The loss allowed the Eagles, before even playing their week 16 game against the Minnesota Vikings (postponed yesterday and rescheduled for tomorrow night in Philly), to clinch the NFC East title. The loss also puts New York behind New Orleans (10-4) and Green Bay (9-6) in the race for the two Wild Card spots.
Not only will the Giants have to beat their NFC East counterpart Washington Redskins this coming Sunday to have a shot, but they will also need help from numerous teams.
Eli's four interceptions in yesterday's matchup has been the story of their season thus far. At 29 years old, Eli has set a couple of career highs--touchdown passes: 30, completion %: 63.1, and is 263 shy of setting a career-high in passing yards--but the most important stat this season has been interceptions. Yes, that's right, Eli Manning has thrown a career-high, and league-leading, 24 interceptions through 15 games.
There's no question that Eli has had plenty of time to get rid of the football, either, considering he has been sacked by the opposition just 16 times this season. And as a team, New York is averaging 141.2 rushing yards per game, good enough for fifth in the league.
Eli had a tough time adjusting and bouncing back after New York's defense allowed 28 fourth quarter points and watched Philadelphia steal one from them in their own house. That loss snapped New York's three-game win streak and shifted the momentum in Philly's direction.
Over that three-game stretch, New York's defense allowed a total of 30 points (average of 10.0/game), but allowed 38+ in each of the next two games for a total of 83 points.
New York has proven that they can put up points (have had six games with 30-plus points, and two games with 40-plus points this season), but the defense has also been inconsistent, allowing 30 or more points on four separate occasions this season.
One thing is for certain, if New York manages to squeeze in to the NFC playoffs, they will definitely have to step it up on the defensive side of the ball and will need to be dependent on the run game so they can limit Manning's interceptions. What do I think about all this? New York will beat the Skins in the finale, but miss the playoffs with a 10-6 record. Sorry Giants fans.
Eli Manning: AP Photo/Morry Gash