Fourth quarter. Fourth-and-one. Fifty-yard touchdown run.

And it seemed like it could have been over way before then.

For the second week in a row, Big Blue loses to a division rival. This time the Giants fall to the Eagles, 27-17.

It’s pretty much the same story as last week. Too many turnovers and boneheaded mistakes. Eli had three picks (one at the end of the game), and a fumble on the worst slide I’ve seen since I witnessed Mo Vaughn slide into second in 1997.

Nicks, Bradshaw, and Blackmon also added fumbles, with Bradshaw and Eli both accounting for a tally in the “Fumbles Lost” column. That’s a total of five turnovers, and I’m obliged to say it again: when the Giants play a good team (see Eagles, Philadelphia) and consistently turn the ball over, they will lose. And there’s no way around it.

The defense did a good job of keeping Mike Vick in check for most of the game, considering he went bonkers last week. He didn’t gain much yardage on the ground (11 for 34) but did score a rushing TD. And he was a little too good for comfort through the air: 24-for-38, for 258.

Philly won the time of possession battle, controlling the ball for 34:04, and the Giants (6 for 54 yards) actually were better than the Eagles (10 for 119) in limiting penalties. But they outgained us in net total yards by 184 (392 to 208).

With Steve Smith out the past two games now, you can really notice how much it affects the Giants’ passing game. And now with Hakeem Nicks expected to miss some time due to a leg injury, the receiving corps is suddenly down to Manningham, Boss, Hagan, Duke Calhoun, and the running backs. Welp, not very promising. But manageable (without any turnovers).

Back to Smith: He is Eli’s most-trusted receiver; he runs the best routes and he has the best hands on the team. He’s like an emergency exit. In case of a fire, it’s there; in case of a blitz, Smith is there. Mr. Third Down (he almost always seems to make a catch to move the chains on third down) is hopefully on his way to a speedy recovery. He might be able to suit up in Minnesota in Week 14, but it’s an unknown at this point. Expect at the very least another week without him, and expect Nicks to have a good shot at returning for that same Week 14 matchup.

What’s Next?:
Look for a nice bounce-back win against Jacksonville next week. Kickoff at 1:05 ET; recap mid-week.