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Accountability key as Eagles must rebound following Giant loss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Sometimes you don't need a deep dive to understand why an NFL game ended the way it did. On Sunday, the Eagles turned the football over four times – three of those times when they had possession in Giants territory – and couldn't overcome the giveaway (4)/takeaway (0) ratio, losing 13-7 to New York at MetLife Stadium. Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions and running back Boston Scott lost a fumble and, well, that was pretty much the story as the Eagles fell to 5-7 on the season.

"If you lose the turnover battle 4-0, nothing good is going to come from that," Head Coach Nick Sirianni said.

Said Hurts: "Today I put us in a bad situation. I put us in a bad situation with those turnovers I had in the first half. It was simply one of those days."

The turnovers were killers, obviously, and they were uncharacteristic from Hurts, who had thrown just five picks this year, and from the offense, which had just nine giveaways before Sunday. But they were critical against a Giants defense that shut down wide receiver DeVonta Smith (2 catches, 22 yards on four targets) and tight end Dallas Goedert (1 reception, 0 yards on three targets). The Eagles relied on the run for most of the second half and while they accumulated 208 rushing yards on 33 attempts, the passing game just didn't get untracked.

And then there were those giveaways ...

Turnover 1: Interception deep in Giants territory

Trailing 3-0, the Eagles had something going, moving from their 26-yard line to the New York 20, where they faced a third-and-5 play. Hurts had a good pocket and time to set up and throw and he threw over the middle for wide receiver Quez Watkins. The pass missed Watkins and was intercepted by cornerback Darnay Holmes at the 5-yard line, ending the drive.

Turnover 2: Missing a chance at the end of the first half

The Eagles had the ball last in the first half and first in the second half and had a chance to seize control of the game. Still down 3-0, a Scott 21-yard touchdown run was wiped out on a holding penalty against Nate Herbig, but the Eagles rebounded on a Jalen Reagor leaping catch to set the Eagles up at the 2-yard line. With one timeout in their pocket and 15 seconds remaining in the half, Hurts threw for wide receiver Greg Ward, who ran an out route from the right slot, but the connection wasn't clean and the pass was incomplete. On second-and-goal, Hurts gained 1 yard on a keeper and the Eagles called timeout. On third-and-goal from the 1 with eight seconds remaining, Hurts took the snap out of the shotgun formation and rolled right as the Giants blitzed and came with pressure.

Hurts then threw for Scott, who was covered, and the pass was intercepted by linebacker Tae Crowder and the Eagles went into the locker room trailing 3-0 at halftime. When asked what he would do different on that play, Hurts took accountability.

"I'd throw the ball away and give us an opportunity to get three points at worst," Hurts said. "It was a bad mistake by me. It's as simple as that."

Turnover 3: Taking a shot down the field, intercepted again

Midway through the third quarter with New York ahead 10-0, Hurts took a first-and-18 snap from the Philadelphia 9-yard line and heaved a pass down the right side for Reagor, who had a step on the coverage. The ball was slightly underthrown and safety Xavier McKinney helped over the top and made the interception at the New York 46-yard line. Hurts said he checked out of a play and, in retrospect, should have taken what the Giants were giving underneath.

"There are things we have to be better on, and it starts with me," Hurts said. "A game like this, everybody is going to try to take accountability for the things they didn't do and that's the mentality we have as a team, good, bad, or indifferent. Everybody is going to hold themselves accountable for the things that they did and the things that they didn't do. I know, as the quarterback of this team and as who I am, I put this team in a bad situation in the first half."

The Eagles then went run heavy, going to the ground game for nine of the 10 plays on their next offensive drive that ended with Scott plunging into the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Eagles were within 10-7 and still had a chance in the fourth quarter.

Turnover 4: Boston Scott has ball punched out

After New York tacked on a field goal to take a 13-7 lead, the offense took possession at the 26-yard line with 2:46 to play. A completion to Reagor gained 10 yards. Scott picked up 3 yards and then Hurts found Smith for 8 yards and a first down. On first-and-10 from the New York 49-yard line with 1:51 remaining, Scott took a handoff and gained 4 yards before defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence punched the ball out and safety Julian Love caught it in the air for the fourth Giants takeaway of the afternoon. It was Scott's first fumble of the season.

"It was a critical situation, a critical drive, and I just didn't get it done," Scott said. "I didn't resort to my fundamentals and it resulted in a turnover. I don't have any problem taking full responsibility. That was a critical mistake at a critical moment in the game. I take that. I take that right to the chin.

"I should have covered it up with two hands before I broke into the open field. I just got greedy. I saw the green and my eyes got big and I lost my fundamentals."

The Eagles had another shot after a defensive three-and-out series – Jonathan Gannon's defense limited New York to 264 yards and a 3-of-12 (25 percent) success rate on third down – reaching the New York 27-yard line with 38 seconds remaining. After spiking the ball on first down, Hurts threw incomplete for Goedert and then Reagor and then went back to Reagor on fourth-and-10. Reagor had a chance to bring in the pass, but couldn't corral the throw at the goal line, and the game was over.

Reagor felt he had a chance to make a catch on both of the final passes.

"Two drops. I would say very uncharacteristic, but just gotta go through the highs and lows and go to next week and make the plays," Reagor said. "I've just got to keep going and not get down on myself."

The Eagles did a lot of good things in this one, playing well defensively, continuing to run the ball even as the Giants loaded the box and overcoming some injuries – center Jason Kelce missed time in the first half with a knee injury, right guard Jack Driscoll didn't play late after he went down with an ankle injury, and running back Miles Sanders wasn't available after leaving the game in the second half. They played hard, passionate football. They were better than the Giants.

But the mistakes were too much to overcome.

"Self-inflicted wounds, man," Scott said. "We beat ourselves and it hurts to lose this game. Everything was in front of us. We beat ourselves."

Look at some of the best photos from Week 12.

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