35 degrees/ No wind
Key Decision #1:
- The Giants were appropriately aggressive on offense, especially early in the game and they scored on their first three possessions. (Note: They had not scored a touchdown on their opening drive since Week 15, 2016 vs. Detroit.) But despite going up 20-7, it was not enough to get a victory.
- The Giants set out to throw the ball and it was obvious from the opening drive as they threw seven consecutive completions during the opening drive. New York’s offense had 504 total yards and 442 of those yards came on passes.
- The Eagles defense struggled mightily as they allowed the Giants to run 81 plays, 27 first downs and were 10 of 18 on third down.
- It was wise strategy to throw on Philadelphia as in the prior two games opposing quarterbacks (Russell Wilson-Seahawks and Jared Goff-Rams), had QB ratings of over 100.
- The Eagles did not adjust well during the game, especially to the frequent slants that the Giants were running against a surprisingly over-matched Philadelphia secondary.
- It was all the conditions for the possibility of an upset win. It just didn’t happen.
Key Decision #2: (PHI trailing 20-17 / 4th and 1/ NYG 44/ 7:09 left in Q2)
- In addition to the Eagles struggling defensively, the Philadelphia offense struggled initially against the Giants defense and went down two scores in the game.
- Being down and out of their comfort zone, the Eagles attempted a 4th down conversion by running with RB LaGarette Blount up the middle for no gain and they turned the ball over on downs. The Giants took over in good field position and had the opportunity to go up an additional score. However, QB Eli Manning threw an interception at the Philadelphia 43 to CB Ronald Darby who returned it for 37 yards and this led to a second Eagles touchdown making it a 20-14 game.
- The desperation also came up in this game as Head Coach Doug Pederson challenged a deep pass from QB Nick Foles (subbing in for the injured Carson Wentz – out for the season) to WR Torrey Smith that was ruled incomplete. The play was upheld and the Eagles lost a timeout. They would later go on to score in the drive, despite not being aided by a reversal of a call.
Key Decision #3–
- On the Eagles final drive of the first half after losing a thirteen point lead to go down by one, the Giants used the clock well and moved the ball down the field to re-take the lead (23-21) on a field goal. They passed to running back Shane Vereen out of the backfield to get in field goal range.
Key Decision #4:
- The Giants got to within 31-29 late in the third quarter after Eli Manning found WR Tavarres King for a 57-yard touchdown. The Giants attempted a two point conversion in order to attempt to tie the game and it failed. Had they kicked an extra point (not a sure thing considering the issues with kicks getting blocked- more on that later), the score would have been 31-30. Philadelphia would later tack on another field goal to make it 34-29, so the Giants would have needed to score another field goal to avoid losing.
Key Decision #5: (PHI leading 34-29/ 3rd & 11/ PHI 11/ :54 left in Q4)
- The Giants elected to run with Shane Vereen who had a six-yard gain on the play. The Eagles used a timeout after the play. The Giants of course went for it on 4th down and 11 (after a false start penalty was assessed on 4th and 6), but were denied. The Eagles took over and ran the ball thrice. The Giants still had three timeouts and they stopped the clock after each run, and got the ball back deep in their own territory. They ran two plays and the game was over and the Eagles emerged victorious.
- Running the ball on 3rd down would have made more sense earlier in the game. It was a call that seemed as if the offensive coordinator knew he would have two downs to work with. However, we are not sure if running the ball there was the best call. They could have had two passes towards the end zone instead. And considering how the Giants were torturing the Eagles with slant passes, they might have been successful opting for that alternative.
- The Giants saw a two-score lead evaporate in this game. However, there was one thing that these coaching staffs did well. In this close match, both teams saved their timeouts knowing that they could play a factor in the game. Both teams had their timeouts late into the second half. This was a contrast from the first half when…..
- Both teams had issues challenging plays.
- Two weeks ago, Doug Pederson was criticized for not challenging a lateral pass that was an illegal forward pass in a game against Seattle. In this game, Pederson down 20-7 and with 9:54 left in the second quarter, challenged a deep pass from Nick Foles to Torrey Smith that was ruled incomplete. The play was upheld and the Eagles lost a timeout. They would later go on to score on the drive, despite not being aided by a reversal of a call.
- New York challenged an incomplete pass ruling later in the quarter, and the play was upheld and the Giants lost a timeout. They would later kick a field goal in that drive.
- Special teams are not throw-away plays. Most fans use special teams to grab a snack. Special teams wins and loses games. This game was an example of that. The Giants had kicks and punts blocked throughout the game and it cost them 12 points and ultimately the game. Here is the list of what was blocked:
- Two PAT’s- 2 points
- FG- 3 points
- Punt – 7 points (the blocked punt led to a touchdown)
- The Giants are and have been missing some of their more recognized pass catchers for most of the season. Against Philadelphia, four different players stepped up and had at least 70 receiving yards. Tavarres King, had two TDs on the day and second year player Sterling Shepard caught 11 passes for 139 yards and a 67 yards touchdown. He has scored a touchdown in each game of his career against the Eagles.
- The Giants offensive line has struggled most of the year. On Sunday, against the Eagles, it was no different. Specifically, former first round pick, left tackle Ereck Flowers had a tough time before he left the game due to injury. He was penalized for a false-starting on the first drive, and could not handle Vinny Curry and Derek Barnett. He missed a key block on an extra point attempt that was blocked.