PHILADELPHIA - The Giants had an opportunity to regain momentum late in the first quarter of their 27-7 loss to the Eagles Monday night, but Tom Coughlin decided not to challenge the spot on a third-and-1 run that the officials said came up short after it appeared that Rashad Jennings had run for the first down.
"Afterwards, I certainly would have thought that," Coughlin said of wishing he had challenged the play. "To be honest, when the judge came in from our side, it looked like he was on the line [the 40-yard line, which the Giants needed to reach]. Then when he got out there, there were some bodies around and someone came in from the other side and all of a sudden the ball was moved back a little bit."
One of the reasons the Giants did not challenge likely was because of the "Monday Night Football" broadcast. ESPN did not show a replay of the run with that ubiquitous yet unofficial yellow line. The Giants coaches who are in Coughlin's ear are beholden to the television replays when deciding to challenge. With no replay, they had no evidence to go by.
The Giants could have bought some time on the matter. They could have asked for a measurement, which likely would have allowed the production team to show the play again. At the very least, it would have allowed the Giants a moment to settle down and regroup before a key play on fourth-and-inches.
Instead, they ran a wide run to the left, first-year fullback Nikita Whitlock missed a block on linebacker Brandon Graham, and Jennings was hit for a loss of 2 yards.
"We had point-blank range on third and fourth down and weren't able to get it," Coughlin said, addressing the issue of the football plays rather than the spot of the ball and the mechanics of the play-calling.
That sequence left the score tied at 7. On the next Giants offensive drive, Eli Manning was picked off for a touchdown and the Giants never again had the ball closer to the Eagles' goal line than they did on the fourth-down run.