clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

4 Downs: Takeaways from the Giants’ blowout loss to the Eagles

Eagles win, a lot to a little

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Giants suffered a blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14, falling 48-22 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score may have indicated.

The Giants came into the game as 7-point underdogs at home, but even so the game got out of hand quickly. This game got ugly quickly and there were few enough bright spots to look back on. We’ll have to look back at the tape to see just what happened in the game, but what can we take away from the immediate aftermath of the game?

First down: The wheels came all the way off

It’s not a surprise that the Giants lost this game. It was never really competitive, even when the Giants got the ball on Philly’s 15-yard line and turned the blocked punt into a touchdown or when the Eagles lost their punter and starting (backup) safety to injury. But despite a couple life-like twitches from the Giants, Philly was doing pretty much whatever it wanted throughout the game.

The tone for the game was set early as the Giants’ first two drives lasted all of nine plays and involved a pair of sacks. Philly, meanwhile absolutely ground the Giants down with a pair of pass-heavy touchdown drives that spanned 26 total plays.

It really only went downhill from there for the Giants as they were out-played and out-executed. There’s an obvious talent discrepancy between the Giants and Eagles (and yes, that hurt to write, but we acknowledge reality here), but even so, the Giants were fighting their own mistakes and miscues as much as they were fighting the Eagles.

By the end of the game, both teams had their backups in, as Gardner Minshew played the role of human cigar and the Giants threw in the towel.

The Giants picked a terrible week for their worst game of the season. They’re heading into a massive game against the Washington Commanders. The week also saw Baker Mayfield lead the Los Angeles Rams to a comeback win with less than 48 hours on the team, while the 1-10-1 (1-11-1 now) Houston Texans took the Dallas Cowboys right down to the wire. The contrast between how the Rams and Texans played and how the Giants played was stark and frustrating for a team that’s in the playoff hunt.

Second down: About the special teams

Most of the time, fans (and broadcasts) regard special teams reps are a break from the action. A chance to get a drink or snack, maybe hit the restroom.

But the Giants’ special teams proved to be must-watch TV this week — just not often in a good way.

We got an absolute rollercoaster from Jamie Gillan as he dropped a snap, leading to a penalty and a lightning quick touchdown. A little later on, he did a great job of pinning the Eagles inside of their 10-yard line, leading to a blocked punt and a 15-yard touchdown drive for the Giants offense.

But it wasn’t only Gillan who was an...adventure. The Giants’ coverage teams were either excellent or terrible. The Giants forced the Eagles to start drives on their own 16, 8, and 16 yard line. They also allowed some massive kick and punt returns, putting their defense in untenable positions.

The Giants’ special teams have been a thorn in their side all season long. This game they were both a blessing and a curse as there were never really any “routine” plays. The great plays were obviously great, but the Giants just can’t afford the bad plays.

Third down: Thibodeaux and Ojulari stay hot

If there’s a bright side to this game, it’s that the Giants young edge duo kept up their good play from a week ago. The Giants struggled to get pressure early in the game, with Jalen Hurts having a perfectly comfortable pocket from where he was able to pick apart a depleted secondary.

But the Giants’ defense got a bit more comfortable and we saw Ojulari and Thibodeaux turn up the heat. The Giants wound up sacking Hurts four times over the course of the game, and a sack from Ojulari (2.0 sacks) lead to the blocked punt and a touchdown for the Giants. That sack was teed up by pressure from Thibodeaux who has been a consistent factor for the Giants in recent weeks — even if the sack production isn’t there yet.

Silver linings were few and far between for the Giants this game, but the play of Thibodeaux and Ojulari is definitely one. The Eagles have a very good offensive line, and the pressure the Giants were able to generate over the course of the game bodes well for the future.

Fourth down: We expected pressure, but not like that

Like the sub-head says: We expected pressure on Daniel Jones from the Philly defensive line. They’re one of the best in the NFL at sacking the quarterback and were averaging 3.5 sacks per game. And with interior players like Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave, we expected the interior of the Giants’ offensive line to struggle.

What we didn’t expect was for Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal to struggle as much as they did. Now, I’m not going to ding Neal too badly for his play, considering he was frequently matched up on Haason Reddick. Reddick is one of the best speed rushers in the NFL with a great burst and agility, great technique, and a very small “strike zone” for tackles to secure their blocks. But it was a shock to see Thomas struggle early against Josh Sweat and give up the first sack of the game.

Overall, the Eagles had seven sacks of the Giants quarterbacks (not including an eighth that was negated by a penalty), and five of them came from edge defenders. The Eagles’ defense is a tough matchup for any offensive line, but this is something the Giants will need to address before facing the Commanders’ defensive front again in a week.

Extra point - Really, NFL?

I have to admit: I didn’t see the fourth quarter of this game. FOX made the decision switch to the game between Dallas and Houston, and even though I signed a two-year contract for Sunday Ticket, I lost the game. I also pay for NFL +, but the NFL’s rules regarding regional blackouts prevented me from even watching the NFL+ broadcast of the game.

I was forced to follow along in the text play-by-play from the sports app on my phone.

Yes, the game between Houston and Dallas was much more competitive heading into the fourth quarter — the one-win Texans had a wildly unexpected three-point lead over Dallas, while the Giants trailed the Eagles by 20 points. But still, to prevent huge swaths of people from being able to (legally) see a game just because it wasn’t competitive is a downright insulting move by the NFL.