For the eighth straight time, the New York Giants fell to the Philadelphia Eagles. This one, in prime time on Thursday Night Football, may sting more than the rest. With just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, New York took a 21-10 lead with 2-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard. Instead of closing the game out, they allowed the Eagles to score touchdowns on back-to-back possessions. Big Blue wound up on the losing end of a 22-21 final.
The enduring moment of this game will be Big Bue quarterback Daniel Jones‘ 80-yard run in the third quarter. Jones faked out the entire Eagles defense on a read-option play. He was running towards the endzone with no defenders near him, but stumbled and fell before reaching the goal line.
DANIEL JONES TRIPS ON A 80-YARD RUN 😅
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 23, 2020
The play ended on a hilarious and ultimately meaningless note, as Wayne Gallman capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. But it’s also emblematic of the Giants’ collapse in this game. New York had a commanding lead with a victory in sight, but tripped up in the final moments and fell short.
Philadelphia dominated the first half in terms of total yardage and time of possession. The Eagles controlled the ball for over 20 minutes and outgained the Giants by 77 yards. Yet they only entered the second half with a 10-7 lead due to a Carson Wentz interception and a missed 29-yard field goal by Jake Elliott.
The Giants seemed they would make Philadelphia pay for their first-half miscues by dominating the second half. New York put together mammoth touchdown drives of 88 yards and 97 yards. They also shut out the Eagles up until five minutes to go in the game, with the help of a failed fourth-and-goal attempt by Philadelphia at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
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New York let the game slip away in those final five minutes. The play that will stick in the craw of Giants fans is the dropped pass by Evan Engram on a third-and-6 with just over two minutes left in the game. Jones threw a perfect touch pass over Engram’s shoulder, but the tight end let the ball bounce off his fingertips. A completion there would have put the Giants in field goal range and forced the Eagles to use their remaining timouts. Instead, they gave the ball back before the two-minute warning to Philadelphia, who completed a game winning touchdown drive capped by a 18-yard touchdown catch by Boston Scott.
It’s often said that bad teams “don’t know how to win.” While that idea may seem silly or uninstructive, this is the type of game that lends it credence. The G-Men still figured out a way to lose with late lapses and mistakes despite being up two scores late. New York also let an opportunity to jump into NFC East contention slip away. A victory would have vaulted them ahead of the Eagles to potentially be in a virtual tie with the Dallas Cowboys for first in the division. Now, they’re 1-6 and looking at another lost season.
Here are your Week 7 Podium/Sodium Players, i.e., three players Giants’ fans would like awarded for their performace, and three they’re feeling salty about.
Gold Medal: WR Sterling Shepard
Shepard didn’t have a monster game in his return from a turf toe injury, but his presence was a major boost for this offence. The fifth-year pro led Big Blue with six catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. He was the most reliable option for Jones in must-pass situations. His route running in the intermediate part of the field had been sorely missing from New York’s offence in recent weeks.
Silver Medal: QB Daniel Jones
Jones had an interception and a fumble this game, but neither were entirely his fault. The Duke product once again led the Giants in rushing by a wide margin. He’s become almost a one-man show for this New York offence. Jones is usually afforded very little pass protection, so most of his completions have to come when he’s scrambling or facing heavy pressure. He still completed 66.6% of his passes.
Bronze Medal: CB James Bradberry
Bradberry intercepted Wentz and held the Eagles top receiver DeSean Jackson to just three catches for 34 yards. Another day at the office for Giants’ best overall player.
Salty: OT Andrew Thomas
It’s expected for a rookie offensive tackle to struggle, but Thomas seems to be regressing rather than improving. The 2020 fourth-overall pick had arguably his worst game of the season against the Eagles. He is consistently getting beaten inside by spin moves and counter moves and is surrendering pressure to Jones’ blindside at a dangerous clip. Outside of fellow rookie Matt Peart, the Giants don’t have any other options to play at left tackle. They need Thomas to start making leaps in his development in the second half of the season.
Saltier: CB Ryan Lewis
It’s hard to kill Lewis too much, as he’s a practice squad call-up playing well above his head as Big Blue’s second starting cornerback. But he bot burned on a 59-yard deep ball to John Hightower that jumpstarted the Eagles’ first fourth-quarter touchdown drive. Immediatley preceding that play, he was called for an illegal contact penallty on a second-and-10 that negated a sack and gave Philadelphia a fresh set of downs.
Saltiest: TE Evan Engram
Engram actually had his most productive game of the season, catching six passes for 46 yards. But he continues to be a polestar of negative plays for the Giants. He had the critical fourth-quarter dropped pass that would’ve sealed the game. He also let a quick-hitting slant route bounce off his hands which led to Jones’ interception. The complaint for most of the tight end’s career is that he could never stay healthy. This year, he’s been healthy but he is simply playing poorly. Engram contributed more to the passing offense this game, but it’s hard to feel good about his performance when he let the victory slip through his hands.