The Giants endured a 35-30 loss to their bitter rivals to close out their 2015 season – and they likely closed out the career of their famed and beloved coach.
Big Blue showed just why there are likely significant changes on the horizon, as the Eagles (7-9) raced to an early 14-0 lead, allowed the Giants to take a fleeting lead, only to bury their nemesis in the fourth quarter.
It wouldn’t have been an appropriate sendoff for head coach Tom Coughlin had there not been among other things, blown coverages on defense, long scoring drives allowed, key penalties, and a crushing Eli Manning pick-six, so the Giants deserve credit for being consistent this year in that aspect.
New York (6-10) stamped their ending in maddening fashion, as they dug themselves an early deficit, fought back with great resolve, only to lose it late.
It was the fitting ending to a season that began 0-2, and then saw the team show its mettle in the middle by recouping the deficit, only to fall apart in the end.
Metro takes a look back at the key moments in what was likely Coughlin’s Giants finale.
What we saw:
1. 100 yards and running
Jennings made sure that at least he’d give maximum effort for Coughlin, as he was about the only player wearing blue who looked like there was still something on the line. Jennings ran hard from the start, amassing over 100 yards in the first half, en route to a season-high 170 yards. Jennings’s achievement was even more impressive considering Big Blue’s offensive line was a patchwork unit out there – and that’s not even including rookie Ereck Flowers, who was gimpy all game with lower leg maladies.
2. No Chip, no problem
Despite canning their head coach before the finale, the Eagles offense hummed along smoothly, for the most part. Philadelphia registered an incredible five touchdown drives of at least 80 yards, including a 91-yarder. Sam Bradford went 30-of-38 for 320 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while DeMarco Murray chugged along for a team-high 69 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown run on the team’s fifth offensive play. Tight end Zach Ertz might’ve done the most damage, as he torched the Giants’ injury-depleted linebacker and safety corps for nine catches for 152 yards. Simply put, the Giants’ defense was the proper tonic for an ailing Eagles’ offense.
3. Birthday boy blues
Manning, who celebrated a birthday today, must’ve felt alone out there, as other than Jennings, there was very little help to go around. He closed out the season with a respectable 24-of-44 for 302 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Not even the return of Odell Beckham Jr. (five catches for 54 yards) could spur the offense, as there was very little spark. Sure, the Giants hung 30 points on the Eagles, but a closer look inside the numbers shows that most of the scoring drives came on short fields following Philadelphia turnovers. The only touchdown drive of substance came on a 13-play drive that was culminated by Jennings’s two-yard touchdown.
Big Blue notes:
- Manning surpassed Fran Tarkenton for 10th place on the all-time completions list. Manning also set the franchise’s single-season mark for most completions.
- Beckham set an NFL record for the most receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons of his career.