NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Tom Coughlin didn’t mince words.
“This is as big a disappointment as we have had around here in a long time,” he said after the Giants’ poor showing in a 17-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that dropped his team into a tie with Dallas atop the NFC East. “I didn’t like the way we played.”
New York (6-4) was outplayed on both lines, allowed the Eagles (4-6) to drive 80 yards on 18 plays, taking up 8:51, to get the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter, and rushed for all of 29 yards Sunday night.
“We have no first downs to show, no yardage to show, we have no rushing average with 29 yards, which is about as pathetic as it can get.”
“They had guys in gaps,” said running back Brandon Jacobs. “I just got the ball and took what they gave me. There was nothing more I could have done in there. I went out there and laid it on the line.”
Listen: Coughlin after losing to Eagles
Their second straight loss came against an undermanned Eagles squad missing Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin. Even though the Giants had three interceptions of Vince Young, they couldn’t slow him or the Eagles on that final drive, when Philly converted six third downs, including on the winning 8-yard pass to Riley Cooper with 2:45 remaining.
“As I just said to each one of the players, first start off with yourself and look at yourself in the mirror,” Coughlin said. “Ask yourself. Because my question for them was, ‘Why?’ What does it take to understand what the Eagles were going to be like coming in here? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the team is 3-6 with back to the wall, they are going to play their butts off.”
The Giants also couldn’t protect Eli Manning, who was sacked three times and hurried on many other throws.
“Our offensive line was completely outplayed by the front eight of Philadelphia,” Coughlin said.
“We just never got a rhythm at all,” said Manning, who is having an outstanding year but struggled all night against Philly. “It wasn’t a good game. We didn’t have our best effort out there.”
Philadelphia blew five games in the fourth quarter this season, but was the better team down the stretch this time. But even after that lengthy drive, the Giants had a shot to tie it. Manning, who tied it with a 24-yard TD pass to Victor Cruz earlier in the quarter, drove the Giants from their 10 to the Eagles 21, with the final 47 yards coming on a catch-and-run by Cruz with 1:25 to play.
Manning stepped out of the pocket on the next play and was hit from behind by Jason Babin and fumbled. Derek Landi recovered at the 26, sending the Giants to their second straight excruciating loss at the Meadowlands to the Eagles.
“As I was going through that thinking process,” Manning said of looking for his secondary receivers, “that is when I got hit from behind. I need to do a better job holding onto the ball in that circumstance.”
Young overcame his mistakes with a decisive, memorable drive.
“It’s definitely a big win,” said Young, who went 23 of 36 for 258 yards, two touchdowns and those three interceptions. “You see the excitement and the smiles on the guys and that’s what we need, what we have to have.”
Philadelphia converted six third-down plays with DeSean Jackson setting up the first-and-goal with a 10-yard catch to the 10, and Young capping it with his second touchdown pass of the game to a wide-open Cooper, who came in without a catch this season.
“We were taking our time, making plays and the guys came up with big plays on third down,” Young said.
Jackson, benched for last week’s game for missing a team meeting, finished with six catches for 88 yards. Cooper had five receptions for 75 yards, while LeSean McCoy added 113 yards rushing, 60 coming on a late run that iced the game.
“Vince, stepping in for the great Michael Vick, that’s a tough thing to do and he did it and the guys rallied around him,” coach Andy Reid said. “The offensive line and defensive line played well, the offensive line had a huge challenge when it counted and they were able to put some things together.”
Last December, the Eagles rallied late to beat New York 38-31 in a game that Philadelphia rallied from 21 points down.
While Young made several big plays, his third interception was the most costly. Aaron Ross picked it off in the end zone on a second-and-9 from the New York 16 with Philadelphia up 10-3 late in the third quarter.
Cruz’s tying TD was set up when Manning rolled out and found Hakeem Nicks for a 47-yard gain on third down to the Eagles 24.
Manning was 18 of 35 for 264 yards, and Cruz had six catches for 128 yards.
The first half was typical of an Eagles-Giants meeting: chippy, intense, hard-fought and, not surprisingly, ugly.
The defenses dominated, and Jackson was caught taunting the Giants in more ways than one, including a penalty that cost the Eagles a 50-yard pass completion.
Jackson set up both Eagles scores in the first half. He caught a 32-yard pass early in the second quarter to set up a 33-yard field goal by Alex Henery and then brought back excruciating memories from last season with a 51-yard punt return that was a carbon copy of his winning 65-yard punt return on the final play of the Eagles’ 38-31 Meadowlands Miracle.
What made the return so eerie was that Jackson fielded Steve Weatherford’s punt at his 35, circled right and then ran down the sideline in front of the Giants’ bench — the same thing he did last season. The only difference was Weatherford pushed him out of bounds at the 14, and Matt Dodge was the punter last season.
It didn’t matter. One play later, Young found former Giants receiver Steve Smith cutting under the zone and he easily outran linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka into the end zone.
Manning had enough time to get the Giants on the board. A 21-yard pass to Cruz and 10-yarder to D.J. Ware on a play in which he suffered a concussion set up Lawrence Tynes’ 48-yard field goal.
“I am very disappointed because coming out of San Francisco the talk was … we’ll fight, we’ll fight, we will play hard and we will do all those things,” said Coughlin. “I didn’t see that.”
Your thoughts on the Giants’ loss? Vent your frustrations in the comments below…
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)