The New York Giants lost in a big way on Sunday Night Football (SNF) to the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 27-0. The game was not as close as the score would indicate. Philadelphia dominated the game throughout, outplaying the Giants on offense, defense, and special teams.
LeSean McCoy awoke from his season-long doldrums to rush for 149 yards. It was his first 100+ yard effort after leading the league in rushing last season. Altogether the Eagles amassed over 200 yards rushing. Nick Foles added 248 passing yards that included two touchdowns and two interceptions.
It was the first shutout delivered by the Eagles in 18 years. That victory was also over the Giants, 24-0 in 1996. The team, known more for its offense than defensive prowess, was relentless for the entire game. They held the New York Giants to 253 total yards and consistently harassed Giants quarterback Eli Manning, sacking him eight times.
The victory enabled the Eagles to stay tied atop their NFC East division with the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams have identical 5-1 records. The New York Giants, meanwhile, dropped to 3-3.
The Giants did not just lose a game, however, as their best pass receiver, All-Pro Victor Cruz, was carted off the field with a season-ending knee injury. That injury was later reported as a torn patella tendon. Once the knee is examined for any further damage, Cruz will undergo surgery and a lengthy rehab period. There is hope that he will return in time for the start of the 2015 season.
Cruz’s injury came on a fourth down pass attempt from Eli Manning. The New York Giants star leaped high for the incomplete pass before crumbing to the ground holding his knee. He was in obvious pain and teammates rushed to him. As he was carted off, he could be seen crying, while players from both sides came to console him.
Cruz has had a fairytale career first joining the Giants as an undrafted rookie in 2010. He worked his way to the Pro Bowl in 2011 and became an offensive captain this season. He entered the game with 21 catches for 321 yards after signing a five-year $43 million contract before the 2013 season.
The loss of Cruz leaves a gaping hole in the New York Giants offense. Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. who has two games to his NFL resume is expected to see an increased workload. Tight ends Daniel Fells and Larry Donnell could also receive expanded roles in the offense. Whichever route the team goes, the loss of Cruz will have a major impact.
After starting the season 0-2, the Giants entered this game with three consecutive victories. The team started slowly as it was trying to assimilate Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new west coast style of play. The new offense was designed with shorter and quicker passes that were supposed to add greater efficiency to the passing game.
Last week’s loss of starting running back Rashad Jennings appeared to have had a major impact on this game. With the running game managing less than 100 yards, the Eagles defense concentrated on the passing game. Their game plan worked to perfection.
The New York Giants are now a team in turmoil. They appear to have so many problems, especially on offense that it is difficult to see this team make any kind of playoff run. The SNF loss has sent the Giants back to the drawing board trying to figure out how to quickly replace a major part of their team.
Commentary By Hans Benes