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Giants Squash Momentum of Game, Season in Ugly Loss to Eagles

What a difference a day can make.

Scratch that. What a difference three hours can make.

The Giants entered Monday riding high, atop the NFC East and on a three-game winning streak. Their last win came in exciting and extremely gratifying fashion in the form of a last-minute touchdown on national TV at home.

Things even looked pretty great early on Monday night. Eli Manning went 5-for-5 on the Giants’ opening drive, marching his team down the field with relative ease. The Giants even drew first blood when Manning connected with Odell Beckham for a 13-yard touchdown.

On the Eagles’ first drive, they went three-and-out, and gave the ball back to the Giants, who began to march down the field once again. What could go wrong? Just about everything.

There’s no way to properly discuss this atrocity of a game without highlighting the lowlights, so let’s do just that.

Donnell’s INT

I’m calling it Donnell’s INT because it sure wasn’t Manning’s.

The Giants were set up with 1st and 10 from the Eagles’ 23. Manning threw to TE Larry Donnell, who got his hands on the ball, but on his way down was stripped by Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans. Donnell never had full control, so the turnover is credited to Manning, but Donnell did a horrible job securing the ball, leading to Ryans’ takeaway. Admittedly, Ryans made a great play, but Donnell could have prevented it.

This completely took the Giants off their game, and they were never able to get back into a groove for the rest of the night.

Odell Beckham's first quarter touchdown was not enough for the Giants to beat the Eagles on Monday night (Photo: Getty Images).

Odell Beckham’s first quarter touchdown was not enough for the Giants to beat the Eagles on Monday night (Photo: Getty Images).

Moore’s Flag

On the ensuing drive, the Giants defense came close to forcing a three-and-out. Eagles QB Sam Bradford made a short pass to Darren Sproles, who was tackled well short of the first down marker. However, Giants DE Damontre Moore was flagged for roughing the passer, a completely avoidable penalty. The Eagles would go on to tie the game on a Riley Cooper touchdown catch.

Eli’s Pick Six

Okay, this one was all on Eli.

An early seven-point lead now gone, Manning looked to march the Giants down the field once again, but did the absolute worst thing possible when he threw a pass intended for Dwayne Harris right into the hands of Eagles CB Nolan Carroll, who returned it for a touchdown. Manning stared down Harris throughout the play, making it so clear he was going to Harris that Carroll was able to step right in front of him and take it to the house.

Jennings’ Fumble

On the very next drive, the Giants turned it over again.

Giants RB Rashad Jennings caught a quick pass over the middle, but didn’t hang onto the ball well and had it poked out by Ryans. Complete, utter momentum killer.

Brad Wing Earned His Money

For the remainder of the game, the Giants didn’t make any boneheaded turnovers. They just didn’t do anything. They punted on their final eight possessions, and all but two of those drives lasted three or four plays.

In Conclusion…

Not much else that can be said. This was an ugly, ugly game. For both teams. The Eagles turned the ball over plenty, and pretty much won by being less awful than the Giants. But even with all of the Philadelphia turnovers, the Giants offense was so dead that it didn’t matter.

It’s pretty incredible after starting the game off so strong. In a matter of minutes, the Giants completely gave away their momentum after a strong start. In doing so, they forfeited all momentum on their season.

They seemed to turn things around after a rough 0-2 start, and even managed to secure first place after a three-game winning streak. But on Monday night, they played a horrible game against a bad team, and now they are 0-2 against their biggest competition for the NFC East crown, the Cowboys and Eagles.

Once again, the Giants need to pick up the pieces and try to salvage momentum after a rough loss.

Game Balls & The Goat

Offensive Game Ball: No one

For the final 50 minutes of this game, there was no player on the Giants offense worthy of being named “the best.” Odell Beckham had a decent game on paper (seven catches for 61 yards and a touchdown), but he was MIA in the second half. This offensive performance was, simply put, a nightmare.

Defensive Game Ball: S Landon Collins

The Giants defense played relatively well, picking up four turnovers, and holding the Eagles to just 6-of-16 on third downs. No one player had a standout performance, but Collins gets the nod from me after picking up five tackles (one for a loss) and his first career interception. The rookie is really coming into his own, and one of the few bright spots on the Giants thin and beaten up secondary.

The Goat: QB Eli Manning

Plenty of options here, but I’ll go with Eli. Which is a little surprising, considering I gave him the offensive game ball after last week’s win over the 49ers. But Manning was brutal on Monday night. After starting the night 10-for-10 for 87 yards and a touchdown, Manning went 14-for-28 for 102 yards, no touchdowns and two INTs. Even with Beckham and Rueben Randle at his disposal, he looked lost. As the Giants’ deficit grew, they needed him to step up more and more, he was nowhere to be found.

Up Next

The Giants return home for another key NFC East matchup – against the Cowboys. The Giants fell to Dallas on the road in the season opener. Cowboys QB Matt Cassell will make his first start of the season after Brandon Weeden floundered when filling in for the injured Tony Romo.

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