COMMENTARY | Leading 21-19 late in the third quarter, the New York Giants were in position to beat the Philadelphia Eagles and earn their first win of the season on Sunday, October 6. But everything fell apart in the final quarter at MetLife Stadium, as the Giants lost to the Eagles, 36-21.
The defeat was a death blow for the G-Men, who dropped to 0-5 for the first time since the strike season of 1987. In case you were wondering, no team has ever made the playoffs after losing it's first five games. It's difficult to find any silver linings in the team's latest loss, but there were a few, along with the usual handful of horrible performances.
Here are New York's individual winners and losers from Week 5:
WR Rueben Randle -- Randle has struggled running his routes this season, leading to inconsistent play and costing Eli Manning a couple of interceptions. But he was one of the few bright spots against the Eagles with catches for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the second half. Randle could play his way into a larger role next season with the Giants likely heading towards a rebuild.
S Will Hill -- In his first game back from a four-game suspension, Hill made his first career start and was credited with a team-high 11 solo tackles. The second-year pro is back just in time, as a season-ending injury to cornerback Aaron Ross has thinned the secondary. Realistically, it may be time to start auditioning players for next season, and Hill could see an increased role going forward.
DT Johnathan Hankins -- Hankins, the team's second-round draft pick, saw his first action of the season and picked up five tackles with a pair of quarterback pressures. Moreover, he helped the D-Line limit the LeSean McCoy, the league's leading rusher, to a season-low 46 yards on the ground. The season may be a lost cause for the Giants in terms of the playoffs, but Hankins' career is just getting started.
QB Eli Manning -- Manning threw for 334 yards and a two touchdowns, but his three interceptions on consecutive drives in the fourth quarter doomed the Giants. All of the picks may not have been his fault, but Manning now leads the league with 12 interceptions (he had 15 all of last season). Considering his late-game track record, it's astonishing how poorly Manning has played in the fourth quarter this year.
RB Brandon Jacobs -- Jacobs, who had 11 carries for 37 yards, is a shell of his former self. The team's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns fumbled a handoff and dropped a screen pass. Da'rel Scott was cut last week for similar performances. Like many others on the team, his best days are behind him.
CB Trumaine McBride -- With the secondary in shambles, the Giants were looking for anyone to step up, and McBride had a chance to be a difference-maker on Sunday. But what should have been an interception literally slipped right through his fingers and led to a 56-yard gain for DeSean Jackson. Furthermore, McBride failed to down a perfectly-placed punt inside the five-yard line.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports
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