Coach Ben McAdoo recaps the Giants' loss to the Eagles after viewing the game tape:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Ben McAdoo apparently will not help boost the NFL's television ratings this weekend.
The Giants, who missed an opportunity to clinch a postseason berth when they lost last night in Philadelphia, can gain entry into the playoffs if Atlanta, Green Bay or Tampa Bay lose tomorrow, or if Detroit is defeated in Dallas on Monday night. But McAdoo's attention remains on his own team, which is 10-5 and will conclude its regular season on New Year's Day in Washington – where a victory would also put the Giants in the playoffs, no matter what happens this weekend.
"I want to stay focused," McAdoo said on a conference call today. "Spend a little time with the family and make sure we stay focused on Washington. We've got a big ballgame coming up, and we need to put a good plan together and put these guys in position to be successful."
Because they can no longer win the NFC East title, the Giants will be the fifth or sixth seed if they do advance to the playoffs. McAdoo answered "no" when asked if the seeding mattered to him.
"We've got to go down to Washington and take care of business, that's number one," he said. "When we turn on the tape, we've got to look better than we looked last night. Washington's a good team, they're a physical team, they have a ton of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, and we need to go down there and play good football."
The Giants did that at times in their 24-19 defeat last night, but not nearly enough to win the game or satisfy their coach.
Offensively, they gained a season-high 470 yards, owned the ball for 34:04, and converted 10 of 22 third-down opportunities. Eli Manning completed 38 of a Giants-record 63 passes, including a combined 26 to Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard. But they scored just one touchdown, despite making five trips inside the Eagles' 20-yard line. Manning also threw three interceptions. Safety Malcolm Jenkins got two of them, including one he returned 34 yards for a touchdown that gave Philly an early 14-0 lead.
The Giants had an opportunity to create a happy ending when they drove from their own 15 to the Eagles' 34 in the final 90 seconds. But Manning and Beckham couldn't connect when the receiver was open in the end zone, and the quarterback's third-down pass for tight end Will Tye was intercepted by Terrence Brooks with five seconds left.
"It wasn't our best football," McAdoo said. "I think we can play better football and we need to play better football, and better team football. We had a chance to win the game at the end, and I expect us to go down and win the game at the end.
"Any problems that we had yesterday, looking at the tape, it's all correctable. Sixty-three times is a lot to throw the ball. But situational football, that's how it went."
The Giants rushed for 114 yards for the second consecutive game, but McAdoo said that total could have been higher.
"I thought that upfront we did some good things," McAdoo said. "We had a good plan of attack, the guys were physical. We need to finish better. I think that we lost some opportunities on the perimeter, if we block better on the perimeter and finish better on the perimeter, then some of those runs really could have come out big. And then the consistency of things, we just have to overall be more consistent, and I think the numbers will take an even bigger jump. But we're making strides, we're getting better. We're not where we want to be yet, but we just need to keep working at it."
The Giants players will report for work today before scattering for the remainder of the three-day Christmas weekend. When he addresses the players, McAdoo will emphasize his theme that the Giants can and must improve as they prepare for their critical final game.
"We're going to meet tomorrow early on, then send them on their way for a few days, give them a chance to get healthy," McAdoo said. "I think it's important that that they get away from it a little bit, refresh their minds, and think about the type of football they want to play moving forward."
*McAdoo said rookie linebacker B.J. Goodson is in the NFL concussion protocol. He didn't delve into specifics on other injuries, but said "we have some guys that are still getting looked at." That included defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who briefly left the game with a knee issue and is "sore," according to McAdoo.
*McAdoo on the two Manning passes that were intercepted by Jenkins:
"The first play, give Malcolm Jenkins credit," McAdoo said. "I think he made a heck of a play there. Eli was getting some pressure from the edge as he stepped up, looked like he may have been blind, and if you're blind, you can't pull the trigger there. We'd like to see him eat the ball there, but Jenkins made a hell of a play, you have to give him some credit. The second interception there, he underthrew it a little bit, needed to get a little bit more air under it. We'll have to sit down and talk about the decision, but he underthrew it."