Eli Manning had just five interceptions heading into Week 10, but it only took three plays into the Sunday night division matchup against the Eagles to add to that total. Philadelphia defensive lineman Mike Patterson snatched a Manning pass at the line of scrimmage and rumbled 21 yards to give the Eagles first-and-10 at the Giants nine-yard line. Two plays later, Philly led 7-0.
On the ensuing drive, New York would march down the field and Manning would connect with Plaxico Burress on a 17-yard touchdown to tie the score. The back and forth would continue for most of the game -- the Giants led 20-17 at the half, the Eagles went up 24-20 early in the third -- but a series of bad decisions by Eagles head coach Andy Reid, coupled with three solid Giants drives to start the second half, pretty much set the path to victory.
Reid, who has a history of bungling coach's challenges, did it twice on Sunday night. On New York's first drive of the fourth quarter, leading 30-24, running back Brandon Jacobs was tackled at the Eagles three before losing the ball. Reid threw the red challenge flag in the hope that Jacobs had fumbled -- when he clearly hadn't -- and he predictably lost. Which, in addition to possession, also cost his team a timeout. A play later, Jacobs would rumble for three hard-fought yards and again lose the ball, this time just after breaking the plane of the end zone. And again, in true Groundhog Day fashion, Reid challenged the ruling on the field ... only to lose. Another timeout wasted and down 36-24 with eight minutes to go in the game.
The Eagles would make it interesting, scoring on their subsequent series to make it 36-31, but the Giants running game, along with Philly's inability to stop the clock, proved too much.
New York is now 8-1, and have a two-game lead over Washington in the NFC East. Philadelphia, on the other hand, fall to 5-4, good for a share of last place with a totally out of sorts Cowboys team. The playoffs are still a possibility, but there is virtually no margin of error. And when you play in the East, that's a tough task.