The Giants will have to wait a little while longer to clinch a trip to the postseason, as a 24-16 setback in dramatic fashion under the lights at the Linc Thursday gave the Eagles their first win in over a month and the rival Cowboys NFC East title.
Trailing by a score and just across midfield, the Giants rolled the dice and went for it on fourth and five. A slant to Odell Beckham Jr. moved the chains but three plays later New York settled for a field goal and a five point deficit with five minutes to play.
The Giants outgained theEagles 470-286 yards but Philadelphia stopped them four out of five trips in redzone.
Challenged in the yard-gaining department as they had been all night long, the Eagles went three-and out,the Giants turned it over on downs and the Eagles went three-and-out a second time, giving Eli Manning 1:31 of game time, one time out and 85 yards to go to earn victory No. 11
The Giants offense used a series of short passes to advance to the Eagles 34-yardline with 25 ticks to go. In a last ditch deep throw, backup safety Terrence Brooks picked off Manning for the third time to clinch tie 'W.'
For whatever reason Manning does not like playing the Eagles. With his trio ofpicks thrown Thursday the likely future hall of famer has 29against Philly.
Here are three other things we saw in Thursday night's epic battle.
Run run as fast as you can
The Eagles ground game started off impressively but faded fast, as Philly pounded New York for 118 yards on the ground but most of it coming in the first half. The Birds' first scoring drive came on a seven-play (six of them runs), 78-yard drive capped off by a 25-yard Darren Sproles pitch to put Philly ahead 7-0.
After some early hiccups New York also found its grove on the ground, using a Paul Perkins 20-yard run in the first to open up some space with its back against the end zone. After a long pass to Odell Beckham Jr. the Giants stalled and settled for a 35-yard Robbie Gould field goal. Perkins would run for 68 yards as the Giants gained 114 total on the ground.
Bad Eli, good Eli
Manning wasn't at his best Thursday, as a mid-first quarter toss was intercepted and returned 35-yards for a touchdown by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins — propelling the Eagles to a 14-0 advantage early.
Manning got help from his own defense, however as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie snatched a pick of his own after a lengthy Carson Wentz scramble. But the Giants promptly went three-and-out.
A drive later Manning was unable to find an open man in the red zone again as New York settled for a second 35-yard field goal and 14-6 deficit. Down by two scores again later in the first half, a settled down Manning led the Giants on a successful two-minute drill — finding Sterling Shepard for a touchdown to cut it to 21-13.
Manning did tally 356 yards (on 38-for-63throwing)through the air, many of them coming in the fourth quarter as the Giants staged several comeback efforts — but the three interceptions did him and the Giants in.
That kind of night
A remarkable thing happened at the4:59 mark of the second quarter. A Wentz hurl into the end zone landed in the hands of Nelson Agholor— and the troubled receiver held onto it for a 40-yard touchdown catch.
The Eagles held Beckham in check as much as they could, but OBJ got his numbers, compiling 11 catches for 150 yards — including a key 27-yard completion to move the chains as the Giants added yet another field goal inside the 20-yard line.
In the third quarter when Wentz sustained a possible concussion on a hit from Olivier Vernon. Though the 15-yard penalty helped Philly drive to the two-yardline, an unsuccessful fourth down run into traffic by Mathews gave the Giants the ball down five instead of eight. Once again, 'Big Balls Doug' Pederson coached a bit hard, and gave the Giants a much more manageable opportunity. But Jenkins had something to say about that, nabbing his second interception of the night as Wentzmarched back onto the field. The Eagles would tack on a field goal to go ahead eight again, 24-16.