Philadelphia 24, N.Y. Giants 19
When: 8:25 PM ET, Thursday, December 22, 2016
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Giants had chances to win the game, which also meant they had chances to clinch their first NFL playoff spot since 2011. They did neither, as the Philadelphia Eagles took an early lead and held on to defeat the Giants 24-19 on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Giants (10-5) can still clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Washington Redskins next week in their regular-season finale, but cannot win the NFC East.
New York can also clinch if Green Bay, Tampa Bay or Atlanta lose Saturday, or Detroit loses Monday.
"This was a disappointing loss because of how we lost it, but also because of what was at stake," Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said. "We knew it would be a tough game against a good team on the road and we knew we would have to play our best to win it. And we didn't do that. But we still have another chance to redeem ourselves and, believe me, we'll be ready for it."
The Giants, who trailed 14-0 in the first quarter, had two chances to pull it out in the fourth quarter. First, they drove to the Eagles' 37, but a fourth-down pass from quarterback Eli Manning was batted down by defender Nolan Carroll. Then with five seconds to play, Terrence Brooks picked off Manning on the Eagles' 11.
"We spotted them 14 points," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said when asked why his team lost a game it was favored to win. "We didn't score touchdowns. We kicked field goals. We turned the ball over three times. We didn't handle the ball well enough. They won the penalty battle (the Giants were flagged five times for 50 yards and the Eagles once for 5) and we didn't tackle well enough.
"I give Philly credit. They played winning football today."
But they won't finish with a winning record, although the Eagles (6-9) are just happy they'll be able to finish the season with their rookie quarterback.
Carson Wentz left the game briefly in the third quarter with the Eagles leading 21-16. Wentz was dropped by Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon after he threw an incomplete pass and hit the ground hard. Vernon was flagged for unnecessary roughness, but Wentz was forced to leave the game with what was diagnosed as a head injury.
He was replaced by Chase Daniel for one series -- the Eagles drove to the Giants' 1 yard line and were stopped short on fourth down -- before returning for the next series. Those were the only snaps Wentz has missed all season.
"I felt a little dizzy. I got my bell rung a little bit," Wentz said. "But I felt pretty good by the time I got to the bench and I passed the (concussion) protocol and I felt good. There was no question in mind I was going back in."
Wentz completed 13 of 24 passes for 152 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Manning completed 38 of 63 passes for 356 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Two of those picks were by safety Malcolm Jenkins, who returned the first one 34 yards for a touchdown that gave the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
The Eagles are 13-5 against the Giants since 2008 and won five of their last seven against New York. The Giants won eight of their last nine games before Thursday and their defense hadn't given up a touchdown in the last seven quarters.
The Eagles got off to slow starts most of the season, but on their first possession of the game they marched 78 yards in seven plays and capped the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run by Darren Sproles, which made it 7-0 with 9:48 left in the first quarter.
"That was huge, to drive down there like that and get the ball into the end zone instead of settling for a field goal," Eagles tight end Zach Ertz said. "That opening drive really set the tempo for the game."
It didn't take the Eagles long to make it 14-0. On the Giants' ensuing possession, Manning tried to pass through double coverage to tight end Will Tye over the middle, but Jenkins cut in front of him, intercepted the pass and returned it for the touchdown.
The Giants had two good chances to get back in the game, driving to the Eagles' 17 both times, but had to settle for field goals. The Eagles, meanwhile, sputtered on offense until they hit one of their longest offensive plays of the year. Wentz connected with wide receiver Nelson Agholor on a 40-yard TD pass to give the Eagles a 21-6 lead with 4:59 left in the second quarter.
But the Giants had one last shot before the half and took advantage of it, driving 84 yards in 12 plays and scoring on a 13-yard pass from Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard, and the Giants went to the locker room trailing 21-13.
NOTES: Giants CB Janoris Jenkins, who was selected to the Pro Bowl this week, was inactive after hurting his back last week versus Detroit. Rookie Eli Apple, a first-round draft pick from Ohio State, started in his place. ... Eagles RT Lane Johnson was back in the lineup after being suspended for the last 10 games for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. ... The Eagles' other OT, Jason Peters, was selected for his ninth Pro Bowl. That's the second-most for an undrafted player. First on the list is Hall of Fame C Jim Otto of the Oakland Raiders with 12. ... Giants QB Eli Manning played his 200th game Thursday night and made his 198th consecutive start.
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary
Philadelphia will play their next game at home against Dallas. The Eagles have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .333 after a loss.
N.Y. Giants will play their next game on the road against Washington. The Giants have a W/L % of .727 after a win and .500 after a loss.