By Paul Dottino
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The tragic number for the Giants was 2.
As in the number of chances Lawrence Tynes got to kick the potential game-winning field goal at the end of Sunday’s 19-17 road loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
As in the number of feet his 54-yard attempt was short on the one that counted.
As in the number of Giants’ losses in the NFC East. They are 0-2 in the division for the first time in the Tom Coughlin era.
As in the Giants’ overall record of 2-2.
Let’s get to our review:
Offense – WR Domenik Hixon. He came off a concussion to start for an injured Hakeem Nicks (knee) and finished with six catches for 114 yards.
Hixon made a few nice grabs and did a great job of getting open when it seemed everyone else was covered. He made three straight receptions – starting with a 32-yard jump ball – to start the field goal drive at the end of the first half. Hixon also had a 41-yard catch in the fourth that led to a field goal and a 17-16 Giants lead.
Defense – MLB Chase Blackburn. There were plays were he didn’t have enough lateral speed to make up real estate to make a difference – but he gave maximum effort on plays that he was able to get to and came through twice with key stops.
On the first drive of the third quarter, he was part of a three-play goal line stand from the 1, making the hit on McCoy’s ‘no gain’ on second down. The Eagles settled for a field goal and a 10-3 lead. Blackburn also sacked Vick on third-and-2 from the Giants 13 that left the Eagles with another field goal and a 16-10 edge with 9:25 to go.
Special teams – KOR David Wilson. He used his speed to break off a few long kickoff returns and finished with a 36.2-yards avg. on six chances. He set up the Giants’ final drive with a 35-yard return to the Giants 37. Wilson said he thought he was close to breaking one for a TD all night and it’s not hard to see why he felt that way.
Offense – WR Ramses Barden. He was limited to two catches for 36 yards on four targets in his second pro start and was flagged for pass interference on the final drive, moving Tynes’ attempt 10 yards back. Barden drew the penalty by grabbing CB Nnamdi Asomugha around the helmet and neck while trying to get to an errant pass down the right sideline.
Although Barden was attempting to prevent an interception, he would have been better off playing the ball and using his height advantage to – at the very least – knock down the ball and settle for an incompletion.
Defense – The entire unit. They got sloppy on the Eagles’ game-winning field goal drive, either because they were tired or got caught out of their rushing lanes.
They allowed 50 rushing yards on the decisive 12-play, 75-yard march – including a 15-yard gash by LeSean McCoy and 13-yard Michael Vick scramble. McCoy (23-123 rushing) had 17 carries for 121 yards in the second half.
Special teams – K Lawrence Tynes. It is hard to point a finger at him for missing a 54-yarder — but he was short, moments after being given a second chance because the Eagles called a ‘freezing’ timeout as the ball was about to be snapped. His first kick went wide left and the play was waved off. The second kick was down the middle and ran out of steam.
Who gets your goat horns for the loss? Be heard in the comments below!