The New York Giants had a picture perfect opening drive, going 80 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles. It was the last competent thing they did on the night as the Eagles pounced on the Giants' bad mistakes and second-half futility to take the top spot atop the NFC East with a 27-7 victory.
The Eagles relied on New York's turnovers to take a 17-7 halftime lead. Two Eli Manning interceptions and a Rashad Jennings fumble were converted into 14 points for the Eagles, masking what was largely a better effort by the Giants. Sam Bradford looked confused for much of the first half and threw an ugly interception as part of a three-turnover night.
The second half belonged entirely to the Eagles' defense, however. The Giants gained 32 yards on their first five possessions -- all punts. With such futility, it didn't matter that Bradford tossed another two picks. He could at least get the Eagles' offense out of the mud on occasion, leading an 85-yard touchdown drive to put the Eagles up 24-7 late in the third quarter and another 40-yard drive for a field goal that essentially put the game to rest.
The Eagles improve to 3-3, which in the NFC East is good enough to put them tentatively in the driver's seat to a division title. Few would have guessed that they would be in this position after beginning the season 1-3. The fact that they are here may say something about the team, as well as the state of the battered division this season.
Three things we learned
1) That was ugly
The Giants opened Monday night's game with an immaculate drive. Eli Manning went 5-of-5 for 59 yards, including a bullet touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr. Then everything went to hell.
On the Giants' next possession, DeMeco Ryans ripped the ball out of the arms of Larry Donnell for another interception. Then two possession later Manning threw another interception, and this time it was at least partially his fault. Nolan Carroll took the out pass all the way to the end zone to give the Eagles a 14-7 advantage.
Rashad Jennings fumbled on the Giants' next possession to give New York three turnovers in the first half alone, equaling the number it had total through the first five games on the season.
And yet the Eagles couldn't pull away. Sam Bradford threw a nasty interception of his own. By halftime, all anyone had to look forward to was the new Star Wars trailer.
Perhaps the only redeeming facet of Monday's game was the Eagles' second-half defense. It held the Giants to 32 yards of offense after giving up 215 in the first half.
2) Eli Manning may be the most maddening quarterback in the NFL
Manning entered Monday night's game as one of the best passers in the NFL. He had a 100.2 passer rating and 10 touchdown passes to two interceptions. He was playing really well by the stat sheet, but the Giants had two losses largely because of mistakes he made. The first occurred in the season-opening loss to the Cowboys when Manning threw an incomplete pass that gave the Cowboys time to go on a game-winning drive. The next week, Manning sputtered in the fourth quarter as the Giants blew a 20-10 lead.
On Sunday, Manning started 10-for-10 passing with a touchdown, then went 13-for-27 with two picks the rest of the way. He should have had several more interceptions. He also took four sacks after taking just four in his five games and had two intentional grounding penalties.
So is Manning good or bad? Hard to say. Over the course of this game, he averaged out to "meh," which about describes the 3-3 Giants right now.
3) The new Star Wars trailer was pretty cool
It occurred during the broadcast. It counts.