With just over 12 minutes left in the second quarter, the Eagles faced a fourth-and-7 from the Giants’ 41 yard line, “no man’s land” in that a punt was almost assured of being a touchback and a field goal attempt would’ve been 58 yards.
The Birds were up 7-0 and playing good defense (the Giants had 25 net yards and two first downs), so Nick Sirianni decided to go for it, and Jalen Hurts dropped back looking for DeVonta Smith down the sidelines.
Smith had beaten corner Darnay Holmes but safety Julian Love stared coming across, and…
Not the result the Giants wanted, and after that, the Eagles were off to the races.
“I asked him when he came to the bench, and I think he thought he had him,” head coach Brian Daboll said of Love. “He tried to go high point the ball and I think he thought he had it. DeVonta made a good play, we missed out on it, and they got a TD.”
“I made a great break on the ball and thought I had it…in that situation, either I take him out or just highpoint it,” Love added. “I thought I judged it well, and I (said), 'I got to go up and get it.' I thought I read it perfectly, thought it was slightly overthrown so I thought I had an easy 'catch it' opportunity. I didn't realize his positioning. I just misjudged. In that situation I've got to make contact and go up and get it.”
Daboll has gotten fiery on the sidelines when needed, but in this case, he quietly went over to Love to seemingly discuss the play, and the two had a less-than-animated conversation about the play.
“He said, 'What happened?' I told him I thought I had it, and he said, 'Okay.' That's pretty much it,” Love laughed. “I've said it before: The best players have to play the best. In that situation, yeah, I got to make the play. That helps out our team. That changes things drastically. You don't know where the game could be (if I'd made the play). There's a few plays out there that if we make the play, things change. And I wish I could be perfect. I misjudged it. I'm going to be working on that in practice this next week.”
Working on that among other things, as the Giants’ defense as a whole was torched for 48 points on Sunday, and they now head into a second game in three weeks with the Commanders that could be a playoff eliminator for the team that loses.
It will be worth the billing it will get as a national Sunday Night Football game, and Love knows he and his squad will be ready.
“This is an emotional game. You work your ass off. You put your heart out there, and sometimes a result isn't what you want. That's life, and it's a good depiction in the game of football,” Love said. “For us, we prepared hard all week, and we fell very much short today – but that’s life in the NFL. So, for next week, you got to pick yourself up, fill the tank back up and go at it again. We have that mental fortitude, and that's what you're going to see next week.”
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN
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