Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season featured a slate of games with relatively unexpected importance attached. New England, for example, was in New Orleans and in danger of falling to 0-2 for a season in which many speculated the Patriots could go undefeated.
Elsewhere, the Colts and Cardinals were scheduled to play a game that could be pivotal for two teams desperately searching for positives after Week 1 losses. Sunday’s highlighted games were a matchup of playoff contenders, Cowboys vs. Broncos, in Denver and an NFC title game rematch, Packers vs. Falcons, in Atlanta’s brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
With Olivier Vernon out thanks to an ankle injury, the Eagles were able to run the ball and get back in field goal range, eventually tying the score at 24-24 with 51 seconds left. The Giants took over with three timeouts and had plenty of time to get in field goal range, only to again play sloppy football. Manning completed a short pass and let the clock run without calling timeout, but as the Giants rushed to the line, the offense never got set and Ereck Flowers was called for an illegal shift.
The Giants then used a timeout to prevent a 10-second runoff, which cost them dearly. Flowers subsequently held to make it second-and-18, where Shane Vereen caught a 2-yard checkdown and foolishly went out of bounds, saving the Eagles a timeout. Manning then threw a pass short of the sticks on third down, and a 28-yard shank from Brad Wing gave the Eagles the ball back with 13 seconds and a timeout on their 38-yard line. After a 19-yard completion, Elliott hit a 61-yarder to get the keys to every Wawa in Philadelphia.
It’s bad luck to be beaten by a field goal from another area code, but the Giants should have been able to seal up this lead or at least make it to overtime. This is a team that was supposed to be full of veterans who know how to win after going 8-3 in one-score games last season, but a series of mental mistakes might have cost them their season.