EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Remember this post, please, if the New York Giants go on to lose this game and you have to spend the next couple of days hearing them talk about how close they were and how they just needed a couple of things to go their way. Almost nothing is going their way, and the reason is that they appear to be a very bad NFL football team.
The Giants trail the 1-3 Philadelphia Eagles 19-7 at halftime on their home field at MetLife Stadium. They looked great on the Eagles' opening possession, forcing a three-and-out and a punt, and they looked great on their own first possession, driving 62 yards for a David Wilson touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.
Since then, however, the 0-4 Giants have disintegrated into a puddle of injuries, penalties and dumb plays that have allowed the Eagles to put 19 unanswered points on the board and take that lead into halftime. Even though Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick, who has 79 rushing yards so far, left the game with a hamstring injury, backup Nick Foles was able to lead the Eagles 75 yards in 1:33 to set up a field goal at the end of the half.
Bright spots include wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who had a 49-yard catch on the opening drive and has caught six passes for 120 yards already in the game, and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who looks spry and active and disruptive for the first time all season. But those bright spots are badly outweighed by the incredible number of things the Giants continue to do poorly.
Wilson left the game with a neck injury and doesn't appear likely to return. He was replaced by the remains of Brandon Jacobs, who fumbled without being touched on a simple run play up the middle in the second half. Jacobs' turnover led to another field goal. Another was set up by a bizarre decision by Giants coach Tom Coughlin to accept a 10-yard holding penalty at midfield in the first quarter rather than put the Eagles in a fourth-and-4 well out of field goal range. Safety Will Hill got called for a completely unnecessary helmet-to-helmet penalty on that same drive. Backup cornerback Trumaine McBride looks terrible in coverage filling in for injured starter Corey Webster, and he also failed to down a punt inside the 5-yard line. Rueben Randle has dropped a couple of balls. Nobody can contain Vick, a quarterback who's been picking up big chunks of yardage on the ground against this team for four years now. They're 1-for-5 on third downs after going 1-for-14 on third downs a week ago. They've been penalized five times so far for 50 yards.
The whole Giants thing is a mess, and while the Eagles have their own problems and the Giants still could come back and win this game, they have now played nine lousy halves of football this season and given no indication that they have any ability to do anything it takes to win a game. A comeback at this point would rank as the most surprising thing to happen so far in this dismal Giants season.