The Giants are not in a position to rank any victories. They are all precious gems to him because they are all so rare.
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And so, another offensively challenging and crappy performance showed that Jason Garrett was far from the only problem with this mess of an attack. The production, or lack thereof, deserved another loss but the Giants survived their defense, which was compounded by the day Michael Strahan retired at No. 92.
That defense intercepted three passes thrown by Jalen Hurts, forced four turnovers and came with the necessary stops to secure a 13–7 win over the Eagles at MetLife Stadium, an impossible outcome for both of these teams.
The Giants (4-7) stopped the bleeding after their brutal defeat in Tampa. The Eagles (5–7) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end after a sloppy performance, swinging the ball four times.
Graham Gano’s 39-yard field goal gave the Giants six points with 2:54 remaining. The Eagles quickly made a threat. From midfield, the Boston Scot ran for 4 yards before a defensive tackle, Dexter Lawrence, let loose the ball. Safety Julian Love fixed the rumble with 1:34 to play.
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The Giants, however, were so conservative on the offense on possession of the gift that they lost 8 yards in three plays. His only achievement was forcing the Eagles to use all three of their timeouts.
A more defensive stance was needed. The Eagles reached the Giants’ 27-yard line, but that is where the last-ditch drive ended, with a fourth-down pass from the Hearts dropping Jalen Rigor to the Giants’ 1-yard line with 15 seconds left.
The change of play-callers with Garrett’s firing last Tuesday did nothing to get the Giants into the end zone with any more frequency. He came into the end zone only once and had a modest total of points with Freddie Kitchen serving as interim offensive coordinator.
Hearts threw only five interceptions in the game but was dismissed by the Giants three times. They scored no points in these three turnovers, as they missed a field goal, the first half ended and they were three-out. After the third interception, this one by Xavier McKinney, the Giants received the ball over their 46-yard line, taking a 10–0 lead. The first play called by Kitchen was opposite Darius Slayton who lost 13 yards when defensive end Derek Barnett trapped him.
The Giants were up 10-0 and the Hearts were nearly intercepted for the fourth time when the Eagles decided enough was enough. He ran the ball over the next nine plays—Harts covered 38 yards on three scrambles—and eventually got his first point on Scott’s 1-yard touchdown run in the first game of the fourth quarter.
White towels were waving and fans stood on their feet and cheered as the Giants walked off the field at half time keeping the Eagles off the board with a defensive stand worthy of Strahan, whose number 92 was a cheering ceremony. I was retired.
The stand began after the Eagles reached the 2-yard line, first and goal, ready to take the lead. It did not happen. Harts made an incomplete throw on the first down. On the second down, Hurts was stopped for 1 yard by Lorenzo Carter and Xavier McKinney. In third place, with eight seconds remaining and the Eagles timed out, Harts was pressured and forced to throw over his body and was stopped by linebacker Tae Crowder when time ran out.
The defense took the field to start the third quarter and rookie cornerback Aaron Robinson broke a pass for Reagore in the fourth and delivered the Giants to their 41-yard line. A 17-yard pass to Darius Slayton ignited a drive that was aided by a pass interference call on cornerback Steve Nelson. Jones then fired a sinking pass that tight end Chris Myrick went down to his knees to catch his first NFL touchdown. It was also his first NFL reception and led the Giants 10–0.
All eyes were on the Giants’ offense to see how different it would look from calling the kitchen dramas. Usually sitting in the press box when he was the senior offensive assistant, Kitchen was stationed on the sidelines holding a play chart as interim offensive coordinator. The Giants were dismissed three times in their first series, with Jones having two misfires.
Kitchen got a little creative in the second series to kick-start an 11-play drive that ended with a Gano 35-yard field goal for a 3-0 Giants lead. Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker lined up together in the backfield, toward Jones, on a swing pass to Barkley, who was only 2 yards away. The next play was a flea-flicker pass to Evan Engram, 20 yards from Jones. A 14-yard scramble by Jones got the Giants into field-goal range.
The Eagles were driving late in the first quarter when the Hearts carried Cuse Watkins too far, allowing cornerback Darne Holmes to pick up the ball for an interception at the 5-yard line. When Gano missed a 51-yard field goal early in the second quarter, the turnover cost the Eagles no more.
Other than a 32-yard burst by Barkley – he bounced it out after being stuffed initially – there wasn’t much offense in the rest of the first half.
The Giants only made an offense of 264 yards. Barkley achieved only 40 yards in 13 escape attempts.
Jones completed 19 of 30 passes for 202 yards and, most importantly in this game, no turnovers.
Hurts, second-year Eagles quarterback, struggled: 14 of 31 for 129 yards and three interceptions.