Don't Miss

The Giants fail to clinch a playoff berth in 24-19 loss to the Eagles


Photo Credit:  Associated Press


The Giants came in wanting to get off to good start and set the tone for the night but came out flat and quickly turned the ball over on downs.  On the other hand the Eagles marched 78 yards down field and scored a touchdown on their opening possession.  The series was marked by a dominant rushing attack with 62 yards on six carries which was surprising considering how strong the Giants rushing defense is game in and game out.  The Giant second possession quickly led to the Eagles scoring again when on third down and five, Eli Manning threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by safety Malcolm Jenkins.  With just over eight minutes remaining in the quarter the Giants were already down 14-0 and Manning looked totally off.  Things didn’t improve on their following possession as Manning went three and out for the second time in their first three possessions.   Manning was just 1-for-6 passing on those three possessions including the pick six on the second series.  The Giants finally put together a solid drive in the final six minutes of the quarter, with an attack heavily reliant on the run sprinkled in with a couple of passes.  Beckham caught his first catch of the game, a thirty yard reception but the Giants drive didn’t end with a touchdown.  They were forced to settle for a 35 yard field goal, cutting the lead to 14-3.

As the second quarter opened the Giants defense got back on the field and seemed to return to form.   Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted Wentz’s pass intended for wide receiver Bryce Treggs on third and long.  The Giants offense returned to the field and with solid field position but quickly gave the ball back to the Eagles going three and out yet again.  Later in the second quarter the Eagles were able to hold the Giants offense for a second time to just a field goal in the red zone.  After starting with excellent field position at their own 44 yard line, the Giants proceeded to move thirty nine yards on nine plays but were not able to get in the end zone.  With just under eight minutes remaining in the first half the Giants trailed 14-6.  Following the Giants second field goal the Eagles put together their second scoring drive of the night culminating in a 40 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nelson Agholor.  The two and a half minute scoring drive by Philadelphia seemed to completely turn the momentum back in the Eagles favor.  On the Giants final drive of the half, the urgency to find the end zone was palpable as Manning drove his team down the field with a sense of purpose that wasn’t evident in earlier possessions.  The 12 play, 84 yard drive was capped by a 13 yard pass to Sterling Shepard in the middle of the field for a touchdown.  It was a big drive as the Giants needed to put six on the board before the half came to a close.  The score made it 21-13 Eagles, however for the Giants there was still a lot of work ahead of them but at least they could head to the locker room with some confidence and momentum.

The Eagles kicked off the half by going three and out allowing for the Giants an opportunity early in the third quarter to get even closer.  For the third time in the game the Giants were not able to capitalize in the red zone with the Eagles forcing them to settle for a 29 yard Robbie Gould field goal.  The Giants defense was put to the test on the following possession as the Eagles methodically drove the ball down the field taking nearly eight minutes off the clock but to no avail.  The Giants defense came up huge when they stopped the Eagles on 4th down and goal.  The final quarter began and the Giants were tasked with trying to put together a solid drive and tack on some more points.  As Manning was slowly putting together a drive he threw his second interception of the game on a pass intended for Sterling Shepard.  Safety Malcom Jenkins read the play and the ball was slightly under thrown and he was able to pick off Eli Manning for the second time.  It was a big turnover as the Eagles took over on their own 44 yard line and quickly made their move down field.  The Eagles capitalized on the turnover, extending their lead to 24-16 with a 41 yard field goal.  The Giants then matched them with Robbie Gould’s fourth field goal of the game, pulling back to within five points at 24-19.   The Giants defense then came on did what they’ve done consistently throughout the season and that is to say, get a big stop when they need one.  Manning and the offense had another chance as they got the ball back with a little over four minutes remaining in the game.  Their drive came down to fourth and inches on the Eagles 32 yard line when offensive lineman John Jerry was called for a false start creating a fourth down and six.  Manning’s pass intended for Shepard wasn’t caught and the Giants turned the ball over on downs.  The offense would get one more chance after the defense stepped up again but they were not able to generate a game winning drive and fell to the Eagles by a score of 24-19.

The Giants final game is on New Years Day in Washington.  The Giants do have a chance to earn a playoff berth before then but they’ll need some help this coming weekend.  If the Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers or Atlanta Falcons lose the Giants are in the post season for the first time since 2011.  Only time will tell if the Giants playoff hopes become a reality, but for now they’ll be forced to play the game of wait and see.



Dan Evans is a Contributing Writer for PureSportsNY     You can follow him on Twitter @DanEvansPSNY


%d bloggers like this: