“Twenty-two to twenty-one and it’s a good football game. We just started the fourth quarter and there’s no reason to believe that we can’t continue that kind of play. Then the turnovers started to come. That gave them the short field and easy scores. It was very demoralizing for the sideline.” – Tom Coughlin
With 15 minutes left on the clock, the Giants found themselves in an unfamiliar position: with a chance to win a game; a chance to change the awkward number on the left side of their ledger to a 1, to stay afloat in a floundering NFC East. OK, this was finally the moment for Eli Manning to put all the negativity on the backburner, transform into tunnel vision mode, and drive the offense towards a crunch time victory – or not. The Giants narrative has changed.
Manning in the Fourth Quarter
15:00| Opening drive, trailing 22-21: Incomplete pass, Intentional Grounding, incomplete pass, punt
13:00| Following drive, still 22-21: 7-yard completion, 19-yard completion, holding penalty, Interception
(Eagles scored touchdown on first play from NYG 25)
10:26| Following drive, down 29-21: Incomplete pass, incomplete pass, interception
(Eagles scored on a touchdown on four plays from NYG 38)
8:24| Following drive, down 36-21: 14-yard completion, incomplete pass, incomplete pass, 11-yard completion, interception
4:15| Following drive, still down 36-21: Incomplete pass, 11-yard completion, incomplete pass, Intentional Grounding, incomplete pass, sack, punt
The ugly final tally
4/16, three interceptions on three consecutive drives, and two Intentional Grounding penalties that cost his team 24 yards of field position at a vital juncture. The first pick was an inexcusable decision by Manning, forcing an off-balance throw while in the grasp of corner Brandon Boykin. On the second interception Manning threw another flailing duck, while on the move, with Fletcher Cox draped all over him. Boykin again won the day, wrestling the rock away from Victor Cruz on a ball Victor had at least a 75% chance to bring in. The third pick appeared to be a route miscommunication between Manning and Hakeem Nicks, but the game was already in the books at this stage.