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Cover 4

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Cover 4: What Monday's loss means for the Giants


The crew reacts to Monday's 33-25 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia:

John Schmeelk: Takeaways were the Giants' best friend as they moved through the second half of their schedule. During their three-game winning streak, they were +9 in turnover ratio. After trailing the Eagles 20-3 at halftime, Brian Daboll inserted Tyrod Taylor into the starting lineup to provide a spark, but it was the ability to take the ball away that shifted momentum.

On television it looked like it was simply Olamide Zaccheaus running into Boston Scott that forced a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half. But it was actually a huge hit by Isaiah Simmons that knocked the receiver into Scott that forced him to cough up the ball. It set up a touchdown by giving the ball to the Giants inside the Eagles 20-yard line. A couple of possessions later, it was Adoree' Jackson who took advantage of a Dallas Goedert stumble and returned an interception 76 yards for a touchdown that got the game to within two points after a Saquon Barkley two-point conversion.

The Eagles would score on their next two possessions to make it a two-score game yet again, but the takeaways gave the Giants a chance to win after it looked like it was slipping away at halftime. Relying on takeaways is a dangerous way to live since they can come in bunches and often rely on the opposing offense making a mistake to give an opportunity, but the Giants' defense has been one of the best units in the league taking advantage of those chances in the final third of the season.

Dan Salomone: Joe Schoen said at the bye week that the season could have gone one of two ways, and the general manager was proud of the path the team took. The same could be said for Christmas Day. Just like the season as a whole, the Giants found themselves in an all too familiar hole in Philadelphia. They had two options – let the 17-point first-half deficit spiral out of control or make the Lincoln Financial Field crowd sweat out a potential addition to their teams' three-game losing streak.

The Giants chose the latter.

A 76-yard pick-six by Adoree' Jackson brought the Giants to within two points of the Eagles heading into the fourth quarter. A 69-yard touchdown pass from backup Tyrod Taylor to Darius Slayton made it a five-point game with 5:22 to play. But Philadelphia pulled away each time, holding on for a 33-25 victory that came down to the final play.

"There are no moral victories in football," said left guard Justin Pugh, who was a rookie right tackle when the Giants last won in Philadelphia on October 27, 2013. "Obviously we've got to win the game, but I am proud of how the guys fought and just kept getting after it."

Lance Medow: Although the Giants pulled within one score of the Eagles in Monday's loss and had a chance to force overtime, it was the sixth time this season they surrendered at least 30 points to an opponent. New York scored a defensive touchdown thanks to Adoree Jackson's pick-six and also had a special teams takeaway to set up another trip to the end zone. However, that still couldn't overshadow Philly scoring on four of its five first-half possessions and each of its last three of the second half to seal the win. The Eagles put points on the board on 70 percent of their drives, and a big part of that was Big Blue allowing third down conversions at critical points in the game.

With the Giants trailing by two early in the fourth, the Eagles' offensive line committed a pair of penalties that cost them 15 yards. They ultimately faced a third-and-20 from their own 26-yard line, and Jalen Hurts worked his magic to extend the play and connected with A.J. Brown for 32 yards. Instead of making a stop and forcing Philadelphia to punt, the drive continued, and the Eagles ultimately posted a touchdown.

On their very next possession, Hurts and company faced a third-and-three from their own 49-yard line, and this time Dallas Goedert came through with a 21-yard catch to move the chains. Philly settled for a field goal but padded its lead to 12 and that trend carried over to their next drive as well. D'Andre Swift ran the ball on the first five plays for 48 yards to set the Eagles up for a 43-yard field goal. The defense struggled to get off the field for most of the game as Philadelphia tallied 465 total yards and converted 53 percent of their third downs.

Matt Citak: For the fourth time this season, the Giants made an in-game change at quarterback, but this time it was not due to an injury. Brian Daboll decided to go with veteran Tyrod Taylor after halftime in place of Tommy DeVito, who had started six consecutive games and helped orchestrate the team's three-game winning streak, which included two Rookie of the Week honors and a selection as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. However, the undrafted rookie quarterback was unable to get much going against the Philadelphia defense on Christmas. DeVito completed nine of 16 passes for just 55 yards in the first half, finishing with a 63.3 passer rating, while adding one rush for five yards. Taylor had a little more success in the second half as he completed seven of 16 passes for 133 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a passer rating of 68.0 and had 21 yards on two rush attempts. It's important to note that 69 of his yards, along with the touchdown, came on the deep pass to Darius Slayton in the fourth quarter, while the interception occurred on the final play of the game in which Taylor threw the ball into the end zone as time expired.

"I made that decision at halftime," Daboll said about the QB switch. "Just felt we needed to do something to try to spark us. I think we were one-of-eight on third down, 55 yards passing and that was a collective thing, though. For everybody. But it's a decision I made at halftime and that's how we went with it."

With only two games remaining, the big question now facing the Giants is who starts under center? Does Daboll go back to DeVito to get more experience under the undrafted rookie's belt, or does he continue with the established veteran in Taylor?

"We'll talk about it as a staff. We're finishing up this game and we'll talk about it tonight…" Daboll told reporters Tuesday morning. "We're just getting ready for the Rams here; we'll talk about that tonight."

View photos from the Giants' Week 16 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Day.

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