The New York Giants fell to the Philadelphia Eagles 19-17 tonight at Lincoln Financial Field. Despite taking a 17-16 lead in the fourth quarter, the Giants defense was unable to stop Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy from driving down the field and putting the Eagles back up by a point. Eli Manning and Co. got the ball back with no time outs and under two minutes to play.
The Giants benefited from two pass interference calls on Nmamdi Asomugha at the end of the game to put them into field goal range. However, a pass interference call on Ramses Barden pushed Lawrence Tynes to 54 yards out. He missed on a potential game winning attempt, and the Giants lost the game.
Big Blue is now 2-2 on the season, with two divisional losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. The Giants will head back to MetLife Stadium next Sunday to take on the Cleveland Browns.
As always, we'll take a look at the good, mixed, and the bad from tonight's matchup.
Kick/Punt Return Teams
David Wilson and the kick return team consistently set the Giants up with solid field position all night. Wilson averaged 36.2 yards on six kick returns, including a long of 53-yards. To a lesser extent, Rueben Randle was also impressive on punt returns. He wasn't as explosive as Wilson. However, he did return a punt for 18-yards in the first half.
The Giants were able to control the field position battle for much of the night. Although they were not able to capitalize on several of their opportunities, Big Blue's return teams did their jobs tonight and were almost the difference in the game.
Victor Cruz was being blanketed by a safety over the top all night. Eli Manning needed another receiver to step up, and Domenik Hixon came through in a big way. Hixon caught six passes for 114-yards. He created issues for the Philadelphia secondary for the majority of the night, which enabled Victor Cruz to get involved in the game in the latter stages.
In the absence of Hakeem Nicks, Domenik Hixon provided a spark to a Giants offense that looked stagnant in the early goings. It will be interesting to see how he is utilized when Nicks makes his way back into the lineup.
These two youngsters played well tonight, especially around the line of scrimmage. All the Giants can ask of two young, inexperienced players against a high-powered offense like the Eagles is to not make a costly mistake. Neither of these two were an issue on defense tonight. Hill put a few hits on Michael Vick, while Brown made an impressive open field tackle on LeSean McCoy.
If Kenny Phillips is out for an extended period of time, we're going to see a lot of these two in the coming weeks. Tonight was a promising start.
Eli had spotty protection from the offensive line for much of the night. Considering he was playing without his best receiver, Eli moved the ball well on a talented defense for the duration of the second half. Manning completed 24 of 42 passes and threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
However, Eli is in the mixed category for a crushing interception he threw to Eagle's cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. With the Giants well into the Philadelphia red zone, Manning threw a devastating interception that led to an Eagles field goal. It was a six-point swing that made the difference between the Giants winning and losing this matchup.
The Giants had consistent pressure on Michael Vick for the duration of the night. Jason Pierre-Paul was all over the field, and Micahel Vick was hit repeatedly throughout the game. With that, the Giants held LeSean McCoy to just two rushing yards in the first half.
However, McCoy ran wild over Big Blue in the last two quarters, which opened up the Eagles offense. Philadelphia's star running back finished with 123 yards on the ground, almost all of which came in the second half.
The Giants were unable to create a push at the point of attack against the run, and lost contain on several occasions. The Giants defensive line showed potential tonight, but there are some things that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell must clean up before next weekend.
This is generous. Webster made a few plays on the ball tonight, so he creeped his way into the mixed category. However, he was no match for Desean Jackson for most of the game. Jackson had six receptions for 99-yards, almost all of which came on Corey Webster's watch. With that, Webster was toasted by Jackson on a 19-yard touchdown pass at the end of the second quarter.
Just an observation on Webster, is that he is more concerned about what the quarterback is doing than the guy he is guarding. Tonight, instead of making sure he was staying with the speedy DeSean Jackson, Webster was caught looking back at Michael Vick. By the time he got his head around, Jackson was wide open on the corner of the end zone. Webster had the same issues with Vincent Jackson in Week two.
If Webster learns to read the eyes of the receiver and stops quarterback watching, he could rebound to have a decent season. Until then, we are going to continue watching the Giants supposed number one cornerback emerge as a defensive liability on a weekly basis.
The Giants could not block the Eagles front-four defensive linemen tonight. Offensive tackles Will Beatty and Sean Locklear were both called for holding penalties on one or more occasions. Eli Manning was under pressure for the entire night, which derailed nearly every first half drive for the Giants.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride eventually gave this unit help by leaving Martellus Bennett in to block on several passing plays, as well as keeping running backs in the pocket for added protection. However, it was clear tonight that the Giants nearly flawless protection in Week three was due to poor competition, not a marked improvement.
Blackburn was a nightmare to watch in coverage for most of the night. He made some plays against the Eagles rushing attack in the first half. However, Blackburn lost Eagles tight end Brent Celek over the middle of the field on more than one occasion.
Blackburn's lack of overall athleticism showed tonight. He was a liability on defense, and must improve if he wants to hold onto his starting spot in the near future.
Kenny Phillips Injury
The Giants secondary was already short handed without Jayron Hosley, and it suffered another blow tonight. Kenny Phillips suffered an apparent right knee injury early in the contest. Stevie Brown came into do a decent job in his absence. However, Phillips is a vital aspect of the Giants defense and needs to be on the field for this unit to operate at full strength. This is a situation to keep a close eye on as more news emerges in the coming days.
The Giants have suffered two divisional losses that may come back to haunt them in tiebreaker scenarios at the end of the season. However, it's important to keep tonight in perspective.
The Giants played a press coverage defense without their most physical receiver on the field. Hakeem Nicks was sorely missed tonight, and it likely cost the Giants points that could have made the difference in the game. The team lost a hard fought battle to a good football team on the road, without their best receiver. With that, they came about three or four yards short of winning on a Lawrence Tynes field goal.
It's not time to panic yet. That said, it's important that Big Blue comes out and takes care of business at home next week.
- Be sure to like Giants 101 on Facebook, follow Giants 101 on Twitter & +1 Giants 101 on Google+
- Check out the latest line of GMEN shirts, including the new pink version which supports the fight against Breast Cancer
- Listen to Gameface with The Frattman every Sunday morning at 9 AM EST on 940 ESPN Radio
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/l1b