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Winners and Losers from the Eagles-Giants game: Philadelphia refuses to tank in meaningless win

The Eagles can't even tank right.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Friends, this is a hard game to recap. On the one hand, the Eagles had some really nice individual performances, and got big contributions from players in all three phases. On the other hand, the Eagles really needed to lose this game. Now, instead of potentially picking in the top ten of the NFL Draft, they will now be selecting in the teens. Instead of flying to London to play the St. Louis Rams, they'll instead head to Seattle to visit the Seahawks. It's a fitting end for a backwards, frustrating season.

So with that in mind, let's look at who played well, and who played poorly (and by extension, did a good job? Or something? What a weird game.)


Zach Ertz: For the second time in as many weeks, the third year tight end had a career day against the Giants. He finished the game with nine catches for 152, and caught every pass thrown his way. He got started late in the first with a 60-yard completion on a beautifully thrown pass, and was a mismatch for the banged up Giants defense all night. Brent Celek also had a nice game, but Ertz has clearly shown over the past few weeks that he deserves to be a focal point of the offense in 2016.

Sam Bradford: It remains to be seen whether Bradford wants to return to Philadelphia next year, but he has certainly given the front office a performance to think about. Bradford completed 30 of his 38 passes for two touchdowns and an interception, but showed a nice command of the offense.

His pocket presence and awareness looked as good or better than we've seen all season. It's hard to tell how much of that you can count on, but those who were ragging on Bradford earlier in the year (this writer included) have to at least take a pause to consider the idea of Bradford starting (and playing well) for the Eagles next season.

Jordan Matthews: After a shaky start, Matthews reminded everyone of what he's capable of. He started the game with a pretty inexcusable drop off a beautifully thrown pass from Bradford, but got it together as the game went on. In total he had seven catches, 54 yards and two touchdowns. That brought his season receiving yardage total to a disappointing 943. If all goes according to plan, he should be the Eagles' next 1,000 yard receiver.

DeMarco Murray: Welcome to the Winner's Circle, DeMarco! His first run in the post-Chip Kelly era was the second-longest of his career, a 54-yard touchdown run on the game's opening drive. On that run, Murray ran for more yards than he had in eight entire games. Of course, he only ran for 14 more yards on the next 11 carries, but hey. At least you won't have to read about him much this offseaso--ah. Right. Nevermind.


Eagles run defense: The once-stout rushing defense finished the season with a whimper. Rashad Jennings ran for 170 yards, the second-best performance of his seven-year career. It was the fifth game this season in which the defense gave up at least 150 yards on the ground, and the third time in four games. There's a good chance a lot of these stats become moot with a new defensive coordinator next year, but it still shouldn't simply be swept under the rug, either.

The Eagles middle linebackers: What's up with these guys? Mychal Kendricks contiues to overrun routes and miss tackles, while Kiko Alonso just looks lost and unsure. I'm a little more lenient with Alosno, and he's probably still recovering from his knee injury and probably just recently got the playbook down. But boy does this defense miss Jordan Hicks. Like I said... it's been a weird season.

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