New York Giants: Philadelphia Eagles

Top free-agent roundup: NFC East

March, 10, 2014
Mar 10
Here are the top 15 free agents, followed by their rankings, entering Tuesday's signing period as compiled by NFC East reporters Dan Graziano, Todd Archer, Phil Sheridan and John Keim. There are some strong options at the top, but there is not a lot of depth in the NFC East when it comes to free agency. And if Dallas' DeMarcus Ware gets released, he vaults to a top spot on this list. As always, ESPN's free-agent tracker will keep you updated during this period.

1. LB Brian Orakpo, 8.5: The Redskins used the franchise tag on him, so barring a surprise, he’ll be back. It’s a controversial move among fans, but the Redskins need his pass rush and promise to unleash him more often. His career best for a single season is 11 sacks.

2. DT Linval Joseph, 8: A very big, strong and young (25) interior run-stuffer who has also shown the ability to create pressure from the interior, Joseph could be available because of the Giants’ depth at defensive tackle and their many needs.

3. DT Jason Hatcher, 8: He is coming off an 11-sack season, but he turns 32 in July and Dallas doesn’t have much cap space.

4. LB Jon Beason, 7: The Giants are working hard to sign him before free agency opens, as his leadership and high-energy play at middle linebacker helped transform their defense during the 2013 season.

5. WR Hakeem Nicks, 7: This grade is based on talent and past accomplishments, and a feeling that he was being overly careful in 2013 in order to hit free agency healthy. Lacks his early career speed, but knows how to play the position as well as anyone.

6. WR Jason Avant, 7: For a team in need of a third-down possession guy, the sure-handed Avant will be a great value.

7. P Donnie Jones, 7: The Eagles are expected to re-sign Jones, who was an underrated contributor to their NFC East title team.

8. DE Anthony Spencer, 6: He is coming back from microfracture surgery, so the cost won’t be high.

9. LB Perry Riley, 6: The Redskins need to re-sign him because they already have a hole at inside linebacker after London Fletcher retired. But they won’t break the bank for Riley, who needs to improve in coverage.

10. DE Justin Tuck, 6: Coming off an 11-sack season that came out of nowhere after two down years, Tuck turns 31 later this month but is a locker-room leader and a 4-3 defensive end who can set the edge against the run.

11. QB Michael Vick, 6: With Nick Foles' ascension, Vick is looking for a chance to start elsewhere.

12. RB Andre Brown, 5: He played very well in his first few games back off a broken leg, but faded down the stretch and fumbled too much in the final few games. He is likely not a guy who can be relied on as a starter, but potentially a valuable piece.

13. TE Brandon Myers, 5: A huge disappointment in New York after catching 79 passes as a Raider in 2012, Myers also contributed little as a blocker. The Giants are likely to let him go. He could fit better with a different system.

14. CB Terrell Thomas, 5: He played all 16 games after missing the previous two seasons because of ACL tears in the same knee. Thomas believes he can hold up as a starter off a real offseason, and would like to cash in.

15. S Danny McCray, 5: He is a core special teamer only, so the Cowboys could find value here.
Eli Manning, LeSean McCoyGetty ImagesEli Manning and LeSean McCoy enter Sunday's game with a combined 1-7 record this season.

The last time the New York Giants played the Philadelphia Eagles, in Week 17 of last season, Philadelphia was sleepwalking through the final game of the Andy Reid era while the Giants were being eliminated from playoff contention by results in other cities. The month of September didn't treat either team much better, and so it is a 1-3 Eagles team that travels to New Jersey this weekend to face the 0-4 Giants at 1 p.m. ET Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Eagles team reporter Phil Sheridan and Giants team reporter Dan Graziano offer their thoughts on this bottom-of-the-division NFC East matchup.

Dan Graziano: Hey, Phil. Hope things are going well for you down there in the City of Brotherly Love. Up here, the Giants might be the worst team in the NFL so far this year. I don't think that's a development anyone saw coming, but based on the way they've played on both sides of the ball, it's hard to argue. Not sure anyone knew what was coming in Philadelphia, and the Chip Kelly Eagles sure did burst onto the scene with their Week 1 victory in Washington. Things don't seem to have gone very well since, however. What do you think is the biggest thing that's derailed the Chip-Kelly-Will-Change-The-NFL storyline?

Phil Sheridan: The biggest thing, Dan, is that the NFL just isn't that easy to change. Kelly had one chance to throw a sucker punch, which he did in the first half of that Monday night game at Washington. The Eagles haven't looked remotely as crisp or as confident since halftime of that game. They did put up some points against San Diego, but only because the Chargers' mystifying decision not to cover DeSean Jackson. Since then, Kelly has been outclassed by Andy Reid and John Fox, two of the NFL's senior head coaches. Ultimately, if Kelly is going to stage a revolution, he's going to need a better army. The Eagles just aren't good enough.

Which brings me to the big question about the Giants: What in the world happened? OK, a little more specific: Is Eli Manning playing that badly or is it the offense around him?

DG: Oh, the problems are around Manning, for sure. He needs to play better, and he's committed too many turnovers. But the issues start up front, as they always do, and the Giants' offensive line is just plain awful. It was a rotten run-blocking unit in the first two games. It gave up seven sacks of Manning in the 37-0 loss in Carolina in Week 3, and starting center David Baas and right guard Chris Snee got hurt in that game. So they had to use backups at those two spots last Sunday in Kansas City, and it was a mess again. The result is that Manning and the offense can't get in any kind of rhythm because they can't get the play blocked at the point of attack. The receivers don't have time to get open, the running backs can't find holes, and even if there is something that works, the Giants simply can't trust that anything will be there play to play. Tom Coughlin said after Sunday's game that trying to call offensive plays right now is like "throwing a dart at a board."

Now, all of that said, they have faced four pretty strong defensive fronts so far in Dallas, Denver, Carolina and Kansas City. The Eagles' defense, to me at least, looks a little bit more, shall we say, permissive. Do you think it's possible the Giants get the offense going this week against the Philly D?

PS: It's very possible. Peyton Manning has it all going on right now, obviously, but I think Archie Manning could go out Sunday and move the ball against this Eagles secondary. The litany of issues sounds quite a bit like what you just outlined regarding the Giants' offense. The Eagles have not been able to generate any kind of reliable pass rush. Trent Cole is in transition, playing some standard defensive end while also standing up and occasionally dropping into coverage. Connor Barwin, the only true 3-4 outside linebacker on the team, has not been the difference-maker the Eagles expected. At least not yet. The lack of pressure makes the secondary vulnerable and the lack of coverage ability doesn't give the pass rush time to get there. It's a cycle that allows smart, experienced quarterbacks to do their bidding, and Eli is certainly one of them. He hung 42 on the Eagles as a lovely parting gift to Andy Reid last December.

While we're talking pass rush, we're used to watching the Giants torment Eagles quarterbacks. What happened to the Giants' pass rush and is there any hope to get it cranking again?

DG: I'm starting to think not. The Giants have only seven sacks in their past nine games dating back to last November. (And the one they got Sunday really shouldn't have counted, since it was a linebacker tackling Alex Smith at the line of scrimmage on a run play.) Jason Pierre-Paul has one sack in his past 11 games, and I watched him closely Sunday. There are plays on which he simply doesn't do anything at all. The explosive player who racked up 16.5 sacks in 2011 has vanished, and while he might still be getting over offseason back surgery, it's possible he never returns to form. That's more than possible for Justin Tuck, obviously, coming off two down years. Mathias Kiwanuka is so-so. Rookie Damontre Moore has great skills but has been slow to develop to the point where the coaches trust him.

The Giants have actually had some guys perform better than expectations at linebacker and in the secondary. And the way the offense has played has offered the defense some cover. But you're right -- if they can't get the pass rush going, they're not a good defense.

They have, in the past, had a lot of trouble stopping LeSean McCoy and the Eagles' midrange passing game, as Andy Reid used to love to exploit the Giants' weakness at linebacker. Can we expect a heavy dose of the run game Sunday, I assume?

PS: Absolutely. Kelly flat-out said the Eagles will continue to rely on what they do best, which is to run the ball. They are No. 1 in the NFL in rushing yards, which would have sounded like science fiction during Reid's pass-happy tenure. The basic philosophy is simple: The Eagles spread opponents out with three wide receivers, then pound the ball behind a good run-blocking line. The question I have is whether defensive coordinators are willing to concede a certain amount of rushing yards in order to safeguard against big plays from DeSean Jackson. The Eagles amassed 890 yards the past two weeks -- 426 of them on the ground -- but scored just four touchdowns. That's not enough in 2013.

Here's a more abstract question. With two Super Bowls on their résumés, there has to be a temptation for the Giants' core group to accept that this is just a down year. Do you see signs of that? And can Coughlin still find a way to prevent that?

DG: Yeah, I don't think that's what's happening here. Not after they missed the playoffs last year for the third time in four seasons. This team won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, but the six-week stretch that culminated in that title is one of the few sustained runs of strong play the Giants had over the past half-decade. The Giants believe they can play better and that it's on them to do so, whether the season can still be saved or not. And what ownership is telling Coughlin is that they have faith in him to figure out how to fix the problems. Whether he can or not will have an impact on his legacy. He's not in any trouble here in terms of job security, but the current plight offers him a chance to prove he's the coach the Giants and their fans believe him to be.

Good talk, Phil. Thanks. Looking forward to seeing you Sunday in the swamp.


NFLN Says: Can the Eagles keep it up?

September, 11, 2013
So we went around and polled NFL players Wednesday on the question of whether the Philadelphia Eagles' new up-tempo offense under former Oregon coach Chip Kelly is sustainable. You know, since it looked so good in the first half Monday night against the Redskins' mediocre defense and has become the talk of the league on the most overreactive week of the season, right?

The question of sustainability is a significant one to the New York Giants, who don't face the Eagles in September but do face them twice in October. They get them Week 5 at home and Week 8 on the road, so if they can't handle them the first time it'll be fresh in their memories for the second. And while it might be nice to have more than four games' worth of tape to assess before the first time they face them, four is better than the zero with which the Redskins were working when Kelly, Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy showed up Monday night and ran them out of their own building.

So the Giants will at least be in a position to plan for the Eagles and it's likely that by the time they face them they will have put some failure on film. And it's always possible, of course, that Vick gets hurt and either isn't 100 percent or isn't able to play. That's a Vick thing, no matter what kind of offense he's in, and this particular one looks willing to make a lot of sacrifices in pass protection in exchange for its determination to run plays as quickly as possible.

My sense is that you'll soon start to hear the same things about Kelly's manic offense that you heard last year and this offseason about the read-option -- that if you can hit the quarterback, you can derail this or any other offense. And the Giants' whole defensive plan is based on the importance of hitting the quarterback. The Giants also made beefing up their run defense a major focus of their offseason, and they have a deep stable of defensive tackles with which to combat the brilliant McCoy.

When the Giants do finally get their first up-close look at the Eagles, they're going to have to do what they always have to do -- pressure and hit the quarterback as quickly and effectively as possible so he's unable to do whatever he's supposed to do on a given play. If the speed of Kelly's offense makes that more difficult, it's going to be on Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul to out-athlete the Eagles' offensive players and make life miserable for Vick.

John Clayton picks Giants to win NFC East

July, 27, 2013

Our man John Clayton offers a quickie breakdown in the video above of what he sees as a very competitive NFC East, and he thinks the New York Giants "probably have the best chance to win the division." He acknowledges their question marks on defense but cites Eli Manning, young running back David Wilson and their other offensive weapons as the reasons to favor the Giants to claim their second division title in three years.

John's is obviously an opinion I respect quite a bit, but that doesn't mean we always see things the same way. And, although I'm not ready to make my own prediction for the NFC East yet, I'm not overly enthralled with the Giants as a favorite right now. I find it hard to see where they got better, especially on defense. Assuming full-year health for Hakeem Nicks is risky, and I think the offense lost a lot of valuable blocking help with the departures of Ahmad Bradshaw and Martellus Bennett and the loss of Henry Hynoski to a knee injury for at least a little while. I also don't think we know yet how the running game will work out or whether Wilson is up to the task of a full-season starter's workload as a ball carrier and a pass-protector.

That said, you never can rule out the Giants, and they're likely the safest pick. Their ceiling doesn't feel overly high, but you do feel as though you know where the floor is. They're unlikely to be a bad team, and they always contend until the final weeks. Manning and Tom Coughlin are the cornerstones at the key positions of quarterback and coach who make sure of that every year.

I think the Redskins, if Robert Griffin III is healthy all year (a big "if," by the way), and the Cowboys, if they can keep their defense healthy, have more potential to have a great season than the Giants have. But there are also more things that can go wrong in those places. The Redskins still have major question marks in the secondary, the Cowboys on the lines. Picking one of those teams this year, I believe, carries more risk than picking the Giants does.

And no, I haven't forgotten about the Eagles. And no, I don't think it's impossible that they could win this division that hasn't had an 11-win team since 2009. But I do think they have the shakiest quarterback situation in the division by far and that they're all being forced to learn a lot of new things all at once on both sides of the ball under a new coaching staff. And I think they have the toughest road to contention of the four teams. I think the Eagles have the best chance of any of these four to have a poor season in 2013.
PHILADELPHIA -- It's an ugly, undignified rite of NFL spring, this taking of attendance at voluntary workouts, and it really needs to stop.

Last week, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin expressed his frustration over the absence of star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks from the team's voluntary OTAs. Coughlin said Nicks had told him he'd bet there and hadn't called to explain why he wasn't. Coughlin said he understood these are the rules, but made it clear he doesn't feel the coach has to like it.

[+] EnlargeTom Coughlin
Al Bello/Getty ImagesTom Coughlin was critical of receiver Hakeem Nicks for not showing up at voluntary OTAs.
Down here in Philadelphia, new cornerback Cary Williams missed a big chunk of the voluntary offseason program for a variety of reasons. He got married. His daughter had a dance recital. He had to pick out sconces for his new house. The reasons for his absence subjected Williams to a high level of ridicule from Eagles fans who believed he should be working out with and getting to know his new teammates and coaches. Williams was perplexed by the fuss.

"I mean ... fans ... I love you, but jeez," Williams said after Tuesday's mandatory minicamp practice. "If I had three kids with three different women, and if I was a womanizer, you all would be reporting that. But now I'm a guy who wants to see his little girl's recital and I'm a bad guy? Come on."

Look, I know I'm not an NFL coach or an NFL fan, but to me Williams sounds like the voice of reason and Coughlin sounds like the cranky old man who wants everybody off his lawn. Words have meaning, and the word "voluntary" means of one's own will and without outside interference. Translated for purposes of this discussion, that means that neither Nicks nor Williams nor any other player in the league has to attend voluntary OTAs or tell his coach, teammates or anyone on the planet why he didn't. This is their right as human beings and as NFL players, and no amount of conventional meathead wisdom changes that. None.

The fact that almost everyone else on the team is there practicing doesn't change it. The fact that they make a lot of money and play a game for a living doesn't change it. The fact that coaches and fans prefer players who go above and beyond what's required of them doesn't change it. Nothing does. Every single defense of Coughlin's rant about Nicks is unjustified. Every single bit of scorn directed at Williams for staying home is just another example of the NFL establishment insisting on treating the players like something less than human beings. And it needs to stop.

People constantly ask what the players actually got in the most recent collective bargaining negotiations. The salary cap hasn't gone up, and big contracts for veterans aren't any easier to come by than they were in the old system. A rookie salary cap depresses the earning potential of the highest draft picks, and the discipline process is still the domain of the commissioner, with the players in possession of little recourse. But a big part of the answer to "what did the players get?" is a reduction in the amount of work required of them in the offseason -- more time to heal and rest and live their lives outside of football, which is their workplace. The players' union believed this to be a quality-of-life issue that would affect the entirety of its membership, whereas an increased say in discipline matters would have affected only the few who get into trouble. The players wanted this and got it in exchange for their own concessions, and they have every right to take advantage of it without worrying what their fans or their coaches think.

Coughlin is out of line and should be told by the league (or at least the NFLPA) to cut it out. Eagles coach Chip Kelly has been careful not to say anything that might be construed as critical of players who stayed away from voluntary work, and that's smart. But those who made fun of Williams for going to his daughter's dance recital are out of line as well. Kudos to him for coming out Tuesday and asking this football-crazed world where exactly the emperor's clothes are in all of this. Kudos for him for wanting to be a present father and husband. He didn't go with his former Ravens teammates to the White House on Wednesday, because the Eagles' practice that day was mandatory. He understands the difference between what's required of him and what's simply available to him, and more importantly he understands the importance of having some level of sane balance in his life.

These guys aren't just characters who appear on a weekly TV show on Sundays in the fall. They're human beings. The job they do is brutally tough, exhausting, even crippling, and they do it for our enjoyment. They subject their bodies to pain and exhaustion and breakage from late July through December. And while yes, they are well compensated for that effort, they are putting it forth under an agreement that specifically allows them to live their lives the way they want to live them away from the football field in May and June. They should be allowed to do so without their bosses or their fans making them feel as though they're not living up to their end of the bargain.

Halftime Report: Giants 35, Eagles 7

December, 30, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A quick take on the first half:

Surprise! The Giants won the coin toss and elected to receive, but the Eagles attempted an onside kick and recovered the ball. It was a stunning blow, but the Giants recovered nicely, thanks to a Stevie Brown interception on the Eagles' opening drive. It was Brown's eighth interception of the season.

New blood: In the final week of the regular season, Tom Coughlin finally unleashed a couple of rookies, and it paid off. With veteran wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and running back Ahmad Bradshaw bothered by injuries, the Giants started Rueben Randle at wideout and David Wilson in the backfield. Randle scored a pair of touchdowns and Wilson also scored one in a 21-point first-quarter outburst by Big Blue.

Second quarter: The teams traded touchdowns to start the second quarter. The Eagles finally got on the board thanks to a touchdown pass from Michael Vick to Jeremy Maclin, on a fourth-and-1 from the Giants' 7-yard line. It was their second fourth-down conversion of the drive. The Giants answered with a 10-play, 73-yard march that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Bradshaw.

Eagles coach Andy Reid went for it on another fourth down at the end of the half, and it cost his team dearly. Facing fourth-and-5 at midfield, the Eagles came up a yard short with 17 seconds left. The Giants made them pay. Eli Manning connected with Domenik Hixon for 30 yards, and then found Victor Cruz in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown with four ticks left. Manning threw four TD passes in the first half for the first time in his career.

Justin time: Justin Tuck had just his fourth sack of the season, and first since Week 9 against the Steelers, bringing down Vick for a 4-yard loss in the first quarter.

All for naught? Even if they finish off the Eagles, the Giants also need the Lions, Packers and Redskins to win Sunday in order to qualify for the playoffs. The Lions trail the Bears 20-10 at the half. (The Packers and Redskins play later.)

W2W4: Giants vs. Eagles

December, 28, 2012

Tom Coughlin wants to see pride, dignity and honor.

So will the New York Giants show up in the season finale and keep their slim playoff hopes alive, or will they limp into the offseason with a three-game losing streak?

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here are five things to watch for when the Giants face the Philadelphia Eagles:

Hello again: It seems only fitting that in the Giants' season finale, they would get Michael Vick and not Nick Foles, who is on IR with a broken hand.

Vick will be fresh and highly motivated to show what he can still do in what likely will be his final game as an Eagle.

He hasn't played in six games so he might be rusty. The Giants must get pressure against the Eagles' porous line and hit Vick. They also have to keep him from breaking containment and getting outside on the edge. Vick's last win this season came at the Giants' expense in Week 4.

Slim Shady: The Giants also should get a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy. Shady McCoy had 123 yards rushing against the Giants last time, exposing Perry Fewell's defense on the edge.

The Giants have not been able to stop the run, giving up 237 yards on the ground last week to Baltimore and surrendering an average of 157.7 yards to running backs in the last four weeks.

Wake up: The Giants' offense has scored just 14 points in the last two games. Eli Manning has thrown for just 311 yards and one touchdown combined in those two games.

Manning hasn't passed for 300 yards or more in a game in his last eight games. The offense has struggled and the big play has been missing.

This could be the final time this season that Manning has an opportunity to try to hit Victor Cruz on a bomb. Those two need to take advantage of an Eagles defense that has surrendered 28 passing touchdowns –- fifth-most in the league.

The Andy Reid Show: This could be Andy Reid's final game with the Eagles. The Giants can't allow this to turn into an emotional farewell for Reid.

Reid has owned the Giants in recent years, winning eight of the last nine games -- including a playoff meeting during the 2008 season -- against Coughlin.

The Giants need to take advantage of a reeling Eagles team that has dropped 10 of its last 11 and has won only once since beating the Giants in late September.

Have you no pride? The Giants need Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota to lose in order to make the playoffs.

But first things first: The Giants have to show some heart. Check that. The Giants need to show a pulse after getting waxed in the last two games.

Regardless of what happens Sunday with the Cowboys, Bears and Vikings, the Giants need to play like defending champions and finish strong.

If they lose big for a third straight week, the Giants will have shown that they were just going through the motions and might've been satisfied with their Super Bowl win from a season ago.

Next-Level Preview: Giants vs. Eagles

December, 27, 2012
The Giants host the Eagles Sunday and will attempt to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Philadelphia and New York met in Week 4 with the Eagles prevailing, 19-17, after a late Lawrence Tynes' missed field goal. The Eagles are looking to sweep the season series with the Giants for the third time in the past four seasons.

The Giants are coming off a lopsided 33-14 loss to the Ravens that saw Baltimore tally 533 yards of offense, the most allowed by the Giants since Week 12 of 2011 against the Saints. Meanwhile, the Eagles, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games, are coming off a 27-20 loss to the Redskins.

The Giants need to win Sunday and get plenty of help in order to make the playoffs. Here are several areas to keep an eye on for Week 17:

Eli Manning has been unable to replicate his success from last season, partly due to his inability to stretch the field with Hakeem Nicks.

Manning has eight touchdown passes on throws outside the painted numbers, after throwing 20 touchdowns on such passes last season, tied for the second-most in the NFL. He has only connected with Nicks for one touchdown on those throws, after Nicks had seven touchdowns on throws outside the numbers in 2011, tied for third most in the league.

Overall, Manning has completed just 54.1 percent of his passes targeted for Nicks, down from 58.5 percent last season and the lowest percentage since Nicks came into the league.

• Last season, Manning was one of the best quarterbacks in the league when facing five or more pass rushers, especially in the fourth quarter. He threw a league-leading 18 touchdown passes against five or more pass rushers in 2011, 10 of which came in the final period.

This season, Manning has thrown seven touchdowns against added pressure, only three of which have been in the fourth quarter.

• Since entering the league in 2009, LeSean McCoy has dominated the Giants. In that time span, he has more rushing yards (649), rushing first downs (26) and rushing yards after contact (183) against the Giants than any other running back.

McCoy has been able to get to the edge against the Giants, averaging 7.4 yards per rush outside the tackles, compared to 5.1 inside the tackles. He should continue to have success on the edge Sunday, as the Giants have struggled to stop rushes outside the tackles all season. They have allowed 711 yards and 7.04 yards per rush on such rushing plays, the most in the NFL.

• The Giants inability to get to the quarterback with their four-man pass rush is one reason the defense has struggled. The Giants have only two sacks when sending four or fewer pass rushers over the last four weeks and are averaging a sack once every 19.7 dropbacks when sending standard pressure.

Last season, they averaged a sack once every 13.6 dropbacks when sending four or fewer pass rushers and had 34 sacks when sending such pressure, the second-most in the NFL. Jason Pierre-Paul's play has followed a similar pattern to the Giants’ pass rush.

Through 16 weeks last season, Pierre-Paul had 15.5 sacks and 23.5 dropbacks disrupted, each of which ranked in the top five in the NFL. This season, JPP has not had the same impact, with just 6.5 sacks and 11.5 dropbacks disrupted entering Week 17.

• The Giants will have to deal with the dual threat of Michael Vick Sunday, who is back at quarterback for an injured Nick Foles.

Vick had a season-high 90.1 Total QBR against the Giants in Week 4 and was 8-for-12 for 125 yards and a touchdown when the Giants sent five or more pass rushers. He was also effective on the ground in the teams’ first meeting, rushing for 49 yards and averaging 8.2 yards per rush, his second-most in a game this season.

Tom Coughlin: 'Losing, it kills you'

October, 5, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Coughlin has won two Super Bowls with the Giants and coached in the NFL for 17 seasons.

Yet losing a game in heartbreaking fashion, as his team did to the Eagles last Sunday night, still stings -- badly.

"Losing, it kills you," Coughlin told the team's official website, adding that "it's 10 times more difficult" to move on from that type of defeat.

"You just think, particularly based on our experiences, that when we're in that position, we're going to win," he said. "We had a minute and something left. We're going to win the game. Now, to be honest with you, we always have our timeouts preserved and if we had one timeout in our pocket, I believe we're going to win the game."

The Giants looked like they were going to beat the Eagles in the final minute. They had the ball on the Philadelphia 26 with 25 seconds remaining. But on second down, with no timeouts left, Coughlin elected to gamble -- instead of being conservative -- and got burned. Eli Manning threw a deep ball down the sideline to Ramses Barden, who was called for offensive pass interference. So, instead of kicking what would've been a 44-yard field goal, Lawrence Tynes was forced to drill one from 54 yards out, and he came up short.

The Giants (2-2) fell 19-17 and are already 0-2 in the NFC East.

"The losses are much more difficult to get over the further you are in your career. They're killers," Coughlin said. "You don't sleep. I went on that couch right there at 3 o'clock in the morning and I could not get to sleep because, to be honest with you, I kept going over, over and over saying, 'How could I have helped our team when it was 15 seconds left?' Of course, I've got all the scenarios the next morning. Sure, it's easy. But who's telling you a 44-yarder is an easy field goal? We had made two yards on a run and they know we're throwing the ball."

Tynes goes 0-for-2 on attempts to win

October, 1, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- Lawrence Tynes made his first 11 field goal attempts of the 2012 season.

He picked a rather inopportune time to miss his first. And second.

[+] EnlargeLawrence Tynes
Alex Trautwig/Getty ImagesLawrence Tynes looks on after one of his kicks misses the mark.
With 15 seconds on the clock, the veteran Giants kicker missed two potential game-winning tries from 54 yards out in a 19-17 loss to the Eagles on Sunday night.

"To not come through is definitely unfortunate," Tynes said in a subdued tone.

His first attempt had enough distance but sailed left.

Fortunately for Tynes, Eagles coach Andy Reid called a timeout before the kick in an attempt to ice the Giants' kicker.

So Tynes got another chance.

At the time, Eagles QB Michael Vick, along with every Philly fan in the building, wasn't happy with Reid's decision.

"I don't believe in icing the kicker," Vick said. "I don't know who started that, but we have to end that tradition."

Tynes lined up for kick No. 2, confident that he could make Reid pay.

"It's a tough kick (but) a kick I can make, a kick I've made in my career to win a game before," he said.

But on Sunday night in Philly, with the game and an early lead in the NFC East on the line, Tynes came up short.

His second attempt was straight enough but fell several feet shy of the crossbar.

"It's definitely not one that you want to miss," said Tynes, the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week last week after kicking five field goals against Carolina.

Of course, the Giants could have set up Tynes with an easier attempt.

They had the ball on 26-yard line with less than a minute to play. But Ramses Barden was flagged for offensive pass interference after he mugged Eagles corner Nnamdi Asomugha. That flag turned a 44-yard attempt into a 54-yarder.

Still, holder Steve Weatherford was sure that Tynes could come through.

"Any time Lawrence steps on the field, he expects to make the kick, whether it's 60 yards, 54 or 22," Weatherford said. "That's his job and he's very good at it, so we still have all the faith in the world in him."

Unfortunately for the Giants, all the faith in the world wasn't enough to get Tynes' kick through the uprights on Sunday night.

Rapid Reaction: Eagles 19, Giants 17

September, 30, 2012
PHILADELPHIA –- Another game between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles went down to the final minutes and the Giants ended up losing another heartbreaker, 19-17 to the Eagles.

What it means: The Giants (2-2) have now lost eight of their past nine to Philadelphia, and this defeat came at the end.

The Giants failed to protect a one-point lead in the fourth and had to rely on Eli Manning for another fourth-quarter comeback. He gave the Giants a chance for the win, but Lawrence Tynes missed a 54-yard attempt at the end. These two teams will meet again Dec. 30 in the regular-season finale, which could decide the NFC East.

Shady Gaga: The Giants held LeSean McCoy to a total of four yards rushing in the first half. But the shifty Shady McCoy, whom Osi Umenyiora referred to as "Lady Gaga" last year, repeatedly gashed Perry Fewell's run defense, which lost containment and had problems in the second half stopping the Eagles' running back on the outside edge.

Michael Vick also had a few runs on the outside that burned the Giants. The Eagles duo helped Philadelphia drive down to the Giants' 2-yard-line before kicking the go-ahead field goal with 1:48 remaining.

Bad Eli, Good Eli: Manning started the fourth quarter with a painful interception on a first-and-10 at the Eagles' 10-yard-line. Manning never saw Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who picked a pass intended for Martellus Bennett.

The Eagles turned the turnover into only a field goal, though, to take a 16-10 lead.

Manning bounced back by marching the Giants 83 yards for a touchdown to Bear Pascoe to take a 17-16 lead.

After Philadelphia regained the lead 19-17, Manning had 1:43 left to engineer a comeback. He nearly pulled it off.

Secondary issues: The Giants were already playing without cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring). Cornerback Michael Coe was nursing a hamstring injury and safety Antrel Rolle was playing with a bruised knee.

And cornerback Corey Webster, who lost DeSean Jackson on the Eagles' first-half touchdown, played with a broken bone in his hand.

But the Giants' issues in the secondary worsened when safety Kenny Phillips left in the first half with a sprained right knee. Stevie Brown came in for Phillips.

The Giants do get safety Tyler Sash back this week from suspension and they may need him, depending on Phillips' status.

No Nicks: Hakeem Nicks missed his second straight game with pain in his surgically repaired foot and swelling in his knee.

Domenik Hixon started for Nicks and Ramses Barden and Rueben Randle saw snaps as well. Hixon had three catches on the last drive of the first half, including a big 32-yard catch, that helped set up a Tynes' field goal to pull the Giants within 7-3 at halftime.

Victor Cruz did most of the damage for the Giants, scoring a touchdown in the third quarter and repeatedly getting open whenever the Giants needed a big catch.

Barden came up with a big 31-yard reception on the scoring drive that put the Giants ahead 17-16 with 6:45 left. And he drew two pass interference calls but also was called for a pass interference on the final drive that forced Tynes to have to kick a 54-yarder.

What's next: The Giants return home to host the Cleveland Browns. With a trip to San Francisco looming in another week, can anyone say trap game?

Halftime: Eagles 7, Giants 3

September, 30, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- Here are a few observations from the first half of the Giants-Eagles game:

For most of the first two quarters, the Giants -- and Eli Manning in particular -- really missed Hakeem Nicks.

Nicks is out with knee and foot ailments and the drop-off between Nicks and Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden (no catches) was quite apparent for most of the first half. Victor Cruz (six catches, 56 yards) had success in the first 30 minutes, but the other Giants wideouts seemed to struggle to get separation.

Hixon, though, got hot late in the half on the Giants' final drive. Manning went to him several times to set up Lawrence Tynes' 25-yard field goal. Hixon finished the half with four catches for 60 yards.

BOTH QBs HIT, HURRIED: The Giants' line -- minus David Diehl -- had a tough time early on containing Philly's rush. The Eagles hit Manning three times and hurried him four times on the Giants' opening drive. Sean Locklear and Will Beatty were flagged for holding penalties in the first half, with Beatty's negating a 39-yard gain that would have set the Giants up at the Philadelphia 10.

Manning is 14-for-26 for 151 yards passing.

The Philadelphia line had issues of its own in the first half.

Michae lVick has been hit often this season, and Sunday night is no different. He was drilled by Justin Tuck twice in the first half and Will Hill put Vick on the turf in the second quarter.

Vick had success on the ground, running it three times for 19 yards. But he took a hit at the end of two of those rushes as well.

The Giants have mostly stopped Philly cold on the ground. They held LeSean McCoy to two yards on six carries. Vick, though, had success in the air. He hit on 11 of 19 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. Corey Webster inexplicably left DeSean Jackson as he ran a route to the corner of the end zone on the Eagles' touchdown play.

THE A.B. SHOW: There was a big buildup heading into the game about how the Giants would divide carries between Andre Brown and Ahmad Bradshaw.

So far, it hasn't mattered much.

Bradshaw has run the ball six times for 15 yards. Brown has run it three times for seven yards. In all, the Giants couldn't get much going on the ground, running for 26 yards on 10 carries.

INJURIES: Kenny Phillips left the game with a sprained right knee. It's unclear if he will return. Eagles corner Nnamdi Asomugha left the game with an eye injury. His return is also uncertain.

Countdown Live: Giants-Eagles

September, 30, 2012
Join our NFL experts as they analyze the NFC East throw down between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at 8:20 ET. See you there.

Amukamara ready for his first start

September, 29, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Prince Amukamara will get his first NFL start on Sunday night in Philadelphia.

While that might seem important to some, it's not a big deal to Amukamara.

"My mentality's always going to be the same -- prepare as a starter and study as a starter," Amukamara said on Friday.

[+] EnlargePrince Amukamara
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesPrince Amukamara snared his first career interception last season against the Eagles.
Amukamara made his season debut for the Giants last Thursday against Carolina and played a starter's share of snaps.

Jayron Hosley started the game, but Amukamara came in on Carolina's second play. He ended up playing 43 of the Giants' 58 defensive plays after Hosley left with a hamstring injury.

So, when asked about starting, Amukamara accurately noted, "it's not really much different" from what he did last Thursday.

Fortunately for the Giants, Amukamara seems to be near full health heading into the Eagles game.

His high ankle sprain was taken off of the Giants' injury list for the first time earlier this week. But the rest of the Giants' secondary is fairly banged up.

Corey Webster will take the field against Philly with a cast on his right hand. Michael Coe is dealing with a hamstring injury. Antrel Rolle has a knee issue and Hosley is out.

Amukamara insists he's healthy, but admits that he's still feeling soreness in his ankle.

"There's still a little discomfort, a little pain, but it's not really affecting my game," the 2011 first-round pick said. "It gets sore but as I'm running it warms up and feels as good as new."

Amukamara will be lined up Sunday night against Philly, the team he made both his NFL debut and first interception against last season.

His agent, Todd France, recently sent Amukamara a poster of the INT. Amukamara laughed as he told reports about the poster on Friday.

"It's pretty big," he said.

The Giants can only hope that Amukamara makes another poster-worthy play on Sunday night.

Next-level preview: Giants at Eagles

September, 28, 2012
The Giants will head down to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday for their first meeting this season with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2011, the teams split their season series, with each team winning on the road.

The Giants are coming off a lopsided 36-7 win over the Panthers last Thursday. After Week 2 injuries to Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw, the Giants were led in Carolina by wide receiver Ramses Barden and running back Andre Brown, who each tallied more than 100 all-purpose yards.

The Eagles, meanwhile, struggled against the Cardinals, losing 27-6 and turning the ball over three times, including two fumbles by Michael Vick.

Here are some areas to keep an eye on Sunday night:

• Thus far, the 2012 season has produced dramatically different results for Eli Manning and Michael Vick when they face added pass pressure.

Heading into Week 4, Manning is second in the league against added pressure in yards (382) and is tied for second in the league with three touchdowns in these situations. Vick has struggled when facing added pressure, completing less than 40 percent of his passes. The Eagles quarterback is likely going to deal with a lot of pressure from the Giants on Sunday. New York has blitzed a defensive back against Vick on over 41 percent of his dropbacks in the past three seasons, compared to 17.1 percent of the time against every other opponent.

• Over the first three weeks of the season, Vick leads the league in number of dropbacks taken while under duress (39). In such situations, Vick has thrown two interceptions, been sacked once and is only completing 22.2 percent of his passes. Perhaps partly due to the pressure he has faced, Vick has also struggled on throws outside the pocket. This season Vick has two interceptions outside the pocket, nearly as many as he had the entire 2011 season (3). He is also completing just 31.3 percent of his passes when outside the pocket this season, which would be on pace for his lowest completion percentage in the last four seasons.

• Stopping the Eagles’ running game (specifically LeSean McCoy) will be a key for the Giants. Since the start of the 2010 season, McCoy has run roughshod over the Giants, with more rushes (71), rush yards (416) and yards after contact (130) than any other Giants opponent over that span.

The Giants have especially struggled to stop McCoy on rushes between the tackles. More than 75 percent of McCoy's 416 yards were on rushes between the tackles, where he gashed the Giants for 317 yards and 108 yards after contact in the previous two seasons.

However, McCoy is not the only Eagles runner to give the Giants trouble. Vick became the starter for the Eagles in Week 1 of 2010, and since that time, he has the fourth-most rush attempts (28) and third-most rush yards (195) of any player against the Giants.

• The Eagles' defense has excelled at defending the deep ball this season, allowing the fewest yards per attempt, pass first downs and lowest Total QBR on throws that travel more than 10 yards downfield. They will have their hands full with Manning, though, as he has been successful when throwing deep in 2012. Manning leads the league with four touchdowns on throws that travel more than 10 yards downfield, and his 99.3 Total QBR on those throws is tied for third in the NFL among qualified players.

Victor Cruz has been Manning's favorite target this season on throws that travel more than 10 yards downfield, leading the Giants with 165 yards and six receptions on those throws. Cruz will be returning to Philadelphia for the first time since his 110-yard, two touchdown performance in Week 3 last season. Cruz had 238 receiving yards and 120 yards after the catch against the Eagles in 2011, both of which were his most against any team.