The Giants lost to the Eagles Sunday on a 61-yard field goal by Philadelphia in the final second:
PHILADELPHIA – For the first time in the Giants' 1,341 games over 93 seasons, a player kicked a field goal that was at least 60 yards long. And when it happened, it was a dagger in the heart to the Giants.
Philadelphia's Jake Elliott booted a 61-yard field goal as time expired Sunday to give the Eagles a 27-24 victory in one of the wildest games ever played between two teams that have been squaring off since 1933. The longest-ever field goal in a Giants game was also the longest by a rookie in NFL history, and the third-longest game-winner ever kicked.
"The game continues to teach us tough lessons and we have to learn from," coach Ben McAdoo said, "and learn from in a hurry and fix."
"It's stunning, but at the end of the day it is the NFL," cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. "We got to come out of it and continue to get better. Defense, offense, special teams, and as a unit. We are just going to put this game behind us and move onto the next one."
That will be next week in Tampa against the Buccaneers. But the Giants first have a lot to sift through from this game, both good and bad.
On the plus side was that they rallied from a 14-0 deficit to twice take the lead (at 21-14 and 24-21), their 24-point fourth quarter, Eli Manning's 366 passing yards and three touchdown passes (and he wasn't sacked), and a combined 24 catches for 278 yards and three scores by wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard. Beckham scored on four and 10-yard receptions, the latter with a spectacular one-handed grab. Shepard turned a short Manning throw into a 77-yard score.
But all the positive wasn't enough to offset the negative. Like the Giants rushing for 49 yards and 2.9 yards a carry, while Philly ran for 193 and averaged 4.9 yards an attempt. And a failure to score on three chances from the two-yard line and in at the end of the first half. Plus 10 penalties for 137 yards, including two when the Giants were trying to drive for the game-winning field goal on their final possession. That series ended with Brad Wing's 28-yard punt which gave the Eagles the ball on their own 38. Two plays later, Carson Wentz improbably completed a 19-yard pass to Alshon Jeffrey, who stepped out of bounds with one second left. Elliott, signed off Cincinnati's practice squad after Caleb Sturgis was injured in the season opener, then kicked the long game-winning field goal.
"This one stings a little bit, obviously, because we did fight back," Manning said. "We take the lead a couple times, and just the events at the end of the game to lose that way is tough."
"I understand how hard it is to play out here and win as a New York Giant," linebacker Jonathan Casillas said after the Giants lost in Philadelphia for the fourth consecutive season. "Of course, we want to say we are going to win this game and be 1-2 and go into Week 4. 0-3 sounds a lot worse than 1-2. So we got to do a lot and a lot of improvements, pay attention to details and go back to the drawing board defensively. I think we were poor today, really poor."
The Eagles took a 14-0 lead into the fourth quarter after touchdowns by LaGarrette Blount (one-yard run in the second quarter) and Zach Ertz (three-yard reception in the third). The Giants twice thought that Shepard had scored just prior to halftime, but a replay review reversed the first apparent score and Shepard didn't retain possession of the ball when he hit the ground out of bounds after making catching the ball on the run in the end zone. Orleans Darkwa was then stopped on a fourth-down run.
"I am trying to figure out what a touchdown catch is and what isn't a touchdown catch right now," McAdoo said.
"I thought it was a touchdown, because I know I caught it, Shepard said. "I got my two feet in. It's continuation; you got to keep it in possession."
The Giants got on the board on Beckham's touchdown with 7:12 left in the fourth. After Landon Collins forced an Ertz fumble that was recovered by Eli Apple, Beckham tied the score less than two minutes later. Shepard's touchdown gave the Giants their first lead of the season at 21-14.
Corey Clement's 15-yard run tied the score. On their ensuing possession, the Giants overcame Beckham's offensive pass interference penalty and Aldrick Rosas kicked a 41-yard field to give them a three-point lead with 3:08 remaining.
But the visitors couldn't hold it. Elliott's 41-yard field goal tied the score with just 51 seconds left. The Giants had two timeouts, but a pair of infractions cost them 15 yards, and Manning's 14-yard pass to Evan Engram left them a yard short of a first down, forcing Wing to punt with 19 seconds left. A typical Wing punt likely would have prompted the Eagles to take a knee and go to overtime. But the ball took a quick left turn and went out of bounds at the 38, leaving the Eagles an opportunity to win the game from a reasonable distance with 13 seconds remaining.
"Just normal punt, and I just didn't do my job," Wing said. "They called it to the left, so it's supposed to be around the left numbers, and I didn't get it done."
The Giants needed just one stop to play an extra period. But Jenkins and Apple collided with each other, enabling Jeffrey to grab Wentz's pass and step out with one tick on the clock.
"We knew it was coming, I knew it was coming, but I was trying to break before the receiver broke," Jenkins said. "We were playing outside man and basically he got outside and I just tried to break. I know Eli saw it, but I tried to break before Eli and I just happened to bump Eli."
The result was catastrophic for the Giants, who fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2013.
"We put enough points on the board, I felt, to win today," McAdoo said. "We fell just short. We had a chance to score more and we didn't handle the ball well enough to do so. So we left some points out there on the field. We need to go back to work and come up with some more points next week."