If any team can snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, it’s these New York Giants, who saw their two-game winning streak die on the vine down in Philadelphia in the form of a 25-22 loss to the Eagles.
It was a tale of two halves. The Giants owned the first half, the Eagles the second. In the end, the Giants didn’t have enough points again, losing for the eighth time this season. It was their sixth defeat by seven points or less.
The loss was foreshadowed by several miscues in the first half. They decided to go for two after driving 75 yards for a touchdown and failed on the attempt. Then, right before the half, quarterback Eli Manning lofted a pass down the middle of the field in the direction of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. which was easily picked off by safety Malcolm Jenkins. They should have had at least 23 points going into the tunnel. Instead, they had 19.
The Giants racked up 346 yards in the first half but managed only 56 in the second half. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley was nearly unstoppable in the first half, racking up 94 yards rushing on nine carries and catching six passes for another 37 yards. He had two more touchdowns as well, giving him 12 on the season.
But in the second half, the Giants decided against giving Barkley the ball. He ran the ball just five times for eight yards and caught one pass for four yards. It showed. The Giants scored only three points and allowed an Eagles team that was besieged by injuries — especially in the secondary — to comeback and steal this game from them.
The Giants committed 11 penalties for 91 yards, most of them costly. The officials had a rough day overall. Walt Anderson’s crew was atrocious all afternoon, both for the calls they made and the ones they didn’t.
This loss was emblematic of the Giants’ season — not enough offense, missed tackles (even though they had three sacks on Carson Wentz) and missed opportunities all over the place.
Manning’s stats looked solid, especially in the first half, but he made several crucial errors in judgement that cost the Giants in the long run. Not seeing wide open receivers and missing some others have become an issue. Calling a time out before a long third down and then throwing swing pass for a loss was equally frustrating.
Landon Collins had a strong game in the box (nine total tackles, one quarterback hit and two tackles for a loss), but the Giants had trouble keeping tight end Zach Ertz (seven catches, 91 yards and a touchdown) in check.
With eight wins the new ceiling, the Giants might begin to look toward the future sooner rather than later now. Whether that means giving their backup quarterbacks some snaps is still unknown.