PHILADELPHIA — It can and always does get worse.
Consider this the billboard for the Giants 2021 season. Print it on bumper stickers. Imprint it on personalized stationary. Make it the team’s official Twitter handle.
For the fans of this beleaguered team, how low can you go applies to the Giants, week after week. They are bad and then they are badder. They lose and then they lose some more. Their offense is terrible and then it is ridiculously terrible. Their quarterback struggles and a new one struggles more.
The end of this miserable season cannot get here fast enough.
The Giants sent out Jake Fromm to make his first NFL start on Sunday and he was benched, mercifully, midway through the third quarter. So much for providing a spark for an offense that has no wattage whatsoever.
It took one half of shoddy offensive play on both sides before the Giants reverted to their shabby form. They gave up 31 unanswered points during one stretch in the second half and went down, meekly, losing 34-10 to the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. It was the eighth consecutive loss for the Giants at their least-favorite road venue.
The fallout of this dismal season will cost general manager Dave Gettleman his job. Giants ownership wants to bring back coach Joe Judge, who is 10-21 as a head coach, with his team staggering to the close of his second season. If this team does not win another game and finishes up 4-13, the case to retain Judge certainly is not strengthened.
Fromm was not the answer. He finished 6 of 17 for 25 yards and one interception, looking overmatched as his passes went this way and that way. He was not helped at all by his running game, nor by his offensive line. In this regard, Fromm learned what Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon experienced at various junctures this season.
The Giants (4-11) lost their fourth consecutive game. The Eagles (8-7) won their third straight game and continued their playoff push.
That the Giants were even at 3-3 at halftime was a credit to their inspired defense and sloppiness in the form of dropped passes and fumbles by the Eagles on offense. The beginning of the end for the Giants came early in the third quarter, when Fromm looked down the middle for Kenny Golladay but the pass sailed too high and was intercepted, easily, by safety Rodney McLeod. That put the Eagles on the Giants’ 21-yard line and soon enough, Boston Scott was running it into the end zone to make it 10-3.
It was all the Eagles would need.
Fromm must have been wishing he was back at Georgia, where he was surrounded by a bunch of studs. He was 2-for-7 in the first quarter for 24 yards, looking small in the pocket and sailing his throws. In the second quarter, Fromm connected on back-to-back passes to Kadarius Toney, back after missing the past four games. Next, a deep ball from Fromm intended for Golladay was well off the mark and fell directly into the hands of cornerback Darius Slay, who dropped what would have been one of the easiest interceptions of his or anyone’s career. Fromm’s next throw carried far over the reach of Darius Slayton, and on third-and-10 the Giants played it safe, as Saquon Barkley ran for no gain and Graham Gano nailed a 54-yard field goal, ensuring the Giants would not be shut out on this day as they took a 3-0 lead.
Hurts was 3-for-10 for 11 yards in the first quarter as the Eagles did not learn from their mistake from the earlier meeting between these teams, running it only five times in the first 15 minutes. The Eagles got a 23-yard Hurts completion to DeVonta Smith, but Smith was later called for an offensive pass interference penalty and Josh Elliott’s 41-yard field goal traveled wide right to keep the Eagles off the board.
Barkley lost 5 yards on two runs and the Giants had to punt the ball away. Hurts finally found a chunk play when he lofted a pass that Smith leaped and secured, going against James Bradberry, for 46 yards. Safety Xavier McKinney made a big stop on Quez Watkins on the Giants’ 5-yard line and this time, Elliott’s field goal (from 22 yards) was good to tie the game at 3.
Fromm’s arm was not up to the challenge as the Giants tried to get some points late in the second quarter. His throw to the left sideline to Toney was weak and bounced short of the target, and on third down, he scrambled out of the pocket and fired a pass in front of the Giants bench that hit linebacker T.J. Edwards in the midsection and did not come close to any actual offensive player.
Glennon, sent to the bench after starting and losing three games in place of Jones (sprained neck), replaced Fromm in the third quarter and threw an interception that linebacker Alex Singleton returned 29 yards for a touchdown. It got no better for a team that continues to get worse.