The New York Giants had this win in the bag. They blew it, of course, with late-game mistakes playing a significant role.
It was a game in which the New York Giants defense stepped up for much of its time on the field. It was a game in which the Giants actually got the run game going. It was a game in which Daniel Jones was taking a zone-read keeper to the house…until he tripped up and fell on the grass of Lincoln Financial Field to conclude an 80-yard gain.
And finally, it was a game in which Jones put together probably the best possession he’s constructed in his young career — a fourth-quarter drive that saw the Giants go nearly the length of the field before a two-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard increased New York’s lead to 21-10 with 6:18 remaining.
Those were the final points the Giants would score, but the same couldn’t be said of the Eagles.
Immediately after that possession, Carson Wentz led this Philly team on a nearly seamless drive. The Giants defense couldn’t get off the field; Eagles wideout Greg Ward eventually caught a touchdown pass to make the score 21-16 with 4:42 remaining (the ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed).
A subsequent Giants drive encompassing a few successful runs thanks to Wayne Gallman then concluded with a third-down drop from Evan Engram, awarding the ball back to Wentz and the Eagles.
The rest is history. Aided by a number of first-down conversions, the Eagles found themselves deep into Giants territory, which led to the game-winning touchdown pass to Boston Scott — an 18-yard strike from Wentz over the shoulder of Jabrill Peppers.
Will Hernandez’s holding penalty and Jones’ weekly turnover (a lost fumble) on the following Giants drive sealed the deal. The Eagles took home the victory — their eighth straight over New York — by a score of 22-21.
The aforementioned mistakes were all variables in the same equation, with the final product becoming the phrase Big Blue fans were hoping to not hear by night’s end: “The Giants blew it.”
This team possessed one of the best opportunities it’s had in a long time.
The Giants could’ve won two straight after starting out 0-5. How often does that happen? They could’ve escaped Philadelphia with a huge primetime victory. How often does that happen? They could’ve made noise in a putrid NFC East by winning just their second game in seven weeks. Again, how often does that happen?
Exactly. None of the scenarios I just listed are regular occurrences. Big Blue could’ve changed the course of its season with just one win. Just one.
And of course, almost as if it was expected, that win didn’t arrive, with the mistakes taking a toll on the Giants in the process.
The inability of the defense to come up big in the crucial moments. The penalties and the issues in and around the secondary. The Engram drop. The Jones fumble.
It’s all too familiar. Losses are familiar, and this specific one has brought Giants fans back to reality just four days removed from a big victory over Washington.
One win. Six defeats. Back to the drawing board, with Tampa Bay on deck.