X's and O's

Here is a break down, position by position, of how the Giants performed against the Eagles.


Eli Manning completed 6-of-7 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown on the Giants' final drive, but it was too little, too late. Down 17-7 early in the fourth quarter, Manning, rushed by blitzing SLB Chris Gocong, was fortunate that his errant deep throw toward WR Domenik Hixon was dropped by LCB Asante Samuel. Bottom Line: The wind and drops hurt his performance.


RB Brandon Jacobs ran around right end for 23 yards, a gain that advanced the Giants to their 48 early in the second quarter. On the next play, FB Madison Hedgecock let what should've been an easy reception fly through his hands. Bottom Line: Jacobs and Derrick Ward combined to average 5.1 yards per carry


WR Steve Smith mishandled Manning's pass even before Samuel hammered him. The drop on fourth-and-3 from Philadelphia's 42 cost them a first down late in the second quarter. WR Domenik Hixon beat RCB Sheldon Brown deep, but dropped a perfectly thrown ball by Manning at Philadelphia's 35 on the first play of the second quarter. Had Hixon caught the pass, it would've gone for an 85-yard touchdown that would've given the Giants at least a 6-3 lead. Bottom Line: They didn't help make matters easier on Manning.


RDE Trent Cole's spin move froze LT David Deihl and allowed Cole to pressure Manning into an incompletion on fourth-and-1 from Philadelphia's 38, with 9:26 to go in the game. Deihl's awareness allowed the Giants to retain possession early in the second quarter. He recovered Ward's fumble at the Eagles' 46. Bottom Line: Their run blocking was solid and Manning wasn't sacked.


LT Tra Thomas recovered just enough to nudge RDE Mathias Kiwanuka away from QB Donovan McNabb. Kiwanuka came back toward McNabb, but he was too late to stop a short pass to RB Brian Westbrook that went for a 40-yard touchdown and gave the Eagles a 17-7 edge at the 13:38 mark of the fourth quarter. LDE Justin Tuck's right-handed swipe just missed affecting McNabb's throw on that play, too. Bottom Line: They pressured McNabb more than they did in their game last month.


MLB Antonio Pierce's pass interference infraction on WR Jason Avant cost the Giants 8 yards and allowed the Eagles to advance to the Giants' 26 just before halftime. Four plays prior to that penalty, Pierce's attempt to hold down Westbrook by the legs, as time ticked away on the Eagles late in the second quarter, was so obvious it looked ridiculous. The 5-yard penalty, after Westbrook's 11-yard gain, moved the Eagles to the Giants' 42, eight plays before K David Akers attempted an ill-fated 32-yard FG. Bottom Line: The three starters combined for 29 total tackles.


FS Kenny Phillips got away with pass interference on TE L.J. Smith around the Giants' 10, on a third-and-3 play from the Giants' 16 early in the third quarter. But the incompletion caused Philadelphia, up 10-7, to settle for a 34-yard FG try, which CB Terrell Thomas partially blocked. LCB Aaron Ross got lost when crossing paths with two Giants in coverage, which allowed WR Kevin Curtis to make a 32-yard catch that moved the Eagles to the Giants' 30 late in the first quarter. Akers kicked a 51-yard FG four plays later for a 3-0 lead. Bottom Line: The Eagles' receivers didn't do the bulk of the damage in the passing game.


DE Justin Tuck slid between linemen Jamaal Jackson and Winston Justice and used his right arm to block Akers' FG attempt just before halftime. CB Kevin Dockery scooped up the ball and scored a 71-yard touchdown that cut Philadelphia's lead to 10-7. Jeff Feagles' 61-yard punt from deep in Giants' territory prohibited Philadelphia from starting a drive with good field position midway through the second quarter. Feagles forced PR DeSean Jackson out of bounds, too. LS Jay Alford took too long to rise from his stance, which permitted Cole to hurdle him and block K John Carney's 47-yard FG attempt at the 9:26 mark of the second quarter. Bottom Line: These units were up and down all day.


The Giants had a FG blocked for the second time this season because a defender leaped over Alford. That's on special teams coaches Tom McGaughey and Tom Quinn. Tom Coughlin called a timeout just before the end of the first quarter, which forced Akers to try a 51-yard FG into the wind. Akers connected, but using that timeout was wise. Bottom Line: Their execution was poor, but they're still 11-2.

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