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Eagles ruin what might be Tom Coughlin's last game

In what was likely Tom Coughlin's coaching finale, the Eagles (7-9) played spoiler with a 35-30 win over the Giants (6-10) at MetLife Stadium. *Here's what we learned:*

  1. Before kickoff, the game -- likelyGiants coach Tom Coughlin's last -- started off well enough. His entire family was in attendance and he walked out of the tunnel to a round of applause. But fast forward to the end of the third quarter and his staff was, again, enduring a round of boos for their conservative play calling. Eli Manning had just thrown a game-changing pick six and the Giants' defense, down to just one healthy safety, continued to bend against an Eagles team that fired head coach Chip Kelly on Tuesday. If anything, it illustrates how brutal the NFL can be, and how rare it is to go out with a happy ending. Coughlin provided that opportunity for so many players, like Michael Strahan, but unfortunately he could not write one for himself.
  1. A second thought on Coughlin: Although he didn't win in what could have been his last game, he has had a very good football career. Coughlin had the opportunity to build an expansion franchise from the ground up in Jacksonville, then coached for more than a decade in New York with the Giants. The Giants job is often looked at by people inside the business as one of the best in the game, if not all of sports. He won two Super Bowl titles, and got to employ his son in law as a starting guard for almost a decade, which meant that his kids and grandkids were never more than an arm's length away. Few coaches have it this good, and Coughlin likely will bring this up should his retirement news conference take place Monday.
  1. The Eagles' offense under Pat Shurmur didn't look bad. DeMarco Murray broke out with a 54-yard touchdown run and Sam Bradford threw for more than 320 yards. There were noticeably less sweep runs and less designed run option fakes out of the shotgun. This is not saying that Shurmur had the answer all along, but it does help to play an NFL defense that narrowly missed setting a record for the most passing yards surrendered in a single season.
  1. Another bizarre moment for Eagles fans on Sunday: The name Marcus Smith was called multiple times. Smith was the last first-round pick the Eagles had before Kelly gained full control of the team's personnel decisions, and Kelly played Smith accordingly. Before Sunday, Smith had just 95 defensive snaps. Sunday, his name was called early on a key red-zone sack and late in a crucial pressure situation. Kelly might very well succeed somewhere else, but for one brief moment on Sunday, it looked like the team came alive -- and together -- for the first time all season.
  1. With the loss, the Giants will play a game against the Rams in London next season. It will be the team's second trip across the pond.
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