The Philadelphia Eagles are now 3-3 on the 2015 NFL regular season schedule after defeating the New York Giants by a final score of 27-7. Here are 10 things we learned from this sloppy game. There is a lot to discuss, so let's get right to it.
1) The Eagles are in first place
Crazy, right? Thanks to the rest of the NFC East being so terrible, the Eagles are on top of the division. That's the biggest thing to take out of this win.
2) Sam Bradford looks really bad
Just when it looked like Bradford was starting to make some progress in recent weeks, he looked awful once again on Monday night. Bradford finished with 24 completions on 38 attempts for 280 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions, and a 61.3 passer rating. His lack of accuracy is a huge problem. He struggled to hit wide open receivers on routine throws. It has to be really frustrating for Chip Kelly to have another quarterback who can't even manage to be merely competent. This team just isn't a real contender if Bradford continues to play this poorly.
3) This Eagles defense is so legit
Philadelphia's defense is the only reason why this team has managed to not completely fall off a cliff. They are a very good unit. After struggling to stop New York on the first drive of the game, the Eagles really buckled down and shut down a Giants offense that was looking pretty good prior to this week. The Eagles forced three turnovers and only allowed 247 yards of offense on 64 plays. That comes out to a mere 3.85 yards per play. And the Giants only had committed three turnovers heading into this game.
4) DeMarco Murray looks healthy
For the first time this season, Murray passed the eye test. He didn't look slow when he ran. He moved well in space and he did a great job of using his physicality to break tackles. Murray finished with 109 yards and one touchdown on 22 attempts. Even more impressive is that Murray's performance came against a Giants defense that ranked second in the NFL in run defense prior to this game. Also give credit to the Eagles' offensive line for run blocking well once again.
5) Fletcher Cox is not from this planet
The guy is unreal. He was a huge force as a run stopper. He's caused three fumbles in the Eagles' last two games. Cox sacked Eli Manning once, which puts him at five on the season. Through six games, Cox is only half a sack short of his career high of 5.5, which he achieved in 2012. Cox is really good, you guys.
6) The pass rush is alive
Cox wasn't the only pass rusher to get to the quarterback. Vinny Curry finished with 1.5 sacks after being held sackless for the first five weeks of the season. Brandon Graham also had half of a sack. The Eagles' pass rush has struggled at times this season so it's a good sign that they got pressure on a Giants offensive line that has been blocking well for Manning.
7) People were wrong about writing DeMeco Ryans off
A lot of people were rightfully skeptical when the Eagles gave a contract extension to Ryans this offseason. Why were the Eagles giving more money to an over-the-hill veteran who is coming off his second career Achilles injury? Ryans might not be in his prime anymore, but he's still a positive contributor to the defense. His interception of Manning was an incredible play. He just ripped the ball away from the Giants' tight end. That pick really served as a turning point in this game. Ryans also contributed with a fumble recovery and a pass defense. Give Mufasa some credit. And check out this stat:
DeMeco Ryans is the only NFL linebacker with at least one interception in each of the last four seasons.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 20, 2015
8) Nolan Carroll is not bad
There was a lot of skepticism about Nolan Carroll as a starting cornerback entering this season. How could the guy who couldn't get on the field over Bradley Fletcher and Cary Willliams be any good? Well, Carroll has certainly been good for the Eagles this season. He did a real good job of peeling off his man and intercepting Manning for the pick six early in this game.
9) Caleb Sturgis is slowly earning some respect
Entering this game, Sturgis managed to miss a field goal and/or extra point in each of his last five games played. Sturgis broke that streak by being solid against the Giants. He drilled two 39-yard field goals and he made all of his extra points. Sturgis still isn't particularly inspiring, and he needs to prove he can kick well under pressure, but at least he's showing enough where he deserves to be kept around. For now.
10) Chip Kelly owns the Giants
It's true. Kelly is now 4-1 against the Giants. The Eagles have outscored the G-Men by an average of 131 to 69 in that span, which averages out to 26.2 to 13.8 per game. The only game the Eagles lost is that one where an injured Michael Vick started and a rookie Matt Barkley took over.
More Eagles dominance over the Giants ... the Eagles are now 7-1 all-time against the Giants on Monday Night Football. The Eagles are 12-3 in their last 15 games against the Giants.