EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -A four-turnover performance was too much to overcome as the Eagles suffered a bitter 13-7 defeat to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
The kicker was embattled wide receiver Jalen Reagor dropping the football on a 4th-and-10 play in the waning seconds.
Had Reagor come up with the catch on the final drive the Eagles still could have raced to the one-yard line and gotten a play or two off with the potential to win it.
The former first-round pick also had another chance to haul in a Hurts' shot deep down the left sideline in the end zone that would have put the Eagles in a position to win on the final drive.
"Just two drops that I would say are very uncharacteristic," said Reagor. "Just gotta go through the highs and lows, go to the next week and make the plays."
Instead of snatching an unlikely victory, the hope of a late playoff run took a significant hit with three Jalen Hurts' interceptions and a Boston Scott fumble.
The Giants on the other hand played clean, albeit poor football in their own right, and that was good enough to advance their record to 4-7 in a week they fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and it was reported that general manager Dave Gettleman would not be back for next season.
Next up for the Eagles if the even-more woeful New York Jets in the same stadium next Sunday.
Eagles' running game without Jordan Howard - Howard brought a presence that didn't exist for Nick Sirianni's running game previously with the ability to hit the hole between the tackles. When it comes to RPO stuff, the current NFL sentiment to stopping it involves scraping a linebacker over the top of the edge player reading the QB. When you do that, however, it leaves you vulnerable up the middle where Howard had been dominating.
The lack of Howard didn't matter Sunday. Of Philadelphia's 332 yards of total offense, 208 came on the ground, the fourth time in five games the Eagles offense has cracked the 200 mark.
Jason Kelce's toughness - The Eagles' All-Pro center went down with a knee injury and was forced to go into the locker room. He returned to the field but just watched until intermission. By the third quarter when Nate Herbig was still in, it certainly seemed like Philadelphia shot down Kelce for the afternoon but nope, he came back and finished the game.
Nate Herbig's versatility - Yeah, he got flagged for holding twice but there are few interior backups in the NFL who can hold their own at two positions and that's exactly what Herbig did, filling in admirably for Kelce and then filling in at RG for the final quarter-plus when Jack Driscoll went down with an ankle injury.
The Defense - Any time you give up only 13 points and 264 yards on the road in this league, that's a win.
"Any loss is disappointing, but particularly this one," safety Rodney McLeod said. "This is a division opponent. We understand what these games mean as we go down this stretch.
"We have to play our best each and every week. Point blank, period. At the end of the day, we fell short, but there’s five [games] left. That’s all we can focus on. We have to learn from today, obviously. We can’t beat ourselves."
Jalen Hurts' passing - Hurts has never looked worse throwing it with two red-zone picks and another on a deep ball that was late and underthrown to Reagor. The sustainability of this offense and the questions on whether owner Jeffrey Lurie will want to run it moving forward are all going to be kickstarted again after the second-year signal-caller finished 14-of-31 for 129 yards and a dismal 17.5 passer rating.
Communication - Hurts and Quez Watkins weren't on the same page late in the first quarter with the Eagles driving. The QB wanted to lead Watkins over the middle and the second-year WR wanted to sit down resulting in a Darnay Holmes pick.
Boston Scott - Of course, the Giants Killer showed up with his seventh career TD against Big Blue but he also fumbled the football with only 1:34 left which should have sealed things for the Giants if not for their offensive incompetency and a poor Riley Dixon punt.
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.