5 key takeaways from Monday's media hour following Giants vs. Eagles:
1. GIANTS LAMENT MISSED CHANCES
In a season without many highlights, the Giants had a chance to make one on Sunday against the Eagles, who now have the best record in the NFL all to themselves. But despite putting up their highest point total since the 2015 season finale, the Giants are only thinking about the missed opportunities, including three blocked kicks, after falling, 34-29, to their NFC East rivals. The Giants, who led by as many as 13 points, had a two-point advantage at halftime.
"After watching the tape, it just looked like we missed a bunch of opportunities, certainly on defense," interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo said Monday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "We had the lead. We always talk about get the lead and extend the lead. We did that a little bit, but then we kind of gave it back to them and then we were in a battle."
2. GIANTS DISCUSS NO-CALL ON FINAL PLAY
The Giants, needing a touchdown, had an opportunity to win on fourth-and-goal at the 11 with 48 seconds remaining. But Eli Manning, who had a season-high 434 yards passing, was unable to connect with Evan Engram in the end zone. The rookie tight end was closely guarded by safety Corey Graham, who avoided a flag on the crucial play.
"I won't make the argument [for a penalty being called]," Spagnuolo said, "but I'm just saying that you could make the argument."
Spagnuolo was pressed further on if he saw Engram's arm being held.
"It looked like it," he said. "On the coach's tape it kind of looks like that. But he couldn't get it up there. But I'm not sure where the positioning of the officials were that they could see it or not. They'd have to answer the rest of that."
"I mean, hey, it could have been called, but I didn't think it was an obvious call," said Manning, responding to the same question later in the locker room. "They were going back and forth so we got to throw the ball a little lower and try to make a play so that's football sometimes."
Was it catchable?
"Yeah, I could have put the ball a little lower, I guess, to give him a better shot," Manning said. "They had it covered up pretty well, I tried to throw him open and put it up high where he can make a play, it just didn't work out."
3. INJURY UPDATES
Spagnuolo provided injury updates coming out of yesterday's game. Wide receiver Tavarres King, whose two receptions against the Eagles went for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns, is in the concussion protocol. Safety Landon Collins toughed out an ankle injury to avoid missing a start for the first time in his career, but the third-year pro was unable to finish and exited in the second quarter.
"Right now, I'd say we'd approach it the same [as last week]," Spagnuolo said. "But, with tweaking it again, I think we better be careful. We'll see." Linebacker B.J. Goodson also re-aggravated an ankle, and safety Darian Thompson was sent for an MRI with a knee issue.
4. TEMPO KEY TO BREAKOUT
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said after the game that pace and tempo have "bothered" their defense recently, and Mike Sullivan's game plan was part of that. The Giants' offensive coordinator mixed it up on Sunday, and the result was their best offensive game of the season.
"I think it's still the same offense, so I think it's just building off what we've been doing," Manning said. "There's always going to be a few new plays and different things, but that's just kind of based off the opponent and what you did last time against them, it's an opponent we know well and we played them a bunch in that scheme. So I think he's done a good job just mixing up the tempos on things and playing fast. We got to run a lot of plays yesterday."
The Giants threw it 57 times to go along with 23 carries.
"I was excited going into the week, I knew we had a great plan," Manning added. "A lot of weeks you have great plans, but I really liked what we had and it just got set up well. Sometimes you have those days where you get the right calls versus the right defense and you feel good about what's going on and we were able to execute it and guys went and made the plays. I knew I could still throw it and I can play at a high level and run this offense."
5. GM INTERVIEWS BEGIN WITH ROSS
The interview stage of the Giants' general manager search began today with Marc Ross, the team's vice president of player evaluation. Team president John Mara and former general manager Ernie Accorsi, a 2016 Giants Ring of Honor inductee who is consulting the franchise in the selection process, conducted the interview.
Ross is in his fifth season with his current title after serving the previous six years as the team's director of college scouting. Ross heads up the Giants' college scouting department and the team's draft. He joined the organization on May 18, 2007 and ran his first organizational draft the next year. Ross also works on special projects with director of pro personnel Ken Sternfeld.