The New York Giants lost a heartbreaker on Sunday night to the Philadelphia Eagles when kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a 54-yard field goal that would have put his team up 20-19 with 10 seconds remaining.
Instead, the Giants lost 19-17 despite a masterful two-minute drive by Eli Manning and the Giants offense. Tom Coughlin’s team is now 2-2—not quite where the two-time Super Bowl champion coach wanted to be four games into his team’s title defense.
Manning once again was above average for the G-Men. He completed 24-of-42 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown, but it was a late third-quarter interception in the end zone that prevented the Giants from taking the lead before the final quarter.
The Giants main problem is clearly their inability to stop opposing running backs. In this one, the Eagles were hardly able to make any headway on the ground during the first half, but star running back LeSean McCoy (123 yards on 23 carries) and Co. exploded for nearly 200 rushing yards in the second half.
Once again, Michael Vick killed the Giants with his ability to evade the top-tier pass rush and make plays happen with his legs. The Giants usually find a way to knock Vick off his game (and sometimes out of the game entirely), but the quarterback’s new Kevlar flak jacket likely saved a couple of bruised or broken ribs.
New York didn’t get its own running game going either—a problem that didn’t prevent the Giants from succeeding last year. When the Giants don’t run the ball, it makes Manning’s job of finding open receivers much harder. If you don’t force the opposing safeties to cheat up and protect the run, deep passes are taken away by over-the-top coverage.
Manning was without his top receiver, Hakeem Nicks, due to a knee/foot injury. For the most part, replacement Ramses Barden got bullied on the outside by Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and committed a crucial offensive pass interference penalty that pushed the Giants to the edge of field goal range and made Tynes’ job more difficult.
Tynes actually missed his first attempt, but Eagles head coach Andy Reid had called a timeout a split-second before the ball was snapped. Icing the kicker has become a trend in the NFL, and Reid was nearly the goat of the league for costing his team the game. Unfortunately for Tynes and the Giants, the second attempt came up about two yards short of the crossbar.
Next week’s result should be much more in the Giants’ favor, as the hapless Cleveland Browns (0-4) come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.