When Philadelphia came to terms with the Wentz news earlier in the week, the air of positivity was led by coach Doug Pederson and his talk that Foles would be the latest "next man up" to come through in a magical season. Except these are the 2017 Giants. They permitted just six points in the second half.
Backup quarterback Nick Foles received scarcely any support from a defense that imploded instead of rallying around him following Carson Wentz's season-ending injury on December 10.He took command and led the team to victory anyway, 34-29 over the New York Giants. They made backup quarterback Nick Foles look like injured MVP candidate Carson Wentz.
And the special teams played a critical role in the win with, in sequence, a blocked extra point, a blocked punt, and a blocked field goal. "We won. We're 12-2".
"I didn't get to (special teams coordinator) Tom (Quinn), so I don't know exactly where it happened".
These Giants have done it all. "Really, this was just a great win not only for the team, but for Nick too".
Interim coach Steve Spagnuolo chuckled at the perfectly valid question - is he still going to start as the team plays out the string? - and confirmed what he had hinted at already. "We know. We see it, just like everybody else". "Anytime you can prepare every single day and do the extra things, it will give you can opportunity on game day to be successful".
This one in particular, the special teams were a major culprit, much like they have been most of the season.
Eagles safety Corey Graham leapt for the ball at the back of the end zone, Graham fighting hand-to-hand for position with New York Giants tight end Evan Engram, who argued for interference, to no avail. Second-and-goal from the 11-yard line with 58 seconds left. They lost this, in large part, because they couldn't kick or punt with any sort of effectiveness.
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In a key fourth and one in the second, the Eagles failed for the first time in 13 tries to convert in that situation, turning the ball over to the Giants at midfield. He would have led the Giants to victory if not for the total incompetence of the team's special teams in this 34-29 loss that drops them to an unsightly 2-12. Their front seven didn't help with little pressure and a lot of shoddy tackling, and the Eagles couldn't get the rushing attack going for most of the day against a weak Giants run defense. The Eagles" "magic number' for home field advantage is now one.
It has been a continuation of a problem that has existed throughout this season.
The Giants still have some serious decisions to make about Manning's future with this team. Those included a 1-yard run by Orleans Darkwa, a 13-yard pass from Manning to wide receiver Tavarres King and a 67-yard catch by wide receiver Sterling Shepard from Manning. Only this time their offense showed significantly more life than usual. They win with more frequency than anyone else.
It was Manning's ninth career 400-yard game and his first since last season.
It didn't take long for the Giants' offense to demonstrate what type of game the unit would have against the Eagles.
It still wasn't enough for the Giants to end their streak of 30 consecutive games without scoring 30 points.
"Now that I think about it after it's all over with, it's surprising", said Sterling Shepard who still hasn't scored 30 points with the Giants since being drafted in the second round previous year.
"Everybody was frustrated. We were playing horse [bleep] at that point in time, to be honest, on defense, especially in the secondary", Jenkins said.