Stuck on an island, I was lucky to get the national network feed of the Giants at Eagles game on Sunday by hooking up a cheap digital signal TV to an over-the-air antenna. What I saw was three separate games within a game—first, the Eagles got incredible break after break from a stumbling and bumbling McAdoo-designed Giants offense and just enough ground-pounding offense of their own to stake out an early lead; then, Dougie Doo got in the act with an inexplicable gamble on 4th-and-8 from midfield. The play failed and seemed to shift the momentum in favor of the Giants, who of course staged a comeback and a rally from there for most of the rest of the way, helped out by a very costly Zach Ertz fumble. Then things looked grim as the Eagles began to lose personnel to everything from serious injury (Darren Sproles wrist and torn ACL), Fletcher Cox (calf), Jordan Hicks (ankle) to a variety of fatigue and muscle cramp stuff.
The Giants would get their first points of the game with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Manning to receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Was this the one where Beckham celebrated by pretending to mark his territory in the end zone like a male dog? At that point I was just rooting for us NOT to get beat by that guy. I know he is talented, but I fear for his mental stability.
Following that touchdown was when the Eagles committed their first turnover of the game when Ertz was stripped by Landon Collins. The turnover would result in a four-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Beckham. The Giants would then take the lead with a huge 77-yard catch and run by receiver Sterling Shepard.
That’s when the 3rd game-within-a-game began…
Fortunately the Eagles got right back in it as another huge PI penalty induced by Torrey Smith on Eli Apple would eventually lead to a 15-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Corey Clement.
After trading a pair of field goals earlier, the game literally came down to the last second as rookie kicker Jake Elliot nailed a monstrous 61-yard field goal which just squeezed pass the right uprights to seal the deal for the Eagles.
I’m still scratching my head over this game. We struggled badly in pass protection with LG Chance Warmack in there. They ultimately substituted the Wiz in for Warmack and things seemed to improve there.
All things considered, with four of our top corners and safeties out for the game, the secondary played okay until it collectively seemed to wilt in the 95-degrees F. on-field heat. Rasul Douglas made a nice play to get an early pick on Manning. But by the end it seemed Beckham and Shepard and Engram were running wild in our coverages.
I’m glad to get the win. I simply have a concern that the team we beat on Sunday (and almost lost to!) was a team in disarray.
Ultimate NYG is furious with their Giants right now:
“This one was right up there with 2010’s punt return by DeSean Jackson. That implosion was epic. This one was different. It was an underachieving nightmare. Do I really need to regurgitate this vomit? That is a little too much pain for me to take. I am not a masochist. None of us are masochists. Giants fans have a tradition of winning Super Bowl titles. But Ben McAdoo is setting the franchise back years. Jerry Reese is setting the franchise back many years. That pick of Eli Apple instead of Laremy Tunsil is looking pretty large right now.
“So let’s talk Apple for a moment. The Giants shot themselves in the foot in so many ways. The Eli-Apple-running-into-the-defender on the bomb was the worst kind of foul because it was obvious, stupid, completely uncompetitive, and destructive. Apple cost the Giants more than a few times this game on other plays that prompted the Giants faithful to throw up their hands with his play, before the pass-interference-from-hell call.
The Giants racked up 137 yards in penalties in total. Seemingly all of them had a destructive nature to them. John Jerry got called for a delay of game when he grabbed an Eagle defender who was trying to get off the field. Instead of it being in first down at the 11 yard line, it is 3rd and 7 from the 23 and the Giants end up with a FG.
“FG? What is that? You are down 7-0 near the end of the first half. With a million scores except none of them stick, it is 4th down and the Giants go for it. The problem is that, as Jim Fassel taught me, you must kick the FG at the end of the half because there is no translation of the Field Position if you do not convert for the TD. So the Giants blow the FG opportunity. Thank you McAdoo. Then in Q3 with it 4th and 2 from the 13, you kick the FG, but this is Ben McAdoo and he goes for it and misses. The problem here is that even if you convert, you may not get into the end zone either, so taking the points and getting off the schnide is correct. So right there is 6 points.”
“After calling ~1 slant in the first 2 games combined, McAdoo went slant happy and called so many of them that it led to an INT. Still, it was a breath of fresh air to see some loosening up of the playcalling in terms of going to more quick short plays to establish a rhythm.
“McAdoo made one of the most boneheaded playcalls I can remember when, in Q1 at thePHI 34 on 3rd & 1, he calls… a PITCHOUT. In short yardage or the red zone, this is the worst possible playcall because the defense is already up at the line of scrimmage due to the situation. A pitchout gives too much time for the defense to not only stop the run but securely set it for a loss, which is precisely what happened. Worse, it was a 4 yard loss that pushed the Giants out of field goal range.
“All the missed tackles and all the other atrocious penalties actually had a chance of being forgotten in what would have been an amazing comeback. The Giants got their Offensive mojo back with OBJ taking charge and Shepard getting a major YAC TD. Yet they got tied up and had the ball with 51 seconds left and 3 timeouts… and LOST the game in regulation. How is this possible? Easy, it is Ben McAdoo at the helm. The offense rushes to the line and can’t get set (Flowers), another glorious penalty of ineptitude. The penalties on this short series were remarkable.. the Flowers illegal shift and a Flowers holding. By this point, you just want to run the clock out but Vereen runs out of bounds. Then a 2010 redux punt nightmare with Wing going only 28 yards. This enabled the Eagles to get a 19 yard pass play with 0:01 sec left for a 61 yarder.”
So like I said, I’ll take the win, but not real sure we beat a very good team. Even worse, with all our injuries mounting up, I’m not sure we win that game if it went into overtime.
[Because I’m late in posting this game wee-view, I will not publish the team stats and game summary stats until the next article.]