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The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Giants Loss

The breaks bounce the other way in Philly

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Fortune favored the Eagles on Sunday.

    The Giants and their fans get upset when people say that they got lucky on their way to a Super Bowl title last season. 

    They should feel that way, because their win was a testament to their talent and not just having the right ping pong ball picked out by Roger Goodell in the NFL offices. As far as we know anyway, Goodell's villain ranking has risen so high the last couple of years that he might actually consider growing a mustache to twirl. 

    Getting back to the Giants, the fact that they won the Super Bowl wasn't lucky but they did get several strokes of good fortune to help them on their way. From Kyle Williams' fumbles to quick whistles from refs to wipe out fumbles of their own to Miles Austin just missing a catch that would have ended the season, the Giants got the breaks when they needed to get the breaks. 

    They didn't get the breaks on Sunday night in their 19-17 loss to the Eagles, though. The Giants had the only turnover, they were on the wrong side of replay challenges, an ice the kicker timeout didn't help them and, most notably, Ramses Barden got called for pass interference to set up Lawrence Tynes' ultimately unsuccessful 54-yard field goal try. 

    It's funny because it looked like things were going the other way. Just before Barden was flagged, he drew a pass interference flag on Nnamdi Asomugha that was just as awful as any call made by the replacement refs during their three week reign of terror over the league. 

    Maybe it was hubris that bit the Giants in the rear when they tried to gild the lily with a touchdown after that penalty when they could have just played it safe and kicked a much shorter field goal, but the football gods that rested on their shoulder last season weren't there on Sunday night. That's bad for the Giants, who are now 0-2 in the NFC East. 

    Here's the rest of the good, bad and ugly from the loss. 

    GOOD: The Giants only had a shot in the game because their defense was able to hold the Eagles to field goals on three second half drives, which looked as if they would result in touchdowns that would make any comeback effort quite difficult. There's a lot of talent on that Eagles offense, but the Giants defense wouldn't yield the end zone. 

    BAD: Having said that, the drives looked bound for touchdowns because the Giants acted like they had never played against LeSean McCoy or Michael Vick before. Time and time again, the Giants were undisciplined on the edges or in pursuit and watched as one of the Eagles ran away from them for big gains. It's the kind of issue that makes you wonder if the problem is scheme or execution, but neither should be happening when you've played two players as often as the Giants have played McCoy and Vick.

    UGLY: Something tells me we're going to hear a few less comparisons between Barden and Calvin Johnson this week? And complaints about the flag should die unless you'd think Asomugha's play was even remotely in the neighborhood of pass interference if Corey Webster did it to DeSean Jackson. Actually, it would have to die either way since Barden was far more physical than a guy who barely touched him. 

    GOOD: If the Giants could figure out a way to kick the ball off to David Wilson on offense, he might actually amount to something. Wilson still can't hold onto the ball on offense, but he was brilliant on kickoffs Sunday night and gave the Giants a dimension they rarely feature. 

    BAD: Can we finally outlaw the ice the kicker timeout? It's the pinnacle of look at me coaching instead of just letting the players decide the game.

    GOOD and BAD: Let's just start by saying that Eli Manning gets held to a different standard by virtue of those two rings that everyone agrees makes him one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Sunday night wasn't a great night for Manning for the most part -- look at the defense and Wilson notes and then the total points -- and his interception in the end zone was a killer. But Eli came out and led a flawless touchdown drive to take the lead on the next drive before probably winning the game without Barden's penalty. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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