Boston Scott’s fumble costs the Eagles a shot at redemption in a four-turnover loss to Giants
Scott had been a Giant killer, but instead had a critical fourth-quarter fumble that set back the Eagles in their final drive.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Players and coaches had already scattered across the turf for postgame handshakes. Some disappeared into the depths of the tunnels with Alicia Keys’ “Concrete jungle” verse blasting at max volume at MetLife Stadium. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni accompanied wide receiver Jalen Reagor as they retreated to the locker room. Even a disgruntled DeVonta Smith stepped back onto the field.
But Boston Scott sat alone.
His head sunk deep into his palms with his elbows resting on his knees and his bottom glued to the visitors bench, the back of his No. 35 jersey facing the sky.
There, Scott lamented his costly mistake.
With the Eagles driving downfield and trailing by just one score with less than two minutes left, Sirianni dialed up an HB power for the third-year running back. Scott took the handoff from quarterback Jalen Hurts and he burst through a hole on the right side. As he entered the second level of the defense, Scott’s eyes widened and he loosened his grip just enough for Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence to punch the football out.
A handful of Giants immediately pounced on the fumble. The players in white jerseys jumped and celebrated while Scott remained facedown with only the cage of his helmet separating his head from the turf.
The Eagles were left in disbelief.
“It was a critical situation on a critical drive,” Scott said. “And I just didn’t get it done.”
The team placed all of its hope in Scott, who developed his reputation as the opposition’s kryptonite. Of Scott’s 11 career touchdowns, seven have come in five games against the Giants. Prior to his turnover, Scott had paced the rushing game with 15 carries for 64 yards and one touchdown.
“Fundamentals,” Scott said. “The fact that I’m about to break through, I should’ve covered it up with two hands before I broke into the open field. I got greedy. My eyes got big, and I lost my fundamentals.
“The teams that are great are teams that can resort to their fundamentals while under pressure. I take full responsibility. I take that right to the chin. You can say [we got the ball back], but that was a critical turnover at a critical time. ... This one hurts.”
Scott’s fumble marked the team’s fourth turnover in a game that seemed doomed from the opening kickoff.
“We failed to get things going early,” Hurts said.
The Eagles still earned one more opportunity at a comeback, but as a byproduct of Scott’s fumble, they needed to use all of their timeouts while on defense. The offense started inside its own territory with 71 precious seconds left.
As for Scott? He didn’t see the field again.
Rookie Kenneth Gainwell handled the remaining snaps at tailback on the final drive, which resulted in a turnover on downs and the Eagles losing 13-7.
In a Week 12 matchup that magnified the Eagles’ offensive miscues, Gainwell didn’t register a single carry, but he finished as the team’s leading receiver with a minuscule three catches for 32 yards. Fellow tailback Miles Sanders matched Scott’s 64 rushing yards, while Hurts added a game-high 77 rushing yards on eight carries.
“I know a game like this everybody is going to try to take accountability for the things they didn’t do,” Hurts said. “The things we did, the things we didn’t do. We were very close to digging ourselves out of it, but it wasn’t enough.”
Following his self-reflection from the bench, Scott eventually returned to the visitors locker room, where he shared several “my bad” exchanges with teammates. During his postgame meeting with reporters, Scott became emotional and fought back tears while discussing the magnitude of his turnover.
“Whenever I make dumb mistakes like that,” Scott said. “It really hurts me because guys like Jason Kelce have been in the league a long time and you don’t know how many years they have left. So guys like that make me want to give it my all.”