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Giants-Eagles: 5 impactful plays from the Christmas game

Giants get close, but can’t overcome early deficit

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants put up a fight in their 33-25 Christmas loss against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday. Here are five impactful plays, or sequence of plays, from the game.

Play(s): Forced turnovers

The Giants’ special teams forced a Boston Scott fumble, which catapulted New York back into the game. Scott - and his 10 touchdowns against the Giants - was irrelevant for the Eagles other than the turnover below:

This fumble was exactly what the Giants needed, and Tyrod Taylor - who was fresh off the bench - was set up at the Eagles’ 14-yard line to set up this rushing touchdown by Saquon Barkley:

The Eagles followed with a three-and-out, as the momentum at Lincoln Financial Field started to shift blue. However, the Giants responded with a punt. Two plays after the punt, this happened:

Jackson is far from a pick machine. He only had three career interceptions in 80n reular season games before Monday, only one with the Giants, which was in 2021. Dallas Goedert (88) slipped and Jackson (22) barely hung onto the football. Still, once the ball was secured, he took it for six and put the Giants’ into a very good position.

Although the opportunistic defense kept the Giants in this football game, their inability to hold up at the point of attack and fit the run was their downfall.

Play(s) 2: 8-play, 75-yard drive

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles methodically moved the football down the field. A.J. Brown caught a 32-yard pass, Kenneth Gainwell had two runs totaling 25 yards, and it help set up this 5-yard rushing touchdown by D’Andre Swift:

I, for one, believed the Giants would be done after this play; especially after the Giants turned the football over on downs and the Eagles added a field goal to go up 30-18. However, Tyrod Taylor and Darius Slayton had something else in mind.

Play 3: Darius Slayton goes yard

This is the type of aggressiveness the Giants needed - let the football rip deep against a porous Eagles’ secondary. Slayton (86) got matched up against Reed Blankenship (32) on a deep corner route, and Taylor delivered a fantastic ball for Slayton to run underneath and secure. 69 yards later, and the Giants were down 30-25.

And just like that...the Giants were right back in the football game.

Play(s) 4: Missed opportunities

The Giants turned the football over on downs twice. They were three of five on fourth down, with a few successful Saquon Barkley runs at the end of the first half. However, New York did turn the football over on downs with a 4-yard loss on a Barkley run at the end of the first half.

On third-and-1 early in the fourth quarter, the Giants failed to execute on this play to tight end Darren Waller (12):

This is a very difficult throw for Taylor, who was moving to his left and attempting to out-run Haason Reddick (7). Taylor tried to square and throw, but the football was underthrown. He missed Barkley in a similar situation earlier in the game. The Giants could not convert their fourth-and-1 on the following play:

Play 5: Defending the run

Throughout the Giants comeback effort, the Giants defense was faced with drives where Philadelphia were just running the football. After the Slayton touchdown, Swift ran for 5, 17, 5, 9, and 12. Swift positioned the Eagles in field goal range, and kicker Jake Elliott nailed a 43-yard attempt.

Swift and Gainwell didn’t end the game with an eye-popping stat-lines, but they helped the Eagles eliminate valuable time on the clock, and positioned Elliott well for his four field goals. Philadelphia ended the game with 170 yards on the ground with a 4.9 yards per carry average.