Not only was this a divisional game with a heated rival, but this Giants-Eagles matchup at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night was viewed as the game to save the Giants season. Sense of urgency was the word thrown around by the team leading up to tonight, but unfortunately that isn't what was seen on the field.
The Giants lost badly in a 34-13 wallop that left fans speechless and sullen in their seats. With the exception of one dynamic rookie, the performance by the home team wasn't anything to be proud of. And to put it bluntly: What played out tonight was certainly comparable to the miserable group of last season.
So, let's take a deeper look at what happened at each position in the Giants' fifth loss of the season...
Don't let the stats fool you. Manning may have thrown for 24-of-43 for 281 yards, but he can thank 99 of those yards to Saquon Barkley breaking tackles and running all over MetLife Stadium. On his second throw of the game, he forced a ball to Scott Simonson that resulted in an interception and set up the Eagles' first touchdown. It is was mostly all downhill from there.
There were underthrown balls, lack of awareness in the pocket that saw a fumble on the one-yard line (thankfully recovered by Nate Solder), and an overall game that saw Manning's typical look of bewilderment on the sideline. Another poor performance from the veteran that continues the questions as to whether or not he is fit to run the Giants' offense.
Grade: D -
This was the game Barkley shut up all haters of his pick at No. 2 this past April. He broke out for his best NFL game so far with 130 yards on 13 carries that included a 50-yard touchdown run. Oh, and he also caught nine passes for 99 yards.
Barkley was breaking tackles left and right, making devastating cuts, and certainly showcased his breakout speed. The only reason to be ever-so-slightly happy about this game is because of No. 26. He put on a clinic tonight.
Odell Beckham Jr. banged his head into an AC unit and was yelling on the sideline yet again. So, that should tell you how happy he was with this group's performance.
Beckham caught six passes for 44 yards, while Cody Latimer was the leading wide receiver with 52 yards, mainly due to a nice jump ball won in the middle of the field for a large gain. Manning wasn't giving this unit much to work with, and when there was red zone chances, they couldn't get open.
As for tight ends, Simonson simply didn't fill the void left by the injured Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison. He caught just one ball for 24 yards.
For the past two games, this group has picked it up, and proved they can create a pocket for Manning. But the Eagles' ferocious front four was too much this time.
Solder had tons of trouble with Michael Bennett on the blind side early in the first half, resulting in that fumble on the one-yard line. And Will Hernandez, who has been solid up front, had a couple slip ups that resulted in pressure. It wasn't a complete failure for the line with Barkley having such a big game on the ground. However, his skill created the extra yardage despite having a few holes to work with.
The pass blocking, again, needs drastic improvement.
Grade: C -
Welcome back, Olivier Vernon. The Giants' best pass rusher was back out there for the first time this season, and made an impact. He had a sack in the second half and came close to a couple in the first as well.
Kerry Wynn also had a pretty good game, but the rest of the line saw more of the same production - or lack there of - in this one. Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson had some trouble getting to the Eagles' running back, something we don't say a lot. Carson Wentz just had too much time in the pocket for most of the game, especially when Vernon was on the sidelines catching his breath.
Alec Ogletree had his first bad game in a Giants uniform. On the first touchdown play for the Eagles, Ogletree gave up as Wentz rolled out of the pocket and found Alshon Jeffrey in the end zone. Despite the penalty against the Giants that would've reset the down, Ogletree could have prevented the touchdown. He also had a brain lapse, slamming himself into Jordan Matthews for an unnecessary roughness call after he was clearly down.
B.J. Goodson saw more playing time (finally), and he cashed in with six combined tackles. Ray-Ray Armstrong had to leave the game after getting popped hard on a special teams play. Nothing special to say about these backers tonight.
Grade: B -
Yuck. That's all that comes to mind.
Janoris Jenkins was targeted tonight, and he didn't answer. He had a pass interference call against him, and he was beat a few times with Zach Ertz' 10-yard touchdown being the worst.
Overall, there appeared to be a lack of effort from this group with the Eagles having a field day breaking down the zone. On the bright side, Eli Apple had another decent game as he continues to build his case that last season was just a rough patch.
The Eagles had some pretty good returns, especially their 23-yard punt return that saw numerous missed tackles. Beckham also muffed a punt that almost resulted in a turnover. This group continues to disappoint as fans continue to pray nothing goes wrong both receiving and kicking away the football. Things need to change here.
Grade: D -
This was a huge eye opener for Pat Shurmur & Co., and not in a good way at all.
Forget the play called for a second, and let's focus on discipline. With Beckham pacing and yelling on the sideline to Apple appearing to snap on special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey to the overall lack of effort on the field, this was a disaster.
In a game everyone, including the coaches, noted was a big one to put in the win column, that attention to detail and urgency wasn't felt. Instead, this was the worst game Shurmur and his coaches have been a part of in their early Giants career. The team is looking eerily similar to the bleek 2017 squad, and I don't think it's too far-fetched to say it may be worse considering the additions that were made to the roster.
Just when it may have been looking up following a close one against the Panthers, this was an enormous step backwards that likely left these coaches baffled.