PHILADELPHIA - The Giants' game Monday night in Lincoln Financial Field could not have started better for the visiting team. And it could not have ended worse.
After jumping in front just 4:37 into the game, the Giants never scored again. They spent the rest of the evening committing what seemed like a season's worth of mistakes, including turnovers, penalties and ineffective offensive execution. The result was a 27-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The result left the teams tied atop the NFC East with 3-3 records.>> WATCH GIANTS VS. EAGLES HIGHLIGHTS
The Giants had season-low totals of 247 total yards, 81 rushing yards and 166 passing yards, and season highs of four turnovers and 12 penalties. They actually had more takeaways (four) than turnovers (three), but scored zero points after taking away the ball. Philadelphia scored 14 points off of its takeaways, including a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown by Nolan Carroll.
"Very disappointed in the outcome," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "There was obviously a lack of balance
tonight. Our defense was on the field way too much. Penalties, turnovers—they had more turnovers than we did, which was surprising, but, nevertheless, we did nothing with the opportunities we were given through the turnovers."
The Giants intercepted three Sam Bradford passes and recovered a fumble, and punted after all four takeaways.
The game began perfectly for the Giants. They took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards in eight plays. Eli Manning completed all five of his passes, including a 13-yard touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr.
"We had a great first drive, it was about as good as it could be," Manning said.
After forcing the Eagles to go three-and-out, the second offensive series drive was setting up to be another success. Manning again hit five passes in a row (his 10 completions to start the game tied a career high). But the 11th throw brought disaster. Manning threw to the left for Larry Donnell. The tight end seemed to have the ball, but linebacker DeMeco Ryans dove and stole it away from him at the Eagles' 22-yard line.
"We both kind of got our hands on it at the same time," Donnell said. "The ball was there; he was going for it,
I was going for it, and he just made a great play. He's a good football player and he made a good play."
"I thought from the second drive when we should have had 14 points on the board with Larry's fumble (actually, an interception)," said Coughlin, "the offense didn't show much from that point on."
The defense held up its end much of the night, but also had costly lapses. One occurred moments later when Damontre Moore was penalized for roughing Sam Bradford after an incomplete pass on third-and-10. Given new life, the Eagles successfully completed a 78-yard drive when Bradford threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper.
"Honestly, I think it was just part of me just having poor football IQ and not being aware of the rules of dumping him, because I dumped him," Moore said. "But honestly, I was really trying to make a play and be a high energy guy. I'm going out there and I'm trying to run from sideline to sideline and hit somebody as hard as I can. There's no excuse. Like I said, I've got to get my football IQ and awareness up and get a better understanding for the rules, so I can eliminate these penalties."
Coughlin disagreed with the assertion that the Giants seemed to deflate after that penalty. But he didn't defend the play.
"It was just again a very, very bad penalty," Coughlin said. "I didn't notice any surge or any difference in what they had been utilizing. It was a bad penalty, and we had a couple of them."
Riley's touchdown tied the score at 7-7. The Giants tried to rediscover the early momentum on their next possession, but Rashad Jennings was stopped short on third and fourth down, needing only a yard to retain possession.
"That series hurt us," Manning said. "We were in good field position, needed to be able to convert that third or fourth down and continue that drive. Then after that, you've got to give credit to them; they did a good job."
Philadelphia punted, but the Eagles quickly took the lead for good when Carroll jumped in front of Dwayne Harris to intercept Manning's pass and cruise into the end zone for a 14-7 advantage.
"Just a terrible read by me," Manning said. "Got me on the coverage, I thought they were in a little two-man, they were in zone. Bad decision by me to make that throw."
The rest of the half – indeed the game – was no better for the Giants. Jennings lost a fumble moments after Carroll's touchdown. The Giants' last three possessions of the half ended in punts, one after the first of Manning's two intentional grounding penalties. He was also sacked a season-high three times.
Caleb Sturgis' 37-yard field goal increased the Eagles' lead to 17-3 at halftime.
The second half brought more of the same. Nikita Whitlock was penalized for running into Philadelphia punter Donnie Jones, another infraction that enabled the Eagles to keep the ball when they were about to give it up (indeed, they were in the process of relinquishing it). Given a first down at their own 28, the Eagles completed their march down the field on DeMarco Murray's 12-yard touchdown run, part of his 97-yard second half and 109-yard game.
Sturgis' 39-yard field goal in the fourth quarter accounted for the final margin. The night ended for the Giants' offense when Coughlin elected to punt on fourth-and-33 after Donnell's offensive pass interference penalty, and a tipped pass that lost 11 yards after it was caught by tackle Ereck Flowers.
Now the Giants have to regroup after an ugly performance on a short week before hosting Dallas on Sunday.
"We have to overcome it," Manning said. "We have to get ready to Dallas. Another game in the division, big game at home. So we have to figure out a way to get a win."
Photos from Monday night's matchup against Philadelphia Eagles