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Taking Stock After Giants' Latest Loss

Struggling NFC East continues to give Giants a chance to rally

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    at MetLife Stadium on October 6, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

    After a 36-21 defeat to the Eagles Sunday, the Giants need a bye in the worst way.

    Instead, the 0-5 Giants get a road game at Chicago on Thursday night.

    The Bears (3-2) have lost two straight after a 3-0 start. Their résumé has wrinkles and ink stains.
    They managed just a one-point win vs. Minnesota in Week Two, and they overcame an 11-point deficit to beat Cincinnati in the season opener.

    Perhaps the Giants can regroup and give the Bears a game. The Giants had their good moments on Sunday. However, they again had some major lapses.

    Here’s our review of the Giants’ Week Five loss to Philadelphia:

    POSITIVES
     

    •    The Giants didn’t fold after the Eagles took a 19-7 halftime lead. Instead, the Giants scored a pair of touchdowns, both by second-year wideout Rueben Randle, to take a 21-19 lead with 3:46 left in the third quarter. While the Giants couldn’t hold the lead, they got back into the game on the strength of their offense, which needs to propel them forward if they are to make a run in the final 11 games.

    •    Similarly, the Giants’ defense started the second half on a positive note. After surrendering 303 first-half yards to Philadelphia, the Giants forced punts on three of the Eagles’ first four drives after halftime.

    •    The Giants’ red-zone defense was solid. The Eagles managed two touchdowns and three field goals in their five trips inside the Giants’ 20-yard-line.

    •    Hakeem Nicks bounced back after a couple of tough games. Nicks set season-highs in catches (nine) and receiving yards (142) against Philadelphia. The Bears have had some issues against the pass this season. Perhaps Nicks can build on this performance.

    •    The Giants are still only two games out of first place in the NFC East. The Cowboys’ 51-48 loss to Denver dropped them into a tie with the Eagles (2-3) for the division lead. The Cowboys host the Redskins (1-3) next Sunday, while the Eagles travel to face the Buccaneers (0-4). If the Giants, Buccaneers and Redskins win in Week Six, the Giants will be one game out of first place.

    NEGATIVES

    •    Once again, turnovers helped send the Giants to defeat. Eli Manning threw three fourth-quarter interceptions, and Brandon Jacobs lost a second-quarter fumble. The Eagles scored 17 points off these takeaways, with 14 coming in the fourth quarter. Manning had some bad luck on the first interception — Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole made contact with his helmet, and Manning’s pass deflected off of Giants center Jim Cordle’s head — but the passing game’s lack of precision down the stretch was problematic. 

    •    The Giants’ running game again failed to produce much. David Wilson gained 16 yards on six carries before leaving with a neck injury. Jacobs led the club with 37 yards on 11 carries, with a long rush of seven yards.

    •    The Giants made an odd game-management decision that cost them. Leading 7-0 in the first quarter, the Giants accepted a holding penalty on a 3rd-and-9 play instead of declining the foul and giving the Eagles 4th-and-4 at the Giants’ 47-yard-line. On the next play, quarterback Michael Vick rushed for 34 yards on 3rd-and-20, and the Eagles would end the drive with a field goal for their first points of the game. After the game, coach Tom Coughlin said he was convinced the Eagles would go for it on fourth down, according to a team-issued transcript of his remarks. We'll never know how the Eagles would have proceeded, but making the Eagles decide whether to gamble around midfield was probably the right call.

    •    The Giants struggled with Vick’s rushing and Nick Foles’ passing. Before leaving with a hamstring injury late in the first half, Vick gained 79 yards on just seven carries. Foles, for his part, completed 16-of-25 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. Also, neither Eagles quarterback committed a turnover.

    •    The Giants let a winnable game slip away — and too far away for comfort. The defense recorded just one sack and didn’t have a takeaway. The offense made its third-quarter run and had nothing left. In the end, the Giants suffered their fourth double-digit loss in a row.