"Believe it or not, we were in a two-deep coverage," Tom Coughlin said. Safety Michael Johnson, who was supposed to be the second of those two deeps on the side where Jackson caught the ball, came up to make a much too aggressive play on tight end Alex Smith in the seam.
"To me, it's an awareness thing," Coughlin added. "Why in the world we're stuck on this backup tight end coming off instead of the knowledge of where this one guy is and that he's the one guy who can hurt you wherever he is on the field, that's a good question."
So even though Aaron Ross was the closest man to Jackson, it wasn't his guy?
No. Ross was responsible for the other side of the field, and when he saw Jackson cut across his face with no help to his right, he sprinted over from number to number to make a diving attempt at the pass. It actually was an athletic, heads-up play by Ross, who nearly broke it up and then had to watch from his knees as Jackson taunted the Giants by backpedaling the last 15 yards into the end zone.
"I tried to make it over to that other hash to help out, and it was wide open," Ross said. "When you see he's wide open, there's a sick feeling in your stomach."
What about that "unrecovered" fumble after Osi Umenyiora stripped McNabb? What happened on that play?
Coughlin said there was no whistle and that it was a live ball just sitting on the field waiting to be scooped up by a Giants player. "The simple fact of the matter is it was ruled a fumble right away," Coughlin said. "If you've watched us practice, no matter where the ball goes, if the ball is on the ground, even if it's a thrown incomplete pass, we pick it up and run with it. Why didn't somebody do that?"
Good question. Why didn't somebody do that?
Because everyone assumed it was an incomplete pass after Michael Boley dropped it. "Someone come in and scoop the ball up," Coughlin said. "Run in the end zone as you've been taught from Day One and let the officials bring it back."
Is there a quarterback in New York who knows how to slide?
Mark Sanchez apparently isn't the only one who has trouble with the concept. Eli Manning tried to do it while scrambling in the third quarter but went head (or at least upper body) first to the ground and coughed up a costly fumble that was recovered by the Eagles at their 14.
Had he gone feet-first, he would have been ruled down, but because he did not and took several running steps after Brodrick Bunkley tugged his jersey and swiped at his foot, it was ruled that Manning went down on his own accord and was not down by contact.
"I did go headfirst. That is just something I have to be careful of," he said. "Either go feet-first or just take care of the ball."