It was all set up for the Giants to keep their one-game NFC East lead over Dallas, which beat Washington in overtime. But their lack of first-half production and an unforgivable 18-play, eight-minute touchdown drive with 2:45 remaining in the game sent Tom Coughlin's 6-4 squad down to a 17-10 defeat.
Now the Giants have problems. Absent their fourth-quarter magic, squashed by Eli Manning's lost fumble with 1:17 remaining, they'll head off to New Orleans before coming home to 10-0 Green Bay. By the time they hit NFC East co-leaders Dallas on Dec. 11, they could well be 6-6 and, heavens, below the Cowboys.
Here's the good and bad of the game.
Victor Cruz: The kid is making a living torturing Nnamdi Asomugah. He beat him for a touchdown in the first meeting this year, and then tied matters when he beat him in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Then he grabbed a 47-yard catch-and-run that went out the window when Eli Manning fumbled near the end of the game.
Aaron Ross: He took a big six points away from the Eagles in the third quarter with his end zone pick, his fourth interception of the season and Young's third of the game.
RUN DEFENSE: Can't compliment the front seven enough on their work against the league's second-leading rusher, McCoy. They limited him to 53 yards on 22 carries before he ripped off a 60-yard to allow the Eagles to run out the clock.
FOURTH QUARTER "D": Couldn't get off the field when they needed to, allowing Vince Young to convert five third-down situations in an 18-play drive capped by a third-and-9 touchdown throw to Riley Cooper. And after doing a good job on McCoy all game, they allowed a 60-yard run to the 2, where they ran out the clock.
FIRST-HALF OFFENSE: Another zilch start for the Giants, as they had five three-and-out series in the first half, including four straight. Don't forget Eli Manning's giveback of an Eagles turnover when he underthrew Cruz for an easy pick. The Giants have scored all of 19 first-half points the last four games, and that's just not going to cut it against the Saints and Packers.
MANNING: Aside from his INT, he had an absolutely dreadful first half at 2-of-14 before he caught fire and led the offense to a field goal in the two-minute drill. Still, he finished the first half at 7-of-18 for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Jake Ballard AND VICTOR CRUZ: Three huge drops, two on perfectly thrown passes to Ballard, who has been one of the team's pleasant surprises this year. Not like him.
Steve Weatherford: So, the whole world knows how dangerous DeSean Jackson is on punts. Why, with 1:30 left in the first half, would you ever kick it right to him? Give Weatherford credit for getting just enough of him to step out at the Giants' 14, but it set up a late touchdown to former Giant Steve Smith and a 10-0 lead. That's just something Matt Dodge would do, except that Weatherford has the experience to know better.