The New York Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 34-26 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the defeat, the Giants finished the 2014 NFL season with a 6-10 overall record and 2-4 in the NFC East.
Despite the score, the Giants had advantages total net yards (505 to 426), net yards passing (429 to 262), and time of possession (34:37 to 25:23). But the Eagles scored on special teams (blocked punt) and dramatically out-rushed the Giants (164 to 76). The Giants also were flagged eight times for 106 yards, including a holding penalty that wiped out a a touchdown pass. Each team’s quarterback threw one interception.
Statistically, quarterback Eli Manning and wide receivers Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle had big games. Manning completed 28-of-53 passes for 429 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Beckham caught 12 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown, while Randle caught six passes for 158 yards.
The Giants drove 80 yards in six plays on their first possession of the game to take a 7-0 lead. Randle caught back-to-back passes of 43 and 18 yards, setting up running back Andre Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run.
But the Eagles scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the game and went up 14-7. First the Giants’ defense surrendered a 3-play, 80-yard drive ending with a 44-yard touchdown pass. Then the defense allowed a 7-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass.
The Giants had three more scoring possessions in the first half, but each ended with field goals instead of touchdowns. The Giants cut the Eagles lead to 14-10 on a 38-yard field goal by place kicker Josh Brown after the Giants stalled at the Eagles’ 20-yard line. After two three-and-outs by New York, the Giants drove 47 yards in 10 plays, but stalled at the Eagles’ 2-yard line and settled for a 20-yard field goal. Then the Giants drove 71 yards in 10 plays but were forced to settle for a 36-yard field goal after reaching the Eagles’ 3-yard line. At this point, the Giants were up 16-14 with just over two minutes to play in the half.
However, the Giants’ defense allowed the Eagles to drive 66 yards in 11 plays to regain the lead 17-16 by kicking a 32-yard field goal as time expired.
The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Eagles’ first possession of the second half. The Giants could not gain a first down and sent out the punt team. Disaster struck when punter Steve Weatherford’s punt was blocked and returned 27 yards for a touchdown and Philadelphia went up 24-19 early in the third quarter.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Giants cut the lead to 24-19 after an 8-play, 46-yard drive set up a successful 53-yard field goal by Brown. However, a 34-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Randle was wiped out on this possession due to a holding penalty on left tackle Will Beatty.
Both teams exchanged punts again. The Eagles then drove 65 yards in eight plays, scoring a rushing touchdown from one yard out to extend their advantage to 31-19.
The Giants responded with a Manning-to-Beckham special. On the fifth play of the possession, Manning hit Beckham for a 63-yard touchdown pass and the Giants pulled to within five points at 31-26.
But the New York defense could not hold. A 10-play, 53-yard march by the Eagles set up a 39-yard field goal as the Eagles went up by eight points at 34-26 with just under eight minutes to play.
Both teams exchanged punts and the Giants got one more chance with 3:45 to play. But Manning’s deep pass to Randle was intercepted at the Eagles’ 42-yard line and returned 40 yards to the Giants’ 18-yard. The Eagles then ran out the clock to end the game.
Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.
Injury Report: Safeties Nat Berhe (knee) and Stevie Brown (foot sprain) both left in the first quarter and did not return. Tight end Larry Donnell left later in the second half with an ankle injury and did not return.
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 28, 2014
Post-Game Player Media Q&A’s: Video clips of media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- RB Rashad Jennings (Video)
- WR Odell Beckham (Video)
- WR Rueben Randle (Video)
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
- DT Cullen Jenkins (Video)
- S Antrel Rolle (Video)
Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were WR Corey Washington, TE Jerome Cunningham, OG Eric Herman, OG Adam Gettis, DT Dominique Hamilton, LB Devon Kennard (toe), and CB Jayron Hosley.
The Giants finished 3-5 both at home and on the road.
The Giants allowed 400 this season. It was just the fifth time in franchise history they gave up at least 400 points.
The Giants are 1-20 in regular-season games in which they throw at least 50 passes.
QB Eli Manning finished the season with a Giants-record 601 pass attempts and 379 pass completions. Manning finished the season with 4,410 yards, which is the second-highest total in franchise history. He passed for 4,933 yards in 2011. This was his fourth career 4,000-yard season. Manning threw 30 touchdowns, one shy of his career-high in 2011. Manning finished with 14 interceptions, or 13 fewer than he threw in 2013. Manning’s completion percentage (63.1) was a career-high. His passer rating of 92.1 was the second-highest of highest of his career (93.1 in 2009).
WR Odell Beckham is the first rookie in NFL history and the first Giants player with two 12-catch games in a season. Beckham is also the first NFL rookie with four consecutive games with at least 130 receiving yards and a touchdown. Beckham’s 185 yards is a Giants rookie record. Beckham joins Hall of Famer Michael Irvin as the only players in NFL history with at least 90 receiving yards in nine consecutive games. Beckham’s season totals were 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, all franchise rookie records. Beckham set NFL records for most catches and yards in the first 12 games to start a career. Beckham’s 91 catches were the second-highest total in franchise history, topped only by Steve Smith’s 107 receptions in 2009. Beckham averaged 108.8 yards a game, well ahead of Victor Cruz’s previous Giants record of 96.0, set in 2011.
PK Josh Brown finished the season with 24 successes in 26 attempts (one of the misses was a block), a 92.3 percentage that is a Giants single-season record.
The Giants finished the season with 47 sacks, their highest total since they had 48 in 2011 (they had 34 sacks last season).
DE Jason Pierre-Paul finished the season with 12.5, the highest total by a Giant since JPP had 16.5 in 2011.
NY Post Q&A with QB Eli Manning: A Q&A with Eli Manning by Steve Serby of The New York Post
NJ.com Q&A with DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul breaks down his 2014 season | Four Downs by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com
Article on General Manager Jerry Reese and Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Despite two straight losing seasons, NY Giants would be right to keep duo of Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News
Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning: Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning still a good combination to lead the Giants by Bob Glauber of Newsday
Article on WR Odell Beckham: Why Giants phenom Beckham Jr. says best is yet to come by Steve Serby of The New York Post
Article on OG John Jerry: Giants offensive lineman John Jerry rebuilds reputation after bullying scandal with Dolphins by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com
Article on the Upcoming New York Giants Offseason: Giants Will Revamp, but in a Considered Fashion by Bill Pennington of The New York Times