The Philadelphia Eagles lost starting quarterback Michael Vick for the game right before halftime, allowed the New York Giants' third receiver, Rueben Randle, to catch six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns, and settled for field goals on five separate drives.
They still won the game, 36-21.
Three Eli Manning interceptions in the second half doomed the Giants, while Nick Foles played excellent football in Vick's stead, finishing 16-of-25 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Once again the Giants lost the turnover battle, giving up the rock four times while the Eagles didn't have a single turnover.
New York's defense was pretty atrocious as well, allowing the Eagles to accumulate 439 yards from scrimmage. At 0-5, the season seems to already be over for the G-Men. It's hard to imagine a team led by Tom Coughlin and Manning being this poor.
Trey Wingo summed up the season perfectly:
Giants have 20 turnovers in 5 games. Last season they had 21 for the entire season.— trey wingo (@wingoz) October 6, 2013
Meanwhile, ESPN Stats and Information put into historical context just how bad this defense has been:
Giants are 3rd team in NFL history to allow at least 30 pts in each of their 1st 5 games (1954 Cardinals, 2012 Titans) (h/t: @eliassports)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 6, 2013
The Giants actually struck first in this one, scoring on their first drive after forcing an Eagles three-and-out. Manning had Randle open deep downfield on a second-down play, only to see the pass broken up at the last minute. But Manning took another shot on the next play, connecting with Hakeem Nicks on a 49-yard pass.
Two plays later, David Wilson scored his first rushing touchdown of the year from five yards out, and celebrated in style.
The Eagles would answer with a field goal on the next drive, however. Vick scrambled for 34 yards on a 3rd-and-19 play, putting the Eagles into Giants territory after the Giants took a holding penalty rather than force a punt. The drive stalled, and Alex Henery kicked a 40-yard field goal.
Shockingly, Vick didn't complete a single pass in the first quarter, though his 52 rushing yards made up for his lack of efficiency in the passing game.
It looked as though the Eagles had a safety early in the second quarter after stuffing David Wilson in the end zone, but the officials ruled forward progress at the 1-yard line. Unfortunately, Wilson injured his neck on the play and would not return.
After the game, Vick said he would have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury (via Pro Football Talk).
Also, Vick said he'll get an MRI on his hamstring tomorrow. Just noticed that.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 6, 2013
Vick finally recorded his first completion of the game at 12:22 of the second quarter, finding Zach Ertz for a 24-yard gain to the Giants' 7-yard line. Again the drive stalled, and Henery hit his second field goal of the contest.
Vick's second completion was a big gain as well, as he would find DeSean Jackson deep down the field on a 56-yard strike to the Giants' 29-yard line after the Eagles held the Giants to a three-and-out. Three plays later, LeSean McCoy plunged into the end zone from a yard out, giving the Birds a 13-7 lead.
Momentum continued to go the Eagles' way, as Brandon Jacobs fumbled at the Giants' 48-yard line on the next drive. The Eagles quickly marched down to New York's 18-yard line on four plays, but the drive fizzled out and Henery hit his third field goal, putting Philly up 16-7.
The drive had bigger consequences, however, as Vick appeared to aggravate a muscle after a 13-yard run. He finished the drive, but Foles entered the game one play into the Eagles' next drive, and Vick never returned.
Foles picked up where Vick left off, leading the Eagles 75 yards to set up Henery's fourth field goal of the game after starting on their own 7-yard line with just 1:33 remaining. The Eagles went into the half up 19-7, holding the Giants to just 107 more net yards in the half after New York went 62 yards on their first drive.
The Giants offense finally showed some life in the second half, however. After going three-and-out when they received the second-half kickoff, the defense forced an Eagles punt and Manning went to work, leading the Giants on a seven-play, 77-yard drive capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass to Randle.
And with that, momentum was back on New York's side. After forcing a three-and-out, Manning again drove the Giants down the field, this time going 51 yards on seven plays. Again, he found Randle for the touchdown, this time on a six-yard strike to give the Giants a 21-19 lead.
But Foles and the Eagles countered, driving 57 yards and setting up Henery's fifth field goal, this time a 41-yarder to regain the lead, 22-21.
Early in the fourth quarter, as they've done so much this season, the Giants hurt themselves with a turnover.
Manning dropped back to pass only to see the pocket collapse around him. His face mask was lightly tugged as he went to throw, and he hit an offensive lineman in the helmet with the pass. The ball caromed into the air and was intercepted by linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
Manning pleaded his case for a face mask, but to no avail. One play later, Foles hit Brent Celek in the end zone on a 25-yard touchdown strike, extending the Eagles' lead to 29-21.
On the next drive, the turnover bug bit again, as Brandon Boykin brilliantly ripped away the ball from Victor Cruz with one hand and intercepted Manning. Four plays later, Foles found DeSean Jackson in the corner of the end zone for a six-yard touchdown, putting the Eagles up 36-21 with 8:24 remaining in the game.
Eli Manning would end the Giants' third consecutive drive with an interception after that touchdown, all but ending things for New York. The loss moved the Giants to a shocking 0-5 record, while the Eagles are now 2-3, with both wins coming in the NFC East.
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants: D+
Coughlin made two egregious errors: In the first quarter, he elected to take yardage on a third-down penalty instead of making the Eagles punt, perhaps concerned Chip Kelly would go for it in Giants territory. Vick's 32-yard scramble eventually set up the Eagles for a field goal.
The other was a second-half challenge on a third-down catch by LeSean McCoy. The problem wasn't the challenge itself: Replays clearly showed McCoy didn't have possession as he fell out of bounds, and though the officials incomprehensibly didn't overturn the play, Coughlin was right to throw the flag.
The problem was that he decided to take a timeout before challenging, meaning when he lost, he also cost his team two timeouts. It didn't end up mattering in the game, but it was a curious decision.
Add in the fact that his team lost its fifth straight game—and looked sloppy once again in the process—and he has to be firmly planted on the hot seat at this point.
Michael Vick and Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles: A-
Here's your stat of the game: The Eagles and their two quarterbacks didn't turn the ball over once. That was the difference.
Vick finished the day 6-of-14 with 105 passing yards and 79 rushing yards on seven carries. He helped the Eagles to a 16-7 lead.
Foles stepped in as the reliever and was splendid, leading the Eagles to a late field goal right before the half and putting up 20 points off the bench. In all, the Eagles have to be very pleased with the play of both quarterbacks in this one.
After the game, Chip Kelly was asked about his quarterbacks and said that Vick was his starter, but didn't entirely rule out Foles earning the job if circumstances were to change.
"We're always going to compete and make sure the best guys are on the field," Kelly told Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com.
Eli Manning, New York Giants: C-
With 13:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Eagles led 22-21 and the Giants had the ball. On the Giants' next three drives, Manning threw three interceptions, leading to 14 points and essentially ending the game.
For most of this game, Manning protected the ball and had the Giants leading 21-19 in the third quarter. In one unbelievable five-minute stretch, all of his hard work was erased.
Granted, one interception was the result of a penalty that should have been called, and the other came off brilliant play from Boykin. But when the Giants needed Manning the most, he failed to deliver once again this season.
The Eagles Secondary: C
Once again, the Eagles secondary did everything in its power to give this game away, but this time, the Eagles managed to survive. Manning carved this unit to the tune of 334 passing yards, while Randle beat them for two scores and Nicks caught nine passes for 142 yards.
But give credit where credit is due—Boykin's interception was pure brilliance, while Cary Williams wrapped things up with a pick of his own. They were pretty dreadful for much of the game, but in crunch time, two big plays were the difference.
|Alex Henery||K||Philadelphia Eagles||A|
|DeSean Jackson||WR||Philadelphia Eagles||A|
|Offensive Line||Offensive Line||Philadelphia Eagles||A-|
|LeSean McCoy||RB||Philadelphia Eagles||C+|
|Mychal Kendricks||LB||Philadelphia Eagles||B|
|David Wilson||RB||New York Giants||B|
|Rueben Randle||WR||New York Giants||A|
|Hakeem Nicks||WR||New York Giants||A|
|Ryan Mundy||S||New York Giants||B|
|Brandon Jacobs||RB||New York Giants||C|
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