NFC East: 2013 Week 5 PHI at NYG Rapid Reaction
October, 6, 2013
By Dan Graziano | ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the New York Giants' 36-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
What it means: If you were holding out any hope that the Giants could save their season (and goodness knows, I was trying to tell you otherwise), you may now give it up. The Giants are 0-5 and quite clearly one of the worst teams in the NFL. They came to life in the third quarter and looked good on both sides of the ball, but the other three quarters were a mess of penalties, bad and/or dumb plays and, yes, three more Eli Manning interceptions. This was to have been the Giants' get-right game, at home against a team that appeared to have had as many problems as they do. And while they'll say they were in it late, again, they ended up getting crushed, again. No team has ever started 0-5 and made the playoffs.
Stock Watch: Rising -- Rueben Randle and Jason Pierre-Paul. Manning has struggled throwing the ball to Randle this year, but he found a rhythm with him in this game to the tune of six catches for 96 yards and the two touchdowns that brought the Giants from behind to take their third-quarter lead. And Pierre-Paul looked explosive and disruptive for the first time all year. Falling -- star-crossed running back David Wilson, who started out great by scoring the game's first touchdown but left at the end of the first quarter with a neck injury.
Rough game for the coach: Tom Coughlin raised eyebrows by accepting a holding penalty in the first quarter and putting the Eagles in third-and-20 instead of fourth-and-4 at midfield. The Eagles converted the third down with a 34-yard Michael Vick run, and ended up kicking a field goal. Later in the game, with 12:40 left in the third quarter, Coughlin burned two timeouts on one failed replay challenge (one to get the time to challenge, the other when it didn't go his way).
What's next: Quick turnaround for the Giants, who play at 8:25 p.m. ET on Thursday in Chicago against the Bears, who have lost two in a row following their 3-0 start.
October, 6, 2013
By Phil Sheridan | ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few observations from the Philadelphia Eagles' 36-21 victory over the winless New York Giants on Sunday:
What it means: The NFC East really is as terrible as it looked while the Eagles were enduring that three-game losing streak against AFC West teams. The Eagles are 2-3 overall, but 2-0 within a division that could be won with an 8-8 record. They dropped the sloppy Giants to 0-5 despite losing starting quarterback Michael Vick with a hamstring injury late in the first half. After the Eagles blew a 19-7 halftime lead, Nick Foles directed three scoring drives to secure the win. Mychal Kendricks came up with a game-turning interception to set up Foles' fourth-quarter, 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek.
Vick vs. Foles: Vick ran the ball seven times for 79 yards before injuring his hamstring. He had completed just 6 of 14 passes for 105 yards, and the Eagles' red zone issues continued while he was in the game. Foles took over with 1:25 left in the half and the ball on the Eagles' 7-yard line. He completed 7 of 8 passes for 68 yards to drive for a late field goal, then threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach. The run game wasn't as effective without the threat of Vick running, but Chip Kelly adjusted and got Foles into a rhythm, and the Eagles finished with a season-high 36 points. Durability is always an issue with Vick, and now his inevitable injury may have opened the door for Foles.
Stock Watch: Rising -- Eagles defense. It looked like another disaster in the making when Eli Manning hit Hakeem Nicks for 49 yards on the Giants' third play from scrimmage. But the Giants lost running back David Wilson to a neck injury and Manning started throwing the ball to the Eagles, when he wasn't intentionally grounding it, in the second half. The three fourth-quarter interceptions were the Eagles' first since Week 1 against Washington. They set up two Eagles touchdowns and changed the entire tone of the game.
What's next: There will be a lot of discussion about Vick's hamstring and whether it allows him to practice for next Sunday's game against Tampa Bay -- the Eagles' second consecutive game against an 0-4 team. If Vick can go, the guess here is that he will start. Kelly made a point of saying Vick would not have to look over his shoulder after he won the starting quarterback job in the preseason. But if Vick can't play, Foles will get a chance to show what he can do with a full week of practice against a not-particularly-good team.
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