Regardless of the year or the ineptitude of the NFC East, bedlam always seems to happen when the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles meet.
It was no different on Thursday night as the Eagles (2-4-1) overturned an 11-point deficit with less than five minutes remaining to defeat the Giants (1-6) 22-21 — an 18-yard reception to Boston Scott proving to be the game-winner with 40 seconds remaining in the game.
With a five-point lead shortly before the two-minute warning, the Giants were driving to run out the clock. Getting near midfield thanks to the hard running of Wayne Gallman, Daniel Jones lofted a perfect pass on a 3rd-&-7 down the left sideline for tight end Evan Engram. But the pass clunked off his hands, forcing the Giants to punt it away with 2:07 left, setting up the Eagles’ game-winning drive.
They cut their deficit to five just four minutes earlier thanks to the boneheaded defending of cornerback Ryan Lewis, who committed a costly penalty and was burned for a 59-yard reception to spark the Eagles’ comeback and avoid the upset.
New York scored 14-unanswered points in the second half to take an unlikely two-possession lead as the Jones-led offense put together some its best sequences of the season.
Granted, they had every opportunity to turn Thursday night around given the poor play that embodied the NFC East this season.
The Eagles jumped out quickly to a lead on their opening drive when Carson Wentz finished off a 75-yard march down the field with a one-yard keeper to go up 7-0.
Following a pair of punts — the latter gifting the Giants with field position inside Eagles territory — Golden Tate managed to wrestle a jump ball down lofted up by Jones and rumble in for a 39-yard touchdown to tie things up with 4:13 left in the first quarter.
After an Eagles field goal on the ensuing drive put the hosts back in front, the Wentz and Jones traded interceptions to continue their concerning turnover trends this season.
For Jones, it was his sixth pick of the year to cut a Giants drive into Eagles territory short, though it was hardly his fault. A short pass to Evan Engram was tipped by the Giants tight end and into Jalen Mills.
Wentz gave it right back, however, after driving the Eagles into the red zone. From the 20-yard-line, the struggling passer scrambled out of the pocket under pressure and heaved a hoper pass toward the goal line, but Giants cornerback James Bradberry was the only one waiting, as he picked it off in the end zone.
A comedy of errors resumed to close out the half, including a Dion Lewis fumble and an Eagles missed field goal, but neither side could take advantage of the makeshift momentum before the break.
Both offenses continued to sputter to start the half with four-straight punts before — out of nothing — Jones had the Giants on the cusp of a lead.
On a simple QB keeper the Giants’ 12-yard-line, Jones rolled to his right and took off, untouched and in the clear for what looked destined to be an 88-yard touchdown run.
But like he has so often this season, Jones got in his own way and tripped over his own two feet and was touched down at the Eagles’ eight-yard-line.
Luckily for him, the Giants found the end zone four plays later when Wayne Gallman punched home a one-yard rush with 6:45 left in the third to go up 14-10.
Early into the fourth quarter, the Eagles were threatening to retake the lead before the drive ran out of gas at the three-yard-line when Wentz was stopped short on a third-down QB rush. Rather than go for the points, Doug Pederson went for the score, but the Giants defense came up big — with some help — as cornerback Logan Ryan made plenty of contact with Eagles receiver Hakeem Butler as Wentz’s pass came incomplete.
The Giants made the Eagles fully pay by putting together their best drive of the season, going 97 yards on 15 plays while eating up 7:50 of clock, ending with Jones hitting Sterling Shepard on a slant in the back of the end zone from two yards out to take an 11-point lead with six minutes to go.
But the cornerback Lewis single-handedly allowed the Eagles to get back in it — canceling out a Giants sack on Philadelphia’s own 17-yard-line for an illegal contact penalty in the secondary before getting burned a play later for a 59-yard bomb to John Hightower down the right sideline.
Less than two minutes after the Giants took their two-possession lead, Wentz hit Greg Ward for a three-yard score, but the two-point conversion failed to keep it a five-point game.