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After loss to Eagles, Giants eye big game vs. Commanders on SNF

JAYLON-SMITH-EAGLES

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Brian Daboll spoke bluntly after the Giants absorbed a painful beating from the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in wet and dreary MetLife Stadium.

The coach's observations at his postgame news conference included such observations as, "they pretty much did everything better than we did." Moments later he added, "we got beat handily." Toward the end of his meeting with reporters, Daboll said, "we got beat. They outcoached us. They outplayed us."

But Daboll didn't dwell only on the 48-22 loss to the NFC East-leading, 12-1 Eagles. His most important statement focused on the future.

"We get to have an opportunity to get ready and play a big game on Sunday night," Daboll.

He was correct and, for that, the Giants are thankful. The loss dropped their record to 7-5-1, which ties them for third place in the division with the Washington Commanders. The teams played a 20-20 tie last week and the rematch is next Sunday in a prime-time game in FedExField. The winner will enjoy a significant advantage in what is a close race for the NFC's final two playoff berths.

But the Giants will enter that game with just one victory in their last six games (1-4-1).

"I think no one is losing confidence, no one is pointing fingers or anything like that," quarterback Daniel Jones said. "I think we're just getting back ready to work and looking forward for this huge opportunity for us against Washington."

"We got our ass whipped," running back Saquon Barkley said. "Point blank. But you can find beauty in everything. I really believe in that, and we've got to double down. We've got to come in, got to prep better, got to practice better. Everything we want is still in front of us. So, we've got a big one next week. Obviously, everyone knows about that, and we've just got to come out ready to play."

They must play better than they did Sunday. The Eagles jumped to leads of 21-0 in the second quarter, 24-7 at halftime and 48-14 before the Giants scored with 39 seconds remaining in the game. Philadelphia totaled 437 yards and 27 first downs. They rushed for 253 yards and four touchdowns – including 192 and three in the second half. Miles Sanders had 144 of those yards and two scores. Quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 21 of 31 passes for 217 yards, including touchdowns of 41 yards to DeVonta Smith and 33 yards to A.J. Brown.

"They just outplayed us," defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence said. "We weren't in the right position to make plays, and they found it and they attacked it. … They were better on this Sunday. We'll see them again (in Week 18). Our focus goes to Washington now. We don't want to tie that game again. You want to win that game. And everybody has got to know what their job is and do it."

Defensively, the Eagles allowed 123 rushing yards, but that included a 32-yard, fourth-quarter scramble by backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor long after the game was decided. Jones and Taylor were sacked seven times for losses totaling 35 yards. Jones went down twice in the game's first five plays. Taylor's lost fumble in the final quarter was the game's only turnover.

The Giants punted on each of their first four possessions and five of six in the first half. Their only touchdown was on a 15-yard drive after Elerson Smith blocked an Eagles punt.

"We can't afford to get off to a slow start like that," Jones said. "Didn't do much those first two drives and fell behind. We got to do something to catch ourselves and make a play and get going. It was disappointing we weren't able to do that."

Some vignettes from the game:

*Barkley had a sore neck entering the game and was listed as questionable on the week's final injury report. He started but was relieved by Gary Brightwell on the Giants' second series and Matt Breida on the third. Barkley returned but was not on the field as often as usual. He finished with nine carries for 28 yards and two catches for 20 more before leaving the game for good when the game got out of hand in the fourth quarter.

"I wouldn't say we had a pitch count, but I think we had a plan," Daboll said. "He came in early and got his treatment. He got looked at by the doctors and the medical staff. We were going to make sure we were being smart with him. … He was good to go. But again, I just wanted to make sure we weren't overloading him."

"I wasn't limited," Barkley said. "I think it was part of just the game plan. Obviously, we got down. I know that we were willing to get the rotation going and Gary and Breida went in there and did a good job too. But for me, obviously everyone knows my neck - kind of tweaked it or whatever in practice earlier the week - was limited all week but was able to pass the tests and was able to get out there."

Barkley said he has "no doubt" he will play in Washington.

*The Giants scored on Jones' two-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Hodgins in the second quarter and one-yard run in the third, plus Taylor's late 19-yard pass to Richie James, who led the team with seven receptions for 61 yards.

*Philadelphia scored its second touchdown on Hurts' 41-yard pass to Smith early in the second quarter on a fourth-and seven. Smith got a step on Darnay Holmes, and safety Julian Love seemingly had an opportunity to knock out the ball or hit Smith at the 15-yard line but missed.

"I read it perfectly, I thought," Love said. "Ball was in the air. I thought it was slightly overthrown, so I thought I had an easy 'catch it' opportunity. I didn't realize his positioning. I just misjudged. So, in that situation I've got to make contact and go up and get it."

"I think he thought he had it," Daboll said. "Try to go high point the ball, I think he thought he had it. When he came over to the bench, I asked him, 'What did you see?' (He said), 'I thought I had it.' So, DeVonta made a good play; we missed out on it. Big touchdown."

*The Giants ended their subsequent possession in punt formation. But Jamie Gillan dropped the ball on his approach before kicking it on the bounce. The Giants were penalized 10 yards for illegal kicking. On the very next play, Brown got behind cornerback Nick McCloud and scored on a 33-yard pass from Hurts for a 21-0 lead.

"It just slipped out of my hands," Gillan said. "It sucks. It just happened. … If it had hit off my hand and fell on the ground, I could've scooped it up. But I was about to swing. It legit just slipped out as I was swinging. And then when it bounced, it kept going."

"He tried to save it," Daboll said of Gillan. "We got to do a better job there."

And several other places as well.

"Sometimes, you get your ass beat," Love said. "That's as simple as it is. But we can't let this fester really. We got to go in tomorrow, make corrections. And then our morale has to stay high because it's been high all year. That's what has brought close games home for us. So, that's kind of the story. That's the message: We got to correct this. It sucks. You're going to feel a little bit hurt, but you got to bounce back because we got important stuff in front of us still."

View photos from the Giants' Week 14 game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium.

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