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Giants’ grades

Eli Manning of the New York Giants throws

Eli Manning of the New York Giants throws a pass agains the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Dec. 17, 2017. Photo Credit: Mike Stobe


Vintage Eli Manning completed 37 of 57 passes for 434 yards and three TDs. He threw for a career-high 252 yards in the first half. The Giants scored a TD on their opening possession for the first time this season and found the end zone on their first three drives. Sterling Shepard caught 11 passes for 139 yards and a 67-yard touchdown, Tavarres King caught a pair of TD passes, including a 57-yarder, and Evan Engram had eight catches for 87 yards. The Giants converted 10 of 18 third downs. And yet they still were unable to eclipse that 30-point barrier that has dogged them since the beginning of the 2016 season.


The two second-quarter Eagles touchdowns came in a span of just 2:29 and covered a combined 38 yards on eight plays. Both of those drives were set up deep in Giants territory (a Manning interception and a blocked punt). The second of those TDs came on a breakdown in the secondary after Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie moved to safety to replace the injured Landon Collins. The Giants did pretty well against the league’s top-ranked offense, although Nick Foles threw four TD passes.


It was the rare three-strike game for a special-teams unit. The Giants lost by five points. They had an extra point and a field-goal attempt blocked (that would have been four) and had a punt blocked that set up an Eagles TD. Darian Thompson was the personal protector on the blocked punt, stepping in for Nat Berhe, who was inactive.


Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan seemed to change the offense, going back to a more vertical game that had been missing all season. There also was some offensive creativity that included getting the ball to Engram on an end-around handoff and wide receiver Shepard lined up in the backfield a few times. Defensively, the Giants were dealing with a lack of depth in the secondary that haunted them. Interim coach Steve Spagnuolo challenged a call for the first time and won.


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