Manning struggles as Giants fail to clinch playoff berth

By Ron Clements 23 December 2016 183
Manning struggles as Giants fail to clinch playoff berth

Eli Manning struggled as the New York Giants slumped to a 24-19 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL on Thursday.

The Giants (10-5) missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth, which they could have done simply by winning.

Despite the loss, the Giants could still clinch a playoff berth this weekend if any of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons or Detroit Lions lose.

Manning finished 38 of 63 for 356 yards with a touchdown to rookie Sterling Shepard and three interceptions.

The 63 pass attempts set a new franchise record.

But he looked a lot like 2013 Manning, a season during which he tossed 27 interceptions.



Malcolm Jenkins had the first two interceptions, the first of which he returned 34 yards as the Eagles jumped out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. 


Jenkins was superb all night. While Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had 11 receptions for 150 yards, only two of those catches, for 37 yards, came against Jenkins. The Eagles cornerback caused at least five incompletions on Beckham targets. 



The Eagles (6-9) won a single-score game for the first time in seven tries this season. 

"We've been in a slide and things haven't been gong our way," Jenkins told NBC Sports following the game. "But we just wanted to compete. It took everything we had to beat this Giants team. That's a really good team."



Manning threw for a lot of yards, but only because of the hole the Giants dug for themselves early. The Giants ran for 114 yards on 25 carries, but were extremely inconsistent.

The Giants were 10 of 22 on third down, and all three of Manning's interceptions were third-down throws. Even when Manning completed passes, he was not giving his receivers an opportunity to run after the catch. Many receptions resulted in short dumpoffs as the receivers were falling to the ground. 

The Giants' loss was not just a win for the Eagles. The Dallas Cowboys (12-2), who play the Lions on Monday, clinched the NFC East and the number one seed in the NFC playoffs.

The Giants, who play at Washington on New Year's Day, will likely get into the playoffs. But they have been far too inconsistent to be considered viable Super Bowl contenders.

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