New York Giants Can’t Finish Against Eagles, Losing 22-21 | Instant Reaction and Takeaways
The New York Giants had the Philadelphia Eagles right where they wanted them.
That is until they didn’t. And if you thought the last seven losses to the Eagles were painful, the Giants have once again outdone themselves.
The Giants blew a double-digit lead—their third such failure in their now eight-game losing streak to the Eagles by beating themselves.
Tight end Evan Engram, who was supposed to have a breakout season this year, was on the short end of the stick on two critical plays that cost his team. The first was an interception that, because he peeked at the incoming linebacker, saw the ball bounce off his hands and to a nearby Eagles defender.
But the second was the backbreaker. All Engram had to do was haul in a third-down deep pass thrown on the money by Daniel Jones, which would have given the Giants a new set of downs and put them into scoring range. Instead, Engram failed to fully extend for the ball and it fell to the turf, the Giants punting it away.
The Eagles, who earlier in the game squandered away 10 points between a Carson Wentz interception in the end zone and a missed Jake Elliott field goal, benefited from penalties by Corey Ballentine on special teams, who drew an unsportsmanlike penalty and then cornerback James Bradberry on third down.
Those penalties, combined with a poor angle by safety Jabrill Peppers, led to Wentz's 18-yard touchdown to put the Eagles ahead 22-21, the final score.
With the loss, the Giants drop to 1-6 and 1-2 in the NFC East with 11 days to stew over how they blew a golden opportunity to move into second place in what’s overall a pathetic division of football but one where a winner must still be crowned.
Here are a few more takeaways from this latest horror show in the Giants-Eagles series.
==Need more proof that the Giants just aren’t welcomed at Lincoln Financial Field? Look no further than Daniel Jones; 80-yard third-quarter rush in which he had nothing but daylight only to have the turf monster catch his cleats and knock him down well short of payday.
"I don’t know," Jones said when asked what happened on that run, which increased his team-leading rushing yardage total to 296 yards. "I tried to run faster than I was running and I got caught up. We finished the drive and scored a touchdown. That was a relief."
==Rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas had his own horror show going this week as his struggles continue in pass protection. Thomas has now been an NFL starter for six of the last seven games and has undoubtedly taken scores of reps between practice and game scenarios. Yet, the inconsistency in his technique, and in particular with his hands, is maddening.
I don’t know how many pressures Thomas gave up off the top of my head, but I don't think anyone would have blamed the coaches had they decided to pull him.
==Some might point to the defense as being gassed by the end of the game as the factor for their sloppiness, but on the Eagles' second drive of the game, a 13-play scoring drive, the Giants allowed seven plays of 10 or more yards, which is inexcusable.
But to be fair to the defense, they ended up on the field for 72 plays to the Giants 55. That included a 44 to 20 first-half workload. So yes, perhaps the Giants defense was a little gassed there at the end, but the penalties were still inexcusable.
==What on earth was Corey Ballentine thinking on a first-half punt in which the Eagles were short a man and Ballentine, the gunner, was left uncovered? Punter Riley Dixon noticed it and looked like he was trying to get his teammate's attention about it. Sadly, Ballentine never thought to look back, and the Giants blew a chance to catch the Eagles asleep at the switch.
==Something to keep an eye on moving forward: kicker Graham Gano appeared to strain a quad muscle on a fourth-quarter kickoff, Gano didn’t have to do any kicking after that, but still, that will be something to monitor moving forward as the injury was to his kicking leg.
==And speaking of injuries, running back Devonta Freeman sprained an ankle, leaving an already struggling and thin running backs group thinner.
==For those keeping score at home, this game marked three in the now eight-game losing streak in which the Giants had a double-digit lead but were unable to finish.
Yuck Statement No. 1
Yuck Statement No. 2
Yuck Statement No. 3
Oh, what might have been.