Giants lose despite great offensive performance as playoff hopes remain alive and well

The Giants fought the Eagles in the last NFC East game at Giants Stadium,but the Eagles rode their play-maker DeSean Jackson to a 45-38 victory.

With the division at stake, the Eagles came out of the gates by scoring a quick touchdown in their first possession, followed by another quick touchdown when Giants RB Brandon Jacobs lost control of the ball for a fumble, which was ran back for a touchdown.

The Giants defense sputtered at points in the game, but it was the Giants offense that answered every Philadelphia score. Eli Manning clearly outplayed his counterpart Donovan McNabb, as Eli threw for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns while completing 27 passes. McNabb only threw for 275 yards while completing 17 of his passes, but completed several key deep passes when his offensive line allowed him to scan the field.

The Giants intercepted McNabb in the second half, but fell victim to a refereeing blunder when the officials ruled that Manning had fumbled on a running attempt. In reality, Manning actually was forced down by an Eagles defender who tripped him and grabbed his jersey, fumbling after his knee touched the ground. The Giants challenged and lost, taking away a timeout that came back to bite them in the end.

Rookie receiver Hakeem Nicks had a nifty spin and run for a touchdownafter dropping a potential touchdown pass and another that went through his hands. Nicks now has catches of at least 21 yards in eight straight games, putting him near the top in rookie receivers for the season.

On the other hand, receiver Mario Manningham has failed to make the transition from college to the NFL, as he missed several opportunities when he managed to drag only one foot inbounds on two potential touchdown receptions that would have put the Giants in much better position. The second touchdown appeared to be inbounds, but an Eagles challenge said otherwise.

Defensively and on special teams, the Giants failed to stop the number one threat on the Eagles, DeSean Jackson, who managed to juke his way to a touchdown on a corner punt gone wrong by punter Jeff Feagles. Giant defenders immediately swarmed Jackson after he caught the punt, but Jackson juked and sprinted for an important special teams touchdown for Philadelphia.

Despite the loss, the Giants are still in prime playoff position. The Eagles now move a game ahead of the Giants and own any tiebreakers due to the head-to-head category, but all this game really meant was that the Eagles would host a playoff game in the first round as opposed to New York. Anyone who has followed the Giants in recent years is aware of New York’s potential to cause damage on the road in the playoffs. The Giants are a game behind the Cowboys in the wild card race, but the schedule ahead that lies ahead favors New York. The Cowboys are already one of the NFL’s worst teams in December, and are struggling following a key NFC East loss to New York and a disappointing loss at home to San Diego. Dallas will face the undefeated Saints next week, while the Giants will travel to FedEx Field to take on the 4-9 Washington Redskins.

I don’t see any trouble when it comes to New York making the playoffs. Whenever you score 38 points against the first place team, the talent is obviously there. If the playoff position aligns itself according to the upcoming schedules, there is a high possibility that the Giants could play the Cardinals in the wild card round.

We all know what happened the last time Big Blue played a football game in Glendale, Arizona.

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