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Markus Kuhn and Mathias Kiwanuka, New York Giants (October 12, 2014)

Markus Kuhn and Mathias Kiwanuka – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Philadelphia Eagles 27 – New York Giants 0

Long-time BBI readers know that in each season, the Giants play a game where we decide not to write the usual position-by-position breakdown because (1) it is too painful to re-watch the game, (2) no one really wants to read how much their favorite team sucked across the board, and (3) there is a need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

This is one of those reviews.

This game was not as close as the 27-0 score. The Eagles out-gained the Giants in total net yards (448 to 253), net yards rushing (203 to 85), net yards passing (245 to 168), and first downs (24 to 12). The Giants punted 10 times, turned the ball over on downs once, and fumble the ball away on another drive. Meanwhile, the Eagles scored on four of their first five offensive possessions and cruised the rest of the way.

But I think this game tells us more about the Giants than the Eagles.

What we do know is the Giants are only the third-best team in the NFC East. They are not as bad as the Washington Redskins, but they are not as good as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. They are likely to finish the 2014 standings in third place.

It’s difficult to not be emotional following the embarrassing performance against a hated division rival and potential career-altering injury to Victor Cruz. And it’s always imprudent to make definitive statements or dramatic conclusions after a great win or bad loss.

The problem with the loss to the Eagles is that we don’t know if the team was so uncompetitive because their talent is so much worse than the Eagles, they were badly out-coached, or they didn’t match the Eagles’ sense of urgency and passion. The next month will provide us with more definitive answers.

But there are some troubling trends that we should take note of:

  • In the last three seasons, uncompetitive, blowout losses are becoming an all-too-common occurrence with this team. One of the greatest coaches in team history has been left standing at the post-game podium, literally scratching his head without answers (at least publicly) after too many games.
  • This team has an inflated opinion of itself. Two NFL titles will do that. But it’s literally a .500 team over the last two and a half seasons (19-19), with a quite a few embarrassing losses and no playoff appearances. The players talk too much. John Mara admitted that he felt last year’s 7-9 team had as much talent as the Super Bowl teams. And he often comes across as cocky. So does Jerry Reese, who continues to undervalue certain positions, a tendency that has repeatedly come back to bite the team in the ass. There is an arrogance about this team that is no longer deserved.
  • While Roger Goodell and the NFL front office seems to determined to turn the pro game into the version of football we see in Starship Troopers, games are still determined not only by great quarterback play, but in the trenches. When the Giants play well up front, they win; when they don’t, they lose. The Giants are not good enough on the defensive and offensive lines. They are better than they were in 2013, but these areas are still too weak.
  • Special teams hemorrhaging has not abated. It’s been a problem almost every season under Tom Quinn.

All of this becomes moot if the Giants upset the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys next week and go on to win the bulk of their division games and win the NFC East. But I don’t think that is going to happen. Victor Cruz is gone. The once unbelievably deep secondary is rapidly becoming weaker with the departure of Will Hill, the regression of Stevie Brown, and injuries to Walter Thurmond (on IR), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (who can’t seem to finish a game now), and Trumaine McBride. The schedule is getting tougher and the Giants are already two games back with 10 to play.

The focus by fans, the media, and the team at this point should be more strategic. The Giants need to building for the future rather than taking a short-term approach. To be brutally frank, this is not a Super Bowl caliber team. All attention and effort should be focused on the long-term objective of getting the New York Football Giants back to Super Bowl contention.

With that in mind, let’s consider the following:

  • Eli Manning has proved that he has a lot of good football left in him. He has also proven he not only can adapt to the West Coast system, but he may actually be better suited for it as this state of his career. If the Giants believe that Eli has another good 5-6 years left in him (and I think they do), they have time to construct a better team around him. In the meantime, keep the emphasis on the short-passing attack in order to preserve Eli’s body and state of mind. They may lose many more battles this season, but don’t lose the war (i.e., Eli).
  • The Giants have some weapons in Odell Beckham and Larry Donnell to build around, but not enough. Victor Cruz’s career may be over, or he may never be the same player again. Jerrel Jernigan was drafted to be a slot receiver, but of course, he’s nowhere to be found. Don’t be shocked to see the Giants be in position to find the best prospect at their pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft to be another wide receiver. The need is there.
  • Offensively, the rest of the season should be spent on getting Manning and the entire offense more accustomed to the new system. The loss of Cruz will hurt. Teams that were focusing special attention on Cruz will now focus more attention on Larry Donnell and Odell Beckham. The three-headed monster is gone. Those visions of Cruz, Beckham and Donnell tormenting secondaries evaporated before they could be fully implemented. Does Rueben Randle have an NFL future? What about Corey Washington?
  • The Giants need to continue to allocate serious resources to the offensive line. Much of the rest of the season should be spent on seriously evaluating Will Beatty (who was improving until Sunday) and Justin Pugh (who largely shut down JJ Watt but allowed the Eagles pass rushers to blow by him all night). Weston Richburg is likely the center of the future. But Geoff Schwartz wasn’t looking too good before he got hurt. The Giants really could use a stud road grader at guard. And they need better overall depth to shove guys like James Brewer, Charles Brown, and Dallas Reynolds off of the team. The Giants also need to seriously evaluate long-time offensive line coach Pat Flaherty.
  • Do the Giants consider Ben McAdoo a strong future head coaching candidate? If so, it may be time to part ways with Tom Coughlin. This is nothing against Coughlin, easily one of the three greatest head coaches in team history, and still one of the best in the business. But as John Mara, Jerry Reese, and Tom Coughlin have repeatedly pointed out this year after Kevin Gilbride, sometimes change and a shake-up is needed. Coughlin is 68 years old. How well does he relate to 25 year olds now? Has his message grown stale with a team that too often does not appear ready to play? Coughlin does not appear to be able to get his team to shut its mouth. Is a 68-year old the best candidate to oversee a rebuilding team? Perhaps most importantly, by keeping Coughlin, does the team lose out on the next up-and-coming hot coaching candidate? (But also keep in mind these “hot” coaching candidates are more often busts than not).
  • On the subject of coaches, it’s time for Tom Quinn to go. At best, his special teams have been average in good years. But usually, they are a team weakness. He’s been here eight seasons. Enough is enough.
  • I’m not a fan of Perry Fewell. I think he’s OK. The best his defense has ever performed was 2010 (notwithstanding the meltdowns against the Eagles and Packers) and for a 6-game stretch at the end of the 2011 season. But one never really comes away with the impression that, “Wow, we really out-coached the other team’s offensive coordinator.” Fewell seems to play it far too conservatively at times. This team has never been a good blitzing team under him. In years past, the defense has had trouble holding leads. This year, the defense seems to have trouble starting games. Is it more personnel than coaching? Personnel definitely has a significant role, but Fewell just doesn’t do it for me. I think the Giants can do better.
  • On the subject of defensive personnel, the Giants have some tough decisions to make. Antrel Rolle turns 32 in December is will demand a big contract. He may not be the right fit for a rebuilding club. But how will his departure impact DRC, who is signed through the 2018 season? A more difficult question is what do do with JPP? He will demand a mega-contract. He has played much better this year and is probably set for some breakout games. But he has had some injury issues and talks better than he plays. That said, replacing him would be very difficult and the Giants are already lacking in the pass rush department.
  • Also speaking defensive personnel, the team is going to continue to have issues until they get younger, faster, healthier, and more physical at linebacker. The game has changed. You need guys who can run and hit and stay on the field on all three downs. Jerry Reese continues to ignore that fact or attempt to patch up the linebacking corps with short-term free agent solutions and low-round draft picks.
  • In the secondary, hopefully the Giants can re-sign Prince Amukamara and Walter Thurmond to reasonable contracts. But the Giants need help at safety unless Cooper Taylor and Nat Berhe really surprise. The importance of safeties in this league continues to rise.

My final comment is this. I like to think of myself as a logical man, someone not influenced by notions of “luck” and “karma” and “destiny.” But when it comes to football, those concepts sometimes enter my mind. The Giants had two of the most unbelievable and unexpected playoff runs in sports history in 2007 and 2011. It all came together at the right moment for the Giants. In 2007, the “football gods” decided that Eli Manning would turn from a bumbling, stumbling quarterback into a stone-faced assassin. Corey Webster would go from a draft bust to a cornerstone on the post-season defense. Playing hurt, Plaxico Burress would play perhaps his best game on the frozen tundra in Green Bay. Kevin Boss more than adequately filled in for Jeremy Shockey. The Giants defense would hold the highest-scoring offense in NFL history to 14 points. Eli and David Tyree combined for the greatest play in NFL history. In 2011, the Giants made a Super Bowl run with a near-dead last running game and defense. JPP became a one-man wrecking crew. Victor Cruz came out of nowhere to put up monster numbers. Hakeem Nicks had one of the greatest post-season performances by a wide receiver in NFL history. Jake Ballard made clutch plays in close victories.

Then the “football gods” decided that was enough. One by one, those playoff heroes were picked off, often under strange circumstances – Burress, Boss, JPP, Nicks, Cruz, Ballard, among others. It was as if each had their moment in the sun to play during those critical Super Bowl runs, but then, once that moment had passed, those players (or their exceptional ability) were taken away long before they should have been.

I wouldn’t trade 2007 and 2011 for anything. But we appear to be paying the price now. The football gods have decided to give someone else a chance.

(New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, October 12, 2014)
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (October 12, 2014)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

In a critically important game for both teams, the New York Giants were embarrassed 27-0 by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants fell to 3-3 (1-1 in the NFC East) behind the now 5-1 Eagles and 5-1 Dallas Cowboys. The Giants face the Cowboys next Sunday in a game that may determine the fate of their season.

Worse than losing the game, the Giants lost WR Victor Cruz for the season with a torn patella tendon in his right knee. The injury was so severe that Cruz was forced to stay in a hospital in Philadelphia overnight.

“Oh, it’s (an) incredible (loss),” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said of Cruz. “Huge loss.”

“It was tough to say anything,” QB Eli Manning said. “I just went over and patted him on his shoulder. Even if I did say anything, I don’t think he would’ve heard me, he was in so much pain.”

“That’s extremely tough,” S Antrel Rolle said. “He’s just down there screaming. That’s your brother down there on the floor.”

In addition, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left the game in the second quarter with a back injury and did not return. CB Trumaine McBride also left the game with injured thumb that required a cast.

As for the game, it was a failure across the board for New York on offense, defense, and special teams.

“In this league, you can’t take days off. You can’t take them off,” Rolle said. “We took (Sunday) off. Everyone took the day off.”

“It starts right here at the top,” Coughlin said. “Very, very poor performance. I take full responsibility for it. And there’s not a lot to say about it. Not a lot to say.”

Offensively, the Giants were shutout, held to 12 first downs, and 253 total net yards (168 yards passing and 85 yards rushing)

The Giants offensive line gave up eight sacks and could not open up holes for the running game. Heading into the game, the Eagles secondary was ranked 29th against the pass, but Eagles’ defensive backs were able to successfully press the Giants’ wide receivers at the line, and forced Manning to hold onto the ball longer than usual.

“It was great coverage,” Eagles’ Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis Jr. said. “We pressed up on guys and we were disguising some coverages, you know with a guy like Eli you have to show him one thing and give him another and just moved it around on him a little bit.”

“That’s the thing,” Eagles’ LB Trent Cole said . “Him holding onto the ball, that surprised me. Eli, he’s a guy that just gets it out quick, gets it to his receivers and he’s very accurate. I’ve always given it to him, I think he’s a great quarterback and I still think he’s a great quarterback. But, hats off to our secondary, man. I’m just very happy about how the were playing and making him hold onto the ball.”

Other Eagles said the Giants’ offense was easy to predict and defend.

“We knew if we gave (Eli Manning) a certain look, he would check to certain things,” said LB Brandon Graham. “We knew (what) was checking at the line…Everything (we thought) was going to happen, happened in the game.”

“I wasn’t surprised,” LB DeMeco Ryans said. “They did the things they showed on film.”

Defensively, the Giants allowed the Eagles to score 10 points on their first two drives as New York quickly found themselves in a 10-0 hole. The Eagles added another 10 points in the second quarter as the game was practically over by halftime.  Philadelphia gained 448 yards of offense, including 203 yards rushing.

Special teams were not better with the Giants giving up a 43-yard punt return and having a punt partially blocked.

The Giants were also penalized 10 times for 74 yards.

The Giants had talked a lot of trash leading up to this game, but in the end, the Eagles had the final word.

“I said when (the Giants) were talking all week that we would see what happened on Sunday,” LB Trent Cole said. “Well, we saw what happened Sunday.”

Notes:  Inactive for the Giants were RB Rashad Jennings (knee), LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring), OG Adam Snyder, OGBrandon Mosley, OT James Brewer, DT Jay Bromley, and DE Kerry Wynn.

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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (May 31, 2014)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, October 12, 2014

The New York Giants (3-2) square off against the Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) Sunday evening in New York’s second NFC East matchup.

FOUR DOWNS:

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (October 5, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

First Down
Will Odell Beckham Jr. be special on special teams?
For the past several years, the Giants have desperately been looking for some kind of spark on special teams. This Sunday it appears as if Beckham will be given a chance to ignite it. The Giants first round pick has taken reps as the team’s punt returner in place of Preston Parker. When Beckham was drafted, Giants general manager Jerry Reese raved about how Beckham could score in “three different ways.” He caught a touchdown last week. Now he’ll have a chance to do it in way No. 2.

Second Down
Can the Giants get pressure on Nick Foles?
The Eagles offensive line is battered, bruised and depleted, similar to the Atlanta Falcons a week ago. Can the Giants make Nick Foles’ day miserable? If not, and the team lets the third-year pro sit back and throw, it could be a long night for the Giants defense.

Third Down
Does Robert Ayers Jr. play?
When Ayers, who has been one of the biggest surprises for the Giants this year, showed up to practice Friday morning, he went to the trainers with neck pain. Turns out, Ayers is dealing with “Neck Spasms.” He didn’t practice Friday and is questionable for this Sunday.

Fourth Down
Can Eli Manning continue to be the Eli Manning of late?
Eli Manning and the Giants offense are playing the best football they have in years. The last three games, the offense has scored 30 or more points in each and Manning has had a 100+ quarterback rating. Those two statistics together have not happened since 2010. Will the hot streak continue for Manning? Or will Philly cool down the red-hot Giants offense.

BREAKING DOWN PHILADELPHIA:

Justin Tuck, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Giants Run Defense – © USA TODAY Sports Images

OFFENSE - by Connor Hughes
Strength?
LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles have been everything and more for the Philadelphia offense this year. While McCoy has struggled a little to get it going on the ground, Sproles has picked up the slack. The game breaking ability out of the backfield Sproles regularly displayed for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers is now showcased weekly in Philly. When Sproles comes out of the backfield, it will most likely be Jacquian Williams tasked with stopping him. As far as McCoy, Jason Pierre-Paul said it best, the moment you forget about him he’ll go off for 100 yards rushing in the first quarter. The two are the heart and soul of the offense, especially with a struggling Nick Foles.

Weakness?
It’s no shock here, the weakest unit on the Eagles offense was their strongest a year ago. The Eagles offensive line is bruised and battered heading into Sunday’s game. One of the reasons McCoy has struggled to get going, and Foles has looked nothing like the quarterback that burst onto the scene last year, is because of the men up front. There’s little running lanes, and even less time in the pocket. Lane Johnson is back, but Evan Mathis and Jason Kelse are not.

DEFENSE -by Eric Kennedy
Strength?
The Eagles defense is currently ranked 28th in terms of yards allowed, but it is opportunistic, having scored three touchdowns already this year. The base defense is a 3-4, but the Eagles will shift in various fronts. The strength of the defensive team is in the front seven. Defensive ends Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thorton can cause issues, and are flexible enough to move to tackle when the Eagles go to their pass-rushing packages, where DE Vinny Curry becomes a factor. Linebacker/defensive end hybrids Trent Cole and Connor Barwin can also rush the passer. Brandon Graham has also been making plays. The leader, inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans, should play this week after suffering a groin injury.

Weakness?
It’s the secondary. The Eagles are 29th against the pass. Outside of safety Malcon Jenkins and Brandon Boykin, the Eagles are struggling. Jenkins has all three of the Eagles interceptions this season. Corners Bradley Williams and Cary Williams are not very good. Nickelback Brandon Boykin will likely match up against Victor Cruz quite a bit. He’s undersized but very quick and athletic.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Connor Hughes -
Zach Ertz, Darren Sproles, Brent Celek
It won’t be a Giant I have my eyes on this Sunday, but rather several Eagles, and what Giant covers them on passing routes. Prior to joining Philadelphia, head coach Chip Kelly and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick would exchange offensive philosophies. It was Kelly who originally came up with the two tight end approach the Patriots used to reach the Super Bowl (Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez), and Kelly is now building it in Philly with Ertz and Celek. The biggest question with Philadelphia is when the team comes out with two tight ends and Sproles in the backfield, who covers whom?  Will it be Jacquian Williams on Ertz, or Sproles? If Williams is on Ertz, who covers Sproles and Celek? Will Rolle come down? Or Demps? Will Trumaine McBride be forced to cover one of the tight ends? It’s a difficult task presented to Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell this week

Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (October 28, 2012)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Eric Kennedy -
Jason Pierre-Paul
JPP has been running his mouth all week. Can he back it up? Though the Eagles offense has struggled thus far this season, they are still loaded and capable of embarrassing an opponent. Philadelphia will go up tempo and prevent the Giants from subbing defensive personnel, such as getting pass rusher Robert Ayers in at defensive tackle. JPP will face one of the best left tackles in football in Jason Peters. But “great” players are supposed to show up in big games against top-notch opponents. If JPP isn’t a factor on Sunday night both rushing the passer, stopping the run, and being aware of misdirection (screens, end arounds, etc.), it could be a long night for the defense.

FROM THE COACHES’ MOUTH:

Tom Coughlin - “Exciting week, divisional week preparing for coach Chip Kelly and his staff. Outstanding Philadelphia Eagles football team, 4-1 team that could be 5-0. Scored 156 points, 88 in the second half, 31.2 per game. They’ve overcome double-digit deficits in the second half of the first three weeks. They’re a team that’s scored on seven returns, which is amazing. You’re talking about being at this point, five games into the season, they have a punt return for a touchdown, a kickoff return for a touchdown, they have two blocked punts for touchdowns, they have three defensive touchdowns, so they’ve done an outstanding job in that area.”

Chip Kelly - “The team I see this year, they are playing…changed offensively in terms of their scheme. Eli Manning seems very comfortable in the scheme; he is getting the ball out a lot faster than they did before. They seem like they are in a lot more spread formations. Defensively, it is the same style. It looks like Jason Pierre-Paul is really playing at a high level right now, he is very healthy. Their front four is doing a lot of really good work. They added guys like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the secondary, who is an outstanding corner, so they added a couple pieces there, (a) really good football team coming in here on Sunday.”

FINAL WORD:

Connor Hughes - Finally. The war of words between the trash-talking Giants and Philadelphia Eagles is put to rest with the teams stepping on the field Sunday night. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it will be the Giants walking off it with their fourth straight victory.

Entering the game, the Giants have a better offense than the Eagle defense. And the Giants defense is better – with the offensive line at its present state – than the Eagles offense. The Giants are hot, the Eagles, despite their 4-1 record, are not. Everything points to New York continuing its winning streak. But I just don’t see it happening.

When the Giants played the Patriots in the past, the team is built to beat them. It didn’t matter how good, or how many weapons New England had, the Giants schematically were the perfect match. They were able to pressure Brady with four, knock him to the ground and control the clock to beat the unbeatable. They did it twice on the biggest of stages.

With Philadelphia, I see something similar. They match up very well against the Giants defense. Who exactly covers Celek? Sproles? Ertz? The Giants could go nickel, using Trumaine McBride to cover one, but that opens up rushing lanes. It’s a difficult situation.

It should be close, as all Giants and Eagles games seem to be. But I see an Eli Manning interception late in the fourth sealing the deal.
Philadelphia 24 – New York 20

Eric Kennedy - How good are the Eagles? Are they simply not as good as they were last year because of the injury issues on their offensive line and the loss of DeSean Jackson? Or are they poised for a breakout game? The problem – as Connor astutely points out – is that the Eagles have a lot of very dangerous underneath targets at running back and tight end who create significant match-up problems for the Giants defense. This is an opponent where the Giants will miss Will Hill and not having more overall speed and athleticism at linebacker. The Eagles are also one of the most dangerous screen teams in the NFL. On the other side of the ball, on paper, the Giants should be able to move the ball if the team can protect Eli Manning and create running room for Andre Williams. But if I’m the Eagles, I really challenge and test the ability of Williams to protect Eli. This was a bad time to lose Rashad Jennings, who is very good as pass protector and receiver. In a close game, specials will likely determine the outcome. The Eagles special teams have been outstanding. They have scored four touchdowns, including on blocked punts. The Giants special teams remain less than special, finding different ways to screw up each contest.

I think the Giants are the better team. But I also think there is something about those green turds from Philadelphia that bring out the worst in the Giants. The trash-talking, which was started by the Giants this week, was unnecessary, and I believe a sign of underlying doubt and mental weakness against this particular opponent.
Philadelphia 33 – New York 10

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Linval Joseph, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Linval Joseph Sacks Matt Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Defeat Philadelphia Eagles 15-7: The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 15-7 on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The victory was the second win in a row for the Giants and their first road victory in eight games. The Giants are now 2-6 overall and 1-2 in the NFC East.

With the Cowboys falling to the Lions, though New York is still in last place in the division, the Giants are unbelievably only two games out of first place in the terrible NFC East.

“The key to the turnaround has been our enthusiasm,” said safety Antrel Rolle after the game. “After the 0-6 record, the coaches and players got together and we got on the same page. There were a lot of in-depth conversations. There was a lot of speaking as men to men, understanding your strengths and weaknesses and just the coaches and players being on the same page at the same time. As well as the coaches trusting the players and the players trusting the coaches and I think it’s definitely shown in our performance.”

The Giants did not score a touchdown, but controlled the game, holding advantages in total net yards (325 to 201), net yards rushing (88 to 48), net yards passing (237 to 153), total offensive plays (71 to 58), and time of possession (38:05 to 21:55). The Giants only committed one turnover (on special teams), while forcing three turnovers. On the downside, the Giants were penalized 11 times for 92 yards and were 0-2 in red zone opportunities.

For the second game in a row, the Giants’ defense shutout an opponent. The Eagles had 11 offensive possessions in the game. Three ended in turnovers, two on downs, and six with punts.

Four of the Giants’ six first-half possessions resulted in field goals. After a three-and-out on the Giants’ first drive, New York got the ball back three plays later with an interception by Rolle. The Giants then drove the ball 57 yards in nine plays to set up a 40-yard field goal by PK Josh Brown. The Eagles went three-and-out on their second possession and the Giants responded with a 7-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal by Brown. The Eagles picked up one first down and punted and the Giants went 48 yards in 12 plays, resulting in yet another Brown field goal, this one from 33 yards out. The Eagles picked up one more first down on fourth possession and then punted. Up until this point, halfway through the second quarter, the Eagles only had accrued two first downs in the game. The Giants responded with a 9-play, 53-yard drive and a 46-yard field goal by Brown.

With 2:24 left in the half, QB Matt Barkley replaced the ineffective QB Michael Vick. The Eagles quickly drove from their own 20-yard line to the Giants’ 2-yard line with 1:14 left in the half. But on 1st-and-goal, Barkley was sacked by CB Terrell Thomas. Barkley fumbled and LB Jacquian Williams recovered the loose ball at the Giants’ 12-yard line.

At the half, the Giants led 12-0.

The Eagles received the football to start the third quarter and Philadelphia again moved the ball, driving from their own 25 to the Giants’ 26-yard line. But after a sack by DE Mathias Kiwanuka, Barkley’s 4th-and-10 pass fell incomplete and the Giants took over on downs.

Neither team could pick up a first down on each of their next two possessions, resulting in four punts. At the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter, New York put together their final scoring drive of the game, driving 32 yards in nine plays to set up a 27-yard field goal as the Giants went up 15-0 with 12:23 to play.

Both teams then exchanged punts again. The Eagles went for it on 4th-and-20 with 5:20 left in the game from the Giants’ 46, but the play only picked up five yards. The Giants could not run out the clock and with 4:19 to play, long snapper Zak DeOssie’s snap went over punter Steve Weatherford’s head and the Eagles recovered the loose ball for a touchdown. Giants 15 – Eagles 7.

Rolle recovered the Eagles’ onsides kick. Despite a delay of game penalty, the Giants were able to at least pick up one first down before punting with 36 seconds left in the game. Two plays later, safety Will Hill ended the game by picking off a deep sideline pass by Barkley at the Giants’ 38-yard line.

Offensively, QB Eli Manning finished the game 25-of-39 for 246 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Wideouts Victor Cruz (seven catches for 86 yards) and Hakeem Nicks (7 catches for 51 yards) were the leading receivers. RB Peyton Hillis carried the ball 20 times for 70 yards while RB Michael Cox chipped in with 19 yards on nine carries.

Defensively, Terrell Thomas had a team-high 11 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. Safeties Antrel Rolle and Will Hill both had interceptions, and Rolle also had a sack. DE Mathias Kiwanuka and DT Linval Joseph each had sacks too. LB Jacquian Williams recovered a fumble. The Giants had four sacks overall, coming into the game with only six on the season.

On special teams, Josh Brown was 5-for-5 on field goal attempts. But the Giants gave up their fourth special teams touchdown this season.

Video highlights are available at NFL.com.

Injury Report: WR Victor Cruz left with a stinger but returned. X-rays were negative.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference are available at Giants.com.

Player Post-Game Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of post-game media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), RB David Wilson (neck), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), OC Dallas Reynolds, DT Shaun Rogers (knee), and CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring).