Manning led the Giants down the field for another touchdown. Randle caught his second touchdown of the game for 6 yards and Giants took the lead 21-19. Unfortunately, that was the last sniff of the end zone for the Giants in the game.
Going into the 4th quarter, the Eagles had a 22-21 lead and both the Giants offense and defense imploded. Manning threw 3 interceptions in the quarter and now leads the NFL with 12 interceptions thrown. Also those three interceptions were Manning’s 5th, 6th, and 7th interception thrown in the 4th quarter. The Eagles were able to capitalize on 2 of the 3 interceptions for touchdowns to put the game to rest.
A lot of the blame will fall on Manning due to him being the leader, but it’s hard to put all the blame on him when he’s being protected by a makeshift offensive line. His offensive line hasn’t been able to protect him all season and he has been under constant pressure. Also the added fact that he doesn’t have a good running game to back him up, makes it that much harder for him to make things happen.
Coach Tom Coughlin referred to Manning’s interceptions thrown in the 4th quarter as demoralizing and Manning knows this himself. Despite the bad start to the season, the good news is that the division is led by the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys who are both 2-3. Even though the Giants are 0-5, they remain only 2 games out of the NFC East lead. The question is, can the Giants find a way to turn this season around and challenge for the NFC East title or should they just pack it in and think about next season.
Key Stats: Eli Manning finished the day completing 24 of 52 attempts for 334 yards, 2 TDs and 3 INTs. The Giants were ineffective on the ground with David Wilson and Brandon Jacobs combining for only 53 yards rushing. Hakeem Nicks was the Giants leading receiver with 9 rec. for 142 yards. Reuben Randle also contributed with 6 rec. for 96 yards, 2 TDs.
On defense, Ryan Mundy led the team with 15 tackles. Cullen Jenkins and Mathias Kiwanuka both had a half sack.
Before Michael Vick was taken out of the game he completed 6 of 14 attempts for 105 yards and rushed for 79 yards. His backup, Nck Foles had a good game completing 16 of 25 attempts for 197 yards, 2 TDs. On the ground, Vick was the leading rusher. The NFL’s leading rusher LeSean McCoy had a mediocre game on the ground with 20 rushes for 46 yards, 1 TD. DeSean Jackson was Eagles leading receiver with 7 rec. for 132 yards, 1 TD. Brent Celek also contributed with 3 rec. for 47 yards, 1 TD.
Cary Williams led the team with 11 tackles and a INT. Mychal Kendricks contributed with 4 tackles and a INT. Brandon Boykin also contributed with a tackle and a INT. Bennie Logan also recorded his first sack of the season.
Key Notes: Giants allowed 31 points or more for their 5th consecutive game which ties an NFL record. Eli Manning also passed Troy Aikman for 27th on the NFL all-time passing yards list.
Check out game highlights here.