New York Giants: Mental Mistakes and Penalties Kill Hope Against Philadelphia Eagles

By Christopher Gamble

The New York Giants certainly had their chance to win the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, but missed opportunities killed the Giants.

The Giants had the ball at the Eagles’ 26 yard line, but Ramses Barden was called for offensive pass interference, which pushed the Giants from easy field goal range to just out of reach for Lawrence Tynes.

Tynes, whose previous career long kick was 53 yards, certainly wasn’t well outside his range but his kick fell short after his first kick–which was called off after Andy Reid called a timeout–sailed wide left.

For the Giants, it isn’t about the kick. It is about the missed opportunities. As was often the case last season when the Giants seemed to be on the ropes, they fell just short again, allowing mental mistakes to cheapen an otherwise good effort.

Eli Manning threw an interception in the end zone, which led to the Eagles marching down the field to kick a field goal and make it 16-10 in the fourth quarter. It was a terrible pass, most likely the result in Manning thinking Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was moving up to play against Victor Cruz. Instead, he jumped in front of the ball that was intended for Martellus Bennett. Instead of the score being 17-13 in favor of the Giants, it was 16-10 Eagles. The Giants would eventually take a 17-16 lead, but the Giants would never have needed to try a game-winning field goal from 54 yards away had Manning not been intercepted.

Martellus Bennett also had a 38-yard gain wiped away in the first quarter because Will Beatty was called for holding. Instead of a first down at the Eagles 11 yard line, the Giants found themselves back in their own territory.  Two penalties wiped away a potential 6-14 points, all of which would have nullified a necessity to try a game-winning field goal.

Football is a cranky game sometimes. One week you are a hero, the next week you are the goat. That is exactly how Ramses Barden must feel a little over a week after catching nine passes for 138 yards. This week he was barely a factor in the offense and his biggest play was the one that cost the Giants a chance at victory.

The Giants are now 0-2 in the division for the first time in Tom Coughlin’s tenure. The Giants have certainly dug themselves out of holes deeper than that, but it will take a lot of effort now with the Giants facing an extremely tough non-divisional schedule. It is only the fourth game of the year, but one can argue the Giants’ backs are against the wall already. It will be interesting to see how the team responds.

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