Since joining the NFL in 2004, Eli Manning and the New York Giants have had some all-time classic games against the Philadelphia Eagles. Ten of the 19 games have been decided by one score or less, and nearly every game has been a one score contest in the fourth quarter.
The Giants won most of the early ones, but as of late, Andy Reid’s Eagles have been a tough opponent for Manning, coming away with a victory nearly every time the game has come down to the wire. In fact, the Eagles have won the last five games that were decided by seven or fewer points, and they have won eight of nine straight in all.
It’s been largely because of the defense’s ability to pressure Manning, one of the more clutch quarterbacks in the game, particularly when the game is on the line. Here’s a breakdown of Manning’s performance in the clutch as we backtrack the recent games.
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia Eagles 13, New York Giants 10
What Happened: On the first play of the fourth quarter, Eli Manning threw an absolutely brutal interception in the end zone to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, thwarting what could have been a go-ahead touchdown by the Giants.
The Giants got the ball back following an Alex Henery field goal, and Manning quickly led the Giants down the field, capped by 31 and 41 yard passes and a six yard touchdown pass to Bear Pascoe to put the Giants in the lead, 17-16.
The Eagles tacked on another field goal, and Manning got the ball back in a do-or-die situation with his team down two points and less than two minutes remaining. Manning failed on a fourth down conversion but was granted another try when DRC’s pass interference penalty extended the drive. Then, Manning was helped out by another pass interference penalty against Nnamdi Asomugha. This put the Giants at the 27-yard line, but an offensive pass interference pushed the Giants back. Kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a 54 yard field goal (two of them, actually).
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 4 of 10 passes for 87 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble (76.9 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 1 of 5 passes for 9 yards, 1 fumble (39.6 rating)
Full Evaluation: I give Manning a passing grade for sure because he led the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter that could have been enough and he nearly led the Giants on a game-winning drive at the end (although that was more because of the Eagles’ pass interference penalties than Manning’s effectiveness). But Manning threw an extremely costly interception early and completed just one of five passes on the final drive. Grade: C-
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia Eagles 10, New York Giants 3
What Happened: This was the game that Vince Young started, if you remember. Eli Manning’s Giants were down 10-3 entering the fourth quarter but Manning led them on a nice touchdown drive, hooking up with Hakeem Nicks for a 47 yard play and Victor Cruz for a 24 yard score. This tied the game with 11:36 left.
Young then led a long, clock-killing drive culminating in a touchdown pass to Riley Cooper on a third down play, giving the Eagles a 17-10 lead. Manning got the ball back at his own 9-yard line following a holding penalty on the kickoff.
Manning got the ball back in a do-or-die situation with 2:45 to play. He went 4-of-4 passing for 80 yards, marching the Giants down the field and quickly overcoming an intentional grounding penalty. With the Giants nearing the red zone, Manning was sacked by Jason Babin and fumbled. The ball was recovered by Derek Landri to end the game.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 6 of 8 passes for 151 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 1 lost fumble (156.3 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 4 of 4 passes for 80 yards, 1 lost fumble (118.8 rating)
Full Evaluation: Manning did lead the Giants on a nice touchdown drive to start the quarter and he seemed to respond well after the Eagles scored, finishing with an incredible 151 passing yards for the quarter. When it ultimately counted though, he turned the ball over and the Giants lost. Grade: B-
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia Eagles 16, New York 14
What Happened: The Eagles held a 16-14 lead entering the fourth quarter, and Eli Manning was sacked on the first play of the quarter to force a punt. The Eagles missed a 4th-and-1 at the Giants’ 43. Manning led the Giants to a touchdown (28 yard pass to Victor Cruz) and then a successful two-point conversion. Another touchdown came when Mike Kafka (in for the injured Michael Vick) promptly threw an interception. When Kafka threw another pick, Manning kneeled the ball for the win.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 6 of 7 passes for 85 yards, 2 TD (156.8 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 4 of 4 passes for 48 yards, 1 TD (156.3 rating)
Full Evaluation: Nothing I can criticize about Manning here, as he was remarkably efficient. He led the Giants to a pair of touchdown drives, icing a fourth-quarter comeback win. Grade: A+
Score Entering 4th Quarter: New York 24, Philadelphia 10
What Happened: Everyone remembers this game. Manning threw a touchdown pass to Jake Ballard midway through the quarter to make it a 31-10 game. Then it was all Michael Vick: He led a touchdown drive, the Eagles got the onside kick, and Vick led another drive. The Giants were stopped; Vick led another scoring drive; Trevor Laws sacked Eli Manning on third down, and DeSean Jackson put Matt Dodge’s name in punter infamy.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 4 of 9 passes for 71 yards, 1 TD (109.0 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 0 of 2 passes, sacked once (39.6 rating)
Full Evaluation: It’s tough to fault Manning for his defense losing a game in which he led the offense to 31 points, including a score midway through the fourth quarter that should have cemented the game. But Manning did get the ball twice during the Eagles’ comeback and he led the Giants to no points. The fact that he couldn’t even pick up a first down on the final drive cost the Giants when Jackson took the punt to the house, putting the Eagles in the playoffs and keeping the Giants out. Grade: D+
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia 16, New York 10
What Happened: This is the first of three consecutive years the Philadelphia Eagles would beat the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. The Eagles held a slim lead entering the quarter, but when Vick lost a fumble, Manning immediately capitalized with a touchdown pass to Derek Hagan to give the Giants a one-point lead.
The Giants stopped the Eagles, forcing them to punt on 4th-and-36. Then the Eagles stopped Manning, forcing fumbles on consecutive plays. The Giants recovered both, but then they had to punt. The Eagles converted a 4th-and-1 at midfield with just over four minutes to play, with LeSean McCoy scampering 50 yards into the end zone for a go-ahead score.
With the ball back, Manning threw an interception on the first play but lucked out when Asante Samuel fumbled the return and the Giants got the ball back. Four plays later, when the Giants went for 4th-and-6, Manning scrambled for a first down but lost the ball. The Eagles recovered.
The Eagles tacked on a field goal, then gave the ball back to the Giants, and Manning immediately threw another interception to end the game.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 4 of 11 passes for 37 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 3 fumbles (1 lost) (37.1 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 0 for 2 passes, 1 INT (0.0 rating)
Full Evaluation: If Manning hadn’t led the early touchdown drive, this would probably go down as the single worst quarter of football he has ever played. He was given time after time to win the game but couldn’t stop fumbling or throwing interceptions. This was the Manning of 2006, not the two-time Super Bowl champion. Grade: D-
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia 37, New York 30
What Happened: This was one of the most competitive games of Eagles-Giants football I have ever seen. The Eagles took a back-and-forth game into the fourth quarter with a slim lead.
After the Giants punted, Donovan McNabb led the Eagles on a tremendous 91 yard touchdown drive that ate up 7:24 of clock and gave the Eagles a two-score lead. Eli Manning responded with a nice touchdown drive of his own to make it 45-38. When the Eagles punted, Manning had one last desperate chance, pinned at his own 5-yard line with less than 30 seconds remaining.
On the second play, he fumbled the ball away and that was the game.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 10 of 13 passes for 108 yards, 1 TD, 1 lost fumble (126.4 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 0 of 2 passes, 1 INT (0.0 rating)
Full Evaluation: It’s tough to respond when your team immediately gives up a touchdown after you score one of your own, but ending the game with a turnover is never good. Grade: C+
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia 33, New York 17
What Happened: This is the only time in the last four seasons an Eagles-Giants game has been a blowout. It was already 40-17 Eagles two plays into the fourth quarter.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 8 of 13 passes for 51 yards (69.7 rating)
Full Evaluation: This wasn’t really an opportunity for Eli Manning to be clutch or not clutch since the deficit was so great at the start of the fourth quarter. But he didn’t play very well in this quarter, and 17 points is a subpar effort. Grade: N/A
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia 13, New York 11
What Happened: The No. 1 seeded New York Giants were the defending Super Bowl champions and hosting a sixth-seeded 9-6-1 Philadelphia Eagles team that barely even made the playoffs.
But the Eagles quickly took a 20-11 lead in the fourth quarter. Manning’s first drive resulted in a punt and then he was stuffed on a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1. Finally, he was picked off by Quintin Mikell with his team down 23-11 and under four minutes remaining.
Manning got the ball back with just over two minutes remaining. A short pass to Steve Smith was fumbled and the Eagles recovered to run out the clock.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 6 of 8 passes for 50 yards, 1 INT (51.0 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 3 of 4 passes for 21 yards (86.4 rating)
Full Evaluation: This loss really hurt Manning’s reputation, as people began to question whether his miraculous Super Bowl run over the New England Patriots was a fluke. He failed to generate anything with the game on the line, turning the ball over once and losing the ball on downs another time. Grade: D-
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia 10, New York 7
What Happened: The Giants were 11-1 and hosting this matchup against a 6-5-1 Eagles team. The Eagles took a 17-7 lead soon into the fourth quarter on a 40 yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb to Brian Westbrook.
Manning threw an in complete pass on a 4th-and-1 from the Eagles’ 38 and the Eagles then kicked a field goal to make it 20-7. Manning finally led what was a too little, too late touchdown drive that ended with 15 seconds left on the clock. The Eagles got the kickoff and that was it.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 8 of 11 passes for 86 yards, 1 TD (125.6 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 6 of 6 passes for 57 yards, 1 TD (145.8 rating)
Full Evaluation: Manning did his job well when the game was on the line, as he marched the Giants 70 yards in two minutes for a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the missed 4th-and-1 earlier in the game. Grade: B-
Score Entering 4th Quarter: New York 27, Philadelphia 24
What Happened: This was a classic NFC East slugfest. The Giants were capping off a field-goal drive as the quarter started that extended their lead to 30-24.
The Eagles punted and Manning led a touchdown drive to make it 36-24 before McNabb countered with a drive of his own to make it 36-31 with just over five minutes remaining.
From there, the Giants punted, but stopped the Eagles on a 4th-and-1 with about two minutes to play. Manning converted a two yard scramble on 4th-and-1 to end it.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 0 for 1 passes (39.6 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 3 handoffs and a first down run
Full Evaluation: The fact that Manning only threw the ball once and didn’t complete the pass in the fourth quarter doesn’t really matter. He led the Giants on a touchdown drive in the quarter and converted a big run to win it. This was one of his better wins against the Eagles. Grade: B
Score Entering 4th Quarter: New York 16, Philadelphia 10
What Happened: The Eagles kicked a field goal after a long drive to begin the fourth quarter, cutting the Giants’ lead to 16-13.
Manning threw just one pass this quarter, but it was a 31 yard pass to Plaxico Burress that converted a big 3rd-and-1, icing a victory when the Eagles later missed a 4th-and-6 from the Giants’ 44. Then David Akers kicked a 57 yard field goal that bounced off the upright.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 1 of 1 passes for 31 yards (118.8 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 3 handoffs that led to a punt
Full Evaluation: Manning threw the ball just once here, but he made the most of it, connecting with Burress for a big 31 yard play. Manning came away with a win, even though he only led the Giants to 16 points. Grade: B
Score Entering 4th Quarter: New York 16, Philadelphia 0
What Happened: The Eagles couldn’t do anything on offense in this game, largely because of Winston Justice’s inability to protect Donovan McNabb. This was the contest in which the Giants sacked McNabb an NFL-record-tying 12 times.
David Akers tacked on a 53 yard field goal to put the Eagles on the board early in the fourth quarter. The teams traded punts until McNabb took the Eagles on a long touchdown drive, throwing to Reggie Brown for a 19 yard touchdown pass that was nullified by a penalty. McNabb fumbled on fourth down and that was the game.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 1 of 3 passes for 5 yards (42.4 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 3 handoffs and then 2 kneels
Full Evaluation: The game almost became close when the Eagles threatened to score so the fact that Manning didn’t generate any offense in the fourth quarter does get held against him. Grade: D+
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia Eagles 20, New York 10
What Happened: At this point, Manning had never won a playoff game and he wasn’t about to here, either.
The Giants kicked a field goal to start the fourth quarter, making it a 20-13 game. The Eagles punted and then Manning led an 80 yard drive that took over seven minutes, capping it off with an 11 yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress. Three times Manning converted a third down on the drive.
The Giants never got the ball back, as Jeff Garcia led the Eagles on a game-winning drive that ended when David Akers kicked a 38 yard field goal with no time remaining.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards, 1 TD (138.5 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards, 1 TD (138.5 rating)
Full Evaluation: This was a very impressive performance by Manning, as he led the Giants to 10 points in the fourth quarter (although three of them were the result of what he did in the third quarter). But his touchdown drive was exactly what the Giants needed, and it’s not Manning’s fault that his defense allowed the Eagles to run the clock down on their field goal drive. Manning did a terrific job here, and if his defense had made a stop and gotten him the ball back, he could have been a hero. Grade: A
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia Eagles 14, New York 13
What Happened: This was anyone’s game entering the fourth quarter, and both teams really needed a win.
The Giants already had goal-to-go when the quarter started and kicked a field goal to go up 16-14. Then Reno Mahe took the kickoff 64 yards and Brian Westbrook ran it in from the 28 for a touchdown to make it a 21-16 Eagles lead.
Manning was dealt a hand of bad luck when a pass to Visante Shiancoe was fumbled away. Then Jeff Garcia threw an interception and Manning capitalized with a touchdown drive with 7:05 left to make it 22-21.
Garcia led the Eagles 80 yards on eight plays, never even hitting a third down, and a touchdown pass to Reggie Brown made it 29-22 Eagles when Garcia hooked up with L.J. Smith on the two-point conversion.
Manning got the ball back with a chance to prove his worth and he immediately threw an interception to Trent Cole when he was hit and the ball all but popped up in the air. The ball was taken for a pick-six and that all but ended the game.
Manning’s 4Q Stats: 12 of 21 passes for 89 yards, 1 INT (47.5 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 8 of 12 passes for 63 yards (79.5 rating)
Full Evaluation: Manning did a fine job leading the Giants on the first touchdown drive but when he had a chance to counter Garcia’s latest touchdown drive with one of his own, he threw an extremely costly pick-six. Grade: C-
Score Entering 4th Quarter: Philadelphia 24, New York 7
What Happened: The Eagles seemed to have this game all but wrapped up when the quarter started but then the Giants went to work.
Manning hit Plaxico Burress for a short pass and when Burress fumbled, it was picked up by his teammate Tim Carter for a touchdown.
The teams switched punts although the Eagles couldn’t capitalize on a Manning interception with 10:34 left. Manning again couldn’t lead the Giants to any points as they punted away with 6:16 left, but the defense forced a fumble and Manning threw a 22 yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer to quickly make it a 24-21 game.
The Eagles couldn’t run the clock out and Manning marched the Giants from his own 20 to the Philly 17 in 48 seconds, taking advantage of a 15 yard penalty on Trent Cole. Jay Feely’s field goal tied the game and then in overtime, Manning found Burress for a game-winner over Sheldon Brown.
Manning’s 4Q/OT Stats: 19 of 25 passes for 211 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble (110.6 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 5 of 5 passes for 61 yards, 1 TD
Full Evaluation: Manning had so many opportunities because of how inept the Eagles’ offense was late in the game. Still, leading your team to 24 points in about 27 minutes is tremendous. Grade: A-
Score Entering 4th Quarter: New York 20, Philadelphia 17
What Happened: This late in the 2005 season, the Philadelphia Eagles were without Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens, Todd Pinkston and Tra Thomas and the results showed.
But they hung in there against the Giants, converting a pair of field goals to tie the game with 1:56 remaining, the final one of which was a 50 yard kick by David Akers.
Manning got the ball back with a chance to win and led the Giants to the Eagles’ 46 before throwing an interception to Michael Lewis, just moments after he threw an interception to Sheldon Brown.
Manning threw another interception in overtime but got the ball back and came away with a win when the Eagles fumbled the ball deep in their own territory.
Manning’s 4Q/OT Stats: 7 of 12 passes for 68 yards, 3 INT (34.7 rating)
Manning’s Final Drive: 4 handoffs
Full Evaluation: This was an absolutely brutal performance by Manning, who lucked out because Mike McMahon managed to be worse. Grade: F
Score Entering 4th Quarter: New York 13, Philadelphia 10
What Happened: Manning led a nice touchdown drive to start the quarter, making it 20-10 in favor of the Giants. The Eagles responded with a score of their own, but then Manning came right back and threw a 61 yard pass to Plaxico Burress for a touchdown that iced the game.
Manning’s 4Q/OT Stats: 5 of 7 passes for 89 yards, 1 TD
Manning’s Final Drive: 1 kneel
Full Evaluation: Manning led the Giants on a pair of fourth quarter touchdown drives and that’s what you want from your franchise quarterback in a close game. Grade: A
Since 2005, the Philadelphia Eagles are 10-7 against Eli Manning (I didn’t count Manning’s rookie season because it was just him getting his feet wet). They were just 2-5 from 2005-07, which means the Eagles are an impressive 8-2 since 2008, and that’s during a span in which the New York Giants have made the playoffs twice and won a Super Bowl.
And the Eagles are 2-0 against the Giants in the playoffs.
Manning’s career stats against the Eagles in the fourth quarter are as follows:
107 of 168 passes for 1,285 yards, 12 touchdowns, and nine interceptions for a 88.5 passer rating. That’s about on par with his career average, which surprised me. He’s fumbled the ball more than his fair share of times, fumbling six and losing three.
The total point differential in the fourth quarter between games in which Manning plays the Eagles is just a nine point advantage to the Eagles, meaning the Eagles outscore Manning’s Giants by less than half a point per game.
Manning has had his fair share of costly mistakes against the Eagles in clutch situations, such as his brutal pick-six to Trent Cole in 2006, the sack fumble against the Eagles in the second game of 2011, and the awful three-turnover quarter in 2010.
But he’s also had his very impressive moments in which he’s looked like an elite quarterback. His comeback in 2006 when he brought the Giants back from 17 down to win in overtime was legendary, and he swept both 2005 and 2007.
The Eagles get the edge for now, though for all of their recent success against the Manning in his prime, and until Manning gets a big victory over the Eagles in a playoff game, it’s safe to say they’ve gotten the best of him.