PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 22 – NEW YORK GIANTS 16…
Despite sitting most of their starters, the New York Giants’ second- and third-stringers made a respectable showing against a Philadelphia Eagles team that desperately needed to win in order to secure the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Giants lost 22-16 at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday and finished the regular-season with a 9-7-1 record (1-4-1 in the NFC East). The Giants will face the Minnesota Vikings in the first-round of the playoffs this weekend.
The final team statistics were also closer than one would expect. The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (23 to 18), total net yards (342 to 284), net yards rushing (135 to 129), net yards passing (207 to 155), and time of possession (31:26 to 28:34). The Giants won the turnover battle 1-0, but did turn the ball over on downs on a failed fake field goal attempt.
New York’s starting offense was quarterback Davis Webb; running back Matt Breida; tight ends Nick Vannett and Lawrence Cager; wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marcus Johnson; and offensive linemen Evan Neal, Jack Anderson, Nick Gates, Ben Bredeson, and Tyre Phillips.
The starting defense was defensive linemen Justin Ellis and Ryan Anderson; linebackers Oshane Ximines, Tomon Fox, Landon Collins, and Jarrad Davis; cornerbacks Rodarius Williams, Cor’Dale Flott, and Nick McCloud; and safeties Dane Belton and Justin Pinnock.
The Giants also freely substituted throughout the game on both sides of the ball.
The first half of the game was very one-sided, however, as the Eagles gained 187 yards and the Giants were held to just 77 yards of offense. New York’s six first-half possessions resulted in just six first downs, five punts, and a failed fake field-goal attempt. On the other hand, Philadelphia scored on four of their five first-half possessions. The game would have been more out of hand except the Giants’ defense limited the Eagles to three field goals (32, 52, and 39 yards). The Eagles were only 1-of-3 red-zone opportunities for touchdowns.
At the half, the Eagles were up 16-0.
It appeared that Philadelphia was going to put the game away on their first possession of the second half. The Giants attempted an onside kick, but the Eagles recovered it at the New York 48-yard line. Seven plays and 41 yards later, Philadelphia faced 3rd-and-goal from the 7-yard line. However, quarterback Jalen Hurts’ pass was intercepted by Belton in the end zone.
The Giants gained one first down and punted on the ensuing series. The Eagles extended their lead to 19-0 by gaining 36 yards in seven plays to set up a 54-yard field goal. New York finally responded with their first scoring drive of the game. Webb connected with Cager for 14 yards, Breida ran for 16 yards, and running back Gary Brightwell broke off a 25-yard run. Two plays later, Webb connected with Johnson for 14 yards to the Philadelphia 8-yard line. However, two delay-of-game penalties set the Giants back and they settled for a 24-yard field goal to make the score 19-3 near the end of the 3rd quarter.
After a three-and-out by the Eagles, the Giants made things interesting early in the 4th quarter. A 4th-and-1 pass from Webb to Cager just barely picked up a first down at midfield. Brightwell gained another 17 yards and that was followed up by a 12-yard pass from Webb to Cager. On 1st-and-15, Webb scrambled up the middle for seven yards. Two plays later, he ran up the middle again, running over a tackler near the goal line for a physical 14-yard touchdown. Webb missed Johnson on the 2-point conversion, but the Giant cut the score to 19-9 with just over 10 minutes to play.
Nevertheless, the Eagles followed this up with a 15-play, 71-yard possession. While Philadelphia did not score a touchdown despite reaching the New York 3-yard line, they were able to take 6:43 off of the clock. And the 22-yard field goal extended their lead to 22-9 with just 3:21 left to play.
It took New York just 1:43 and seven plays to score after a 40-yard kickoff return by Brightwell. On the seventh play, Webb threw a pass into the endzone to Golladay, who made a circus catch for a 25-yard score. It was the first touchdown of Golladay’s career as a New York Giant. The extra point cut the score to 22-16.
The ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Eagles, who then knelt on the ball to seal the win.
Webb finished the game 23-of-40 for 168 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions. While under pressure quite a bit, he was not sacked. Webb also carried the ball six times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Webb’s leading target was Cager, who caught eight passes for 69 yards. Brightwell led rushers with 60 yards on 11 carries.
Defensively, McCloud was credited with 1.5 sacks while linebackers Micah McFadden (1) and Jarrad Davis (0.5) also got into the act. McFadden also had two tackles for losses.
GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.
PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) QB Davis Webb and DT Jack Heflin from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.
Inactive for the game were DL Leonard Williams (neck), OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), RB Saquon Barkley, OT Andrew Thomas, DL Dexter Lawrence, and S Julian Love.
S Jason Pinnock injured his shoulder in the game. He said he suffered a stinger but expects to be available for the playoff game.
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by conference call on Monday.