Eli Manning has basically trade-marked the fourth-quarter comeback in recent years. So when the Giants signal-caller got the ball back with under two minutes to go Sunday night against the Eagles, another miracle was all but expected.
Manning flirted with it, taking Big Blue all the way down to the Philadelphia 26-yard line. However, a questionable offensive pass interference call on Ramses Barden pushed them back 10 yards and forced Lawrence Tynes into trying a 54-yard field goal.
Tynes got two cracks at it, after Andy Reid tried to ice the kicker. He missed them both and the Giants fell to the Eagles, 19-17.
“Well, there’s not a lot to say about this one,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “We put ourselves in position a couple of times to win the game and we didn’t get it done.”
Coughlin was very aggressive on the game’s final drive, choosing to throw the ball down the field rather than play for the field goal. He went right at Eagles stud cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who drew the call on Barden.
“You have no idea on how I feel about the play right now,” Barden said. “It was a tough call, but we have another shot against the Eagles again at our place. I did not know how to react when the flag was thrown. I did think it was on him.”
Manning continued his fast start to the season. The quarterback was 24-of-42 for 309 yards and two touchdowns. But Manning did make one major mistake when he chucked an interception to start the fourth quarter. The Giants had just converted a crucial 4th-and-1 play and were knocking on the door, at the Eagles’ 10-yard line. Manning made a bad read and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made him pay.
“I simply did not see Cromartie when he jumped the play,” Manning said. “I was hoping he would jump the route early, but he did not and I put it right in his hands. I did not see him and cannot afford to make that kind of throw.”
New York is 0-2 in the NFC East this season. And even though they are the defending Super Bowl champions, they still have no answer for Philadelphia. Sunday’s defeat was the eighth loss to the Eagles in their last nine meetings. If their Turnpike rivals are in their heads, the Giants aren’t admitting it.
“We are not interested in looking back at any games from last season or before that,” Ahmad Bradshaw said. “We have to focus on today. We just have to look at what we can control this season and this is just how it is.”