Stat worth noting: For a team that was looking to win this game on the ground, the Giants only converted three first downs via the running game.
Stat worth noting II: The Eagles were able to convert an inordinate 12 times out of 18 third downs.
Turning point: Sure, Philly had a 10-7 lead in the fourth quarter, but it was only a matter of time until Big Blue took control of this game, as they had so many others. Right? Well, maybe not. Early in the fourth quarter, Donovan McNabb bought some time before finding a wide-open Brian Westbrook, who caught a short pass and easily ran 40 yards into the end zone for a Philadelphia touchdown with less than 14 minutes to play. That Eagles score gave the Birds a large-enough cushion to win this one.
Play to remember: With a 10-0 lead, the Eagles appeared ready to extend their lead even more right before halftime when David Akers lined up for a 32-yard field goal. However, Justin Tuck was able to rise up and swat away Akers' attempt. The free ball bounced right to Kevin Dockery, who scooped it up and returned it 71 yards for New York's first touchdown.
to forget: Even though the Eagles had a 3-0 lead, the Giants seemingly
had the Birds right where they wanted them. With the clock ticking down
in the first half, the Eagles had a first-and-10 from the New York 30-yard
line. On the first-down play, Brian Westbrook, who was a question mark
about even playing in this game, took the hand-off, bounced off multiple
defenders and scored on a 30-yard run to give Philly a 10-0 lead.
What went right
The Giants managed to navigate the whole game without turning the ball over. No INTs and no fumbles lost was still not enough for Big Blue on this afternoon.
With the Eagles up, 10-7, Terrell Thomas was able to get his hands on a David Akers field goal attempt. Thomas' block prevented a 34-yard Akers field goal and kept the Giants in the game at that point.
Brandon Jacobs was able to average his usual gaudy 5.2 yard per carry, but with only 10 rushes for 52 yards, Jacobs' output wasn't nearly enough. The Giants running game dried up at the worst possible moment.
Forget about distractions, Antonio Pierce was an absolute beast against the Eagles. He posted 15 total tackles against the Birds, including 12 solo stops.
to make excuses, but the Giants, via their 11-1 start, built up enough
of a cushion in the NFC East that they certainly should be able to withstand
a loss at this point. If nothing else, this disappointing game should
serve as a wakeup call for Big Blue.
What went wrong
Brian Westbrook absolutely destroyed the Giants. He gained 131 yards on the ground, and added 72 more through the air for good measure. His two TDs were more than enough to top Big Blue. For someone who almost didn't even suit up, Westbrook certainly made his presence felt.
It sure looked like the Giants did miss Plaxico Burress in this one. New York receivers dropped two key passes, which contributed mightily to the loss. First, and most importantly, Domenik Hixon dropped a deep pass down the middle of the field that would have and should have been a long gain for Big Blue on the first play of the second quarter. Then, Steve Smith couldn't come up with a fourth-and-three pass from the Eagles 42 late in the first half.
the Giants' collective back absolutely, positively against the wall
with the Birds facing a third-and-five from the Giants 22-yard line
late in the fourth quarter, Philly's Brian Westbrook was able to break
off a six-yard run to salt this one away. New York's late TD with
15 seconds to play was too little, too late.
7 – Consecutive victories by New York before last Sunday's loss
12 – Yards lost by rookie WR Mario Manningham on a failed reverse. His only touch of the game left plenty to be desired
– Donovan McNabb's QB rating against Big Blue. Philly's embattled
QB completed 19-of-30 passes for 191 yards and a TD
"Obviously disappointed that not only we lost the game, we didn't play very well. We have no excuses. We got beat on the field." – Giants coach Tim Coughlin
"I thought the guys executed like crazy. Third down, offense and defense, I thought it was a terrific job there. All in all, a good win against a very good opponent." – Eagles coach Andy Reid