AP Photo - Gene J. Puskar
Here are some Stats, Quotes, Notes as well as what went right and wrong in the Giants' game against the Eagles.
Stat worth noting: The big-play Eagles offense/Giants defense produced two TDs of 40-plus yards – in the first alone. Leonard Weaver got the scoring going with a 41-yard touchdown run. Later in the half, DeSean Johnson got free for a 54-yard TD catch.
Stat worth noting II: The Eagles averaged eight yards, almost a first down, on each offensive play. Enough said.
Turning point: Eagles CB Asante Samuel kept Philadelphia’s game-opening momentum going when he picked off an Eli Manning pass intended for Travis Beckum. On New York’s first drive, Samuel jumped the short route and returned the ball 37 yards to the Giants 10. Three plays later, the Eagles were in the end zone with a 13-0 lead. They never looked back.
Play to remember: A blitzing Bruce Johnson sliced through and forced Donovan McNabb to fumble, earning a sack in the process. Fred Robbins grabbed the loose ball and wisely tossed a lateral to the much quicker Osi Umenyiora, who raced into the end zone for an apparent touchdown. However, after Andy Reid challenged the ruling, the call was overturned and it was ruled that Robbins’ toss was actually an illegal forward pass. The Giants then had to settle for a field goal.
Play to forget: You just knew it wasn’t going to be New York’s day midway through the first quarter. With his back to the goal line, Donovan McNabb had his short pass travel right into the mitts of Justin Tuck, who would have had an easy touchdown – and cut Philly’s lead in half. But instead of a huge play, Tuck let the ball bound right back into McNabb’s clutches, who ran for only a yard, but averted certain disaster.
What went right
Tom Coughlin mentioned after the game that the stats hardly told the story of this one, and he was right. The Giants actually controlled the ball for 35:33 (mostly because the Eagles seemed to score almost immediately every time they got the ball). New York also converted half (8-16) of its third-down plays.
The Giants received about their only break of the first half late in the second quarter when an interception by Sheldon Brown deep in Philadelphia territory was negated because Brown was called for defensive holding. That led to the Giants scoring their first TD of the game right after the 2:00 warning.
A semi-onsides angled kickoff was recovered by the Giants (Kevin Dockery), which led to an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown run. The game was pretty much out of reach at that point late in third quarter, but it was still a nice effort by kicker Lawrence Tynes, Dockery and Bradshaw.
Believe it or not, the Giants actually improved their lousy green zone numbers. In three trips inside the Philadelphia 20-yard line, New York was able to score a pair of TDs.
What went wrong
Donovan McNabb’s passer rating was almost 100 points higher than that of Eli Manning. McNabb wasn’t picked off and threw for three TDs for a 146.7 rating, while Manning tossed two INTs to only one TD and finished with a QB rating of 55.7.
The Eagles took the ball to start the game and shoved it right down New York’s throats. The Birds effortlessly moved 60 yards in only three plays, culminating in a 41-yard Leonard Weaver TD run. Justin Tuck was unable to bring down Weaver, who shot through the opening and never looked back.
DeSean Jackson burned the entire secondary for a 54-yard TD right before half. The Giants had scratched and clawed all first half and had finally gotten on the scoreboard only to have the Eagles score on their next play from scrimmage, which gave them a 23-7 lead.
Any chance the Giants had to make a legitimate game of it disappeared when Eli Manning’s fourth-and-four pass to Steve Smith from the Philly 29-yard line fell incomplete on New York’s first drive of the third quarter.
3 – Straight losses for New York, which began the season with five straight (mostly effortless) victories
3 – New York’s standing in the NFC East
35 – Length in yards of Ellis Hobbs’ game-opening kickoff; it only got worse from there
“We’ve got to get it together or this whole thing could go upside-down.” – Giants RB Brandon Jacobs
“This is what we can do when we are all on the same point, when we are all doing our thing.” – Eagles S Quintin Mikell