What is it about the Philadelphia Eagles? The New York Giants just can't figure out a way to beat their NFC East division rivals. The Giants lost to the Eagles, 19-17, on Sunday, September 30 at Lincoln Financial Field. It was a frustrating loss for the Giants, who lost to the Eagles for the eighth time in nine meetings. Here's a recap of the game in the team's report card for week four.
Offense -- I'll give credit to the Eagles' d-line for winning the line of scrimmage. However, since I'm grading the Giants, let's stick to what they did right and wrong. Aside from the last drive of the first half, which resulted in a short field goal, New York couldn't move the ball. However, Eli Manning (24-for-42 passing, 309 yards) opened it up a bit in the second half and threw scoring strikes to Victor Cruz in the third quarter and a go-ahead score to Bear Pascoe in the fourth. If the Giants could have gained a few more yards on the last drive, they may have won the game. Props go to Domenik Hixon, who made a couple of big catches and finished the game with six grabs for a team-leading 114 yards. Grade: B
Defense --The Giants (2-2) held the Eagles (3-1) in check in the first half. Best of all, they limited LeSean McCoy to two yards rushing. But DeSean Jackson turned Corey Webster around for a 19-yard touchdown catch with 1:47 left in the second quarter to give Philly a 7-0 lead. Unfortunately, McCoy got going in the second half -- he finished with a game-high 123 yards -- and the Giants lost containment several times on Michael Vick as he scrambled out of the pocket. The Eagles settled for four second-half goals, but three of them were a result of scoring drives which went for at least 69 yards. Entering the game, Vick had been sacked nine times, but the Giants dropped him just twice. Grade: C
Special Teams -- David Wilson may have found his role on the Giants. The team's first-round pick was sensational in averaging 36.2 yards on six kick returns. He nearly broke away a couple of times. Steve Weatherford dropped a pair of punts inside the 20 in the first half, as the teams battled for field position. Of course, Lawrence Tynes had two chances to win the game from 54 yards out in the final seconds and missed both times. It was his first miss of the season -- it's hard to blame him. Grade: B+
Coaching -- Let's cut to the chase. I have issues with the play-calling at the end of the game. Instead of trying to move the ball into field goal range, the Giants took a couple of shots down the field, one of which resulted in a Ramses Barden pass interference call (yes, I agreed with the call). Frankly, asking Tynes to win the game from 54 yards out is not fair. The Giants had no timeouts and were in a third-and-long, so they were in a tough spot. I thought they could have avoided it, though. Grade: C
Next Marking Period -- The Giants host the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, October 7 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Cleveland leads the all-time series 20-27-2. In the last meeting between the teams, the Browns defeated the Giants, 35-14, on October 13, 2008. Is it too early for a must-win game?
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.Sources
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