What We Learned: Week 16 Edition

The Giants Beat covers the major takeaways from an opportunity lost for Eli Manning and crew.

NFC East title hopes are over for the New York Giants as they dropped a crucial road game against the Philadelphia Eagles last night, 24-19. The G-Men were the favorites heading into Lincoln Financial Field with the Eagles last in the division, but the home team only saw a rivalry game in this one and took advantage of crucial mistakes made by their opponent.

            Here is what we learned from Week 16 in Philly:

No Excuses for Eli

            QB Eli Manning may have thrown for his second-highest total yards in yesterday’s game, but it wasn’t even close to a great performance. Manning threw for a season-high 63 times, but only completed 38. His first two drives were a three and out and a pick six where Eagles CB Malcom Jenkins took the first of his two interceptions on the night to the house on what was a horrible pass intended for TE Will Tye.

            The deep ball, which has been Manning’s forte in the past, looked awful last night as well. That second interception for Jenkins came on an intended pass to WR Sterling Shepard, but it was terribly underthrown. Another bad deep ball came in the final seconds when WR Odell Beckham Jr., who had a great game, looked to open for a one-on-one jump ball which he wins ninety percent of the time. However, Manning threw it way over his head and ended up having to heave a prayer to Tye that was eventually taken away for his third interception to seal the game.

Manning isn’t having his best year this season, but many have made excuses for him like the offensive line performing on a sub-par level. Last night, though, was all on Manning who had the time to make throws and pick apart a bad team, but failed.

Road Worries Are Real

            The Giants were a true force at MetLife Stadium this season, finishing with a record of 7-1. On the road, it is an entirely different story. Before heading into Philadelphia, Big Blue had an even 3-3 record on the road. Many believed the first couple of losses like those against the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers were understandable considering the Giants have drastically improved since the beginning of the season. However, last night proved that fans should worry about the Giants on the road.

            The Eagles had nothing to play for, but the Giants had a playoff berth and chance for the NFC East title still in their corner. It would be a no-brainer for them to come out firing and show the Eagles who the better team was. This obviously wasn’t the case with the Giants playing similarly to that in the first half of the season. Making matters worse is the fact the Giants would be on the road frequently throughout the playoffs if they are to clinch a berth. It will be a priority for this squad to fix their road blues.

Giants Fans: CALM DOWN!

            I know how many Giants fans are thinking at the moment: “WE ARE DOOMED!” For those of you thinking this loss will kill the Giants chances to make the postseason for the first time since 2011, don’t fret. Lots would have to go wrong for the Giants NOT to get into this year’s chase for the Lombardi Trophy. There are still four ways the team can make the playoffs even after this loss. They are as followed:

-          Cowboys win/tie vs. Lions

-          Saints win/tie vs. Buccaneers

-          Vikings win/tie vs. Packers

-          Panthers win vs. Falcons

So, Giants players, coaches, fans and everyone else in between will be watching Christmas Eve football tomorrow to see what will transpire. As for now, take a deep breath and calm down knowing the Giants still have a high percentage to take a wild card spot. 

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