NFL

Hurts, Eagles can’t figure out Giants in upset loss

Giants Eagles Darnay Holmes
Nov 28, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback Darnay Holmes (30) intercepts a pass intended for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) at MetLife Stadium.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles entered Sunday’s game against the New York Giants having won their previous two games while committing just two turnovers in their previous four.

Then they ran into the Giants’ bottom-tier defense and fell apart.

Jalen Hurts was intercepted three times before Boston Scott fumbled away a golden chance to at least tie things up with 1:39 to go in the fourth quarter to preserve a Giants 13-7 victory on Sunday.

Following Scott’s fumble near midfield, the Giants (4-7) took just 20 seconds off the clock before giving the ball back to the Eagles. They drove to the New York 27, but were stopped one more time by the Giants when a 4th-and-10 shot to the goal line was dropped by Jalen Reagor.

Philadelphia native Chris Myarick provided the deciding touchdown of the afternoon — a 1-yard reception — to provide just enough for a Giants offense that looked less than impressive once again in Freddie Kitchens’ first game as interim offensive coordinator following the firing of Jason Garrett.

Philadelphia outgained the Giants 332-264, most notably a 208-70 advantage on the ground. But the Eagles (5-7) saw the Giants’ red zone just twice on Sunday as first-year head coach Nick Sirianni’s hesitancy to fully commit to the run game burned the visitors.

Hurts was outshined by Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who completed 19-of-30 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown to go with an additional 30 rushing yards — though it was the Giants’ defense that paced the victory.

Following a New York field goal to open the scoring, the Eagles looked as though they were prepared to answer with their dynamic rushing attack sparking a drive down to the Giants’ 20-yard-line. But Hurts’s pass down the middle intended for Quez Watkins on the 5-yard-line went right to New York cornerback Darnay Holmes after the Eagles’ receiver fell during his route.

To make matters worse, center Jason Kelce — who was starting his 117th straight game — went down with a knee injury and was done for the day.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts throws a pass in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants couldn’t take advantage of the turnover, though, as Graham Gano missed a 51-yard field goal attempt to keep New York’s lead at just three.

An aggressive Giants defense forced another Eagles 3-and-out after Sirianni strayed from the run, quickly giving the ball back to New York. Sparked by a 32-yard run by Saquon Barkley — who finished the day with just 40 yards on 13 carries — they were knocking on the door of the red zone at the 26-yard-line. But a holding call on Andrew Thomas killed the drive, leading to a punt.

Sirianni seemingly wised up and got the ball back to the ground for the Eagles. Getting the ball at their own 7-yard-line with 6:12 to go before the half, Hurts posted 61 rushing yards as the Eagles methodically drove 91 yards down to the Giants’ 2-yard-line with 14 seconds to go.

Then the Giants bore down.

After forcing an incompletion and stuffing a Hurts run up the middle at the 1-yard-line, Tae Crowder intercepted Hurts at the goal line after the Giants blitzed to shut the Eagles out in the first half for the first time this season.

New York Giants inside linebacker Tae Crowder is tackled by Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith after an interception during the first half.Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia offense continued sputtering out of gates to start the second half despite the run game quickly getting the Eagles into Giants territory. Needing just two yards at the New York 40-yard-line, the Eagles called two pass plays that fell incomplete for a turnover on downs.

With a shortened field, the Giants finally found the end zone for the day’s first touchdown, though they got a second chance after a drive that stalled out on the 5-yard-line was wiped clean when Steven Nelson was flagged for a pass interference call in the end zone on Evan Engram.

With the ball placed at the 1-yard-line, Jones salvaged a broken play and hit fullback Chris Myarick for the score with 6:50 to go.

An undrafted Philadelphia native, Myarick’s first career reception wasn’t just a touchdown against his hometown team, but it was of the circus variety after the ball squirted through his arms while falling to the ground. Before the ball hit the turf, Myarick squeezed it with his legs, allowing him to get his hands under it and extend the Giants lead to 10-0.

Hurts gave the ball right back to the Giants when a deep shot looking for Reagor was intercepted by Xavier McKinney, but New York didn’t seem all-too-interested in making them pay. An end-around to Darius Slayton lost 13 yards on the first play of the drive to snuff out any sort of Giants threat.

Sirianni finally got the memo and reverted to the run game, staying on the ground nine of 10 plays on a 65-yard drive that spanned into the first play of the fourth quarter to finally get the Eagles on the board and pull them within three. Scott found paydirt from a yard out for his seventh career touchdown against the Giants.

The Eagles became the first team in the NFL this season to score on a 10-plus-play drive without a single completion.

In that third quarter, Philadelphia out-rushed the Giants 100-to-minus-4, moving over the 175-yard rushing threshold for the fifth straight game.

After another rush-heavy attack was stymied by the passing game, the Eagles punted the ball back to the Giants — who had a chance to ice the game.

New York ate up 7:22 on 12 plays, but the 70-yard drive once again stalled in the red zone behind a false-start penalty. Gano’s second field goal of the day put the Giants up 6 with 2:54 to go, but kept the Eagles well within it.

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