BY A WHOLE FREAKIN’ LOT
Honestly, I’m kinda glad that Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley had himself such an evening. He took the biggest chunk of the NFL attention, while Carson’s dominant performance went rather quietly by.
Carson’s placement looks as good, if not better than it did last season. His mobility is clearly back to pre-injury levels. HIs mental processing is back to last season’s levels, though there’s still growth to be had there. His improvisation and willingness to extend plays took a step forward. His risk management is still wild and still awesome.
The real 2017 MVP is back.
Kelce is playing better than any other Eagles offensive lineman (for the second season in a row, mind you) — but today especially, Kelce was clearly very oriented on setting protections and accounting for those pressures defensive coordinators have been scheming up against Philadelphia’s slide protection calls. Throw on the extra pass protection responsibilities with the young Seumalo to his left, and Kelce continues to be Wentz’s best on-field friend.
Speaking of young Isaac, he had his best game I’ve seen him play in a midnight green uniform.
That said, Seumalo is still a limited player. He is undersized and carries his mass high, so it’s tough for him to drop anchor against power rushers — and he saw power rushers in Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill, the defensive tackles for the Giants. Seumalo loses ground, which compromises the integrity of the pocket — and I’m not sure that will ever change.
But! Seumalo’s technique is clearly improved, both in terms of how he works his hands in pass protection and how he climbs into the second level. He’s a similar player in terms of strengths/weaknesses to Kelce, which may cause problems if they play side-by-side in the long run. But he seems to be settling in, which is great news.
Ol’ Jimbo reached into the bag of tricks tonight, incorporating far more traditional split-safety shells in this game than I can remember seeing in seasons past. Those looks helped protect his corners deep, which let them be more aggressive downhill making tackles and playing on the football.
A lot of that has to do with the fact that Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison were both out for the Giants — New York had no tight end threat. But the positive returns from the varied coverage shells may lead to further creativity down the line — and boy, that would be a welcome sight.
Any and all questions about Alshon’s caliber should be eliminated at this point: he is clearly a Top-15 receiver in the NFL, and while that isn’t elite, it’s of a dominant mold. Alshon took a good playmaking corner in Janoris Jenkins and, by and large, beat him around the schoolyard. Next question.
How refreshing it was to see Clement out there, even though Wendell Smallwood still saw a healthy amount of touches. This, from the post-game scrum, was really interesting:
Corey Clement says he told Howie Roseman before the game that he didn’t need to add a runner. Roseman challenged him to prove it.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) October 12, 2018
Clement runs with such urgency — it does get him into trouble some time — that it’s tough not to feed him the rock, especially in those goal line situations in which he did get a few touches. Wendell’s struggles in short-yardage opportunities — not to mention the fumble — also spell more looks for Corey in the future. Not to mention: his pass protection is excellent, and helped multiple times last night.
The Eagles offensive line, when unsettled in pass protection, seems to get into a groove with running calls. I think we may see a bit more balanced of an offensive attack down the line (much to my chagrin; passing is more fun)
This was the first statement game for Hicks after his return to injury — it isn’t that he’s been playing poorly, but rather that the Eagles’ stout rushing defense had been overshadowed in headlines by their leaky secondary.
But tonight, with the amount of running back targets doled out by the Giants, Hicks had every opportunity to become an active defender in the short areas, and showcased his typical sideline range and excellent instincts. That forced interception was all film study, and it was exciting to see Hicks’ characteristic playmaking borne of film work show up once again.
HICKS BACK ALSHON BACK CARSON BACK COREY BACK!
Called a great game, just like he’s been doing all year.
If anything, the big improvement was the reading glasses. Very studious. High intimidation factor.
Here’s why Jordan Matthews is a winner: because Shelton Gibson isn’t anything beyond a deep threat yet, Matthews is the WR depth. (Kamar Aiken isn’t even a real person; DeAndre Carter is clearly a special-teamer in the coaching staff’s eyes.) Those two 3rd down slant patterns speak to the trust that Carson and Doug have in his ability to separate with timing; play with consistency in key moments.
And Matthews is so well-liked by the organization, there’s more than a decent chance he’s retained as a potential WR4 next year. And I think that’s just heart-warming.
The Philadelphia Eagles
Because they play in a division with Jerry Jones, Dave Gettleman, Jason Garrett, Jay Gruden, Dan Snyder, and Pat Shurmur. Get all the way outta here.
Rasul Douglas to safety truthers
Congrats, folks. You bore the long night and came out victorious. Get ready to never see it again.
The New York Giants
BY A GREAT DEAL
The New York Giants
Because Eli Manning is still somehow their starting quarterback
Odell Beckham Jr.
Because he’s unbelievably talented, and Eli Manning is still somehow his starting quarterback
Because he’s unbelievably talented, and he was drafted by the New York Giants, whose starting quarterback is still somehow Eli Manning. And because he’ll always be remembered as the non-QB pick.
This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in the past 10, maybe 15 minutes
Shurmur not feeling the checkdowns. Looks like “Throw the ball” to me. pic.twitter.com/2Vpckys7zq— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 12, 2018
Wendell was playing well coming into the week, and that didn’t even change too much tonight — but right when Corey Clement came back from injury, right when the Eagles made headlines for their apparent pursuit of a running back...Wendell nearly committed a hugely costly fumble. He also struggled to see the hole quickly, in my opinion — and clearly isn’t trusted in pass protection.
A step back after a few steps forward. Shame, that.
The haters, naysayers, Foles truthers, and despairing Eagles fans
Get all the way outta here.
How serious is Jason Peters’ bicep injury? I don’t know.
How healthy has he really been for the first six weeks of the season? Seemingly he hasn’t been 100% at all, but I dunno the extent of the problem.
How healthy can he reasonably be expected to be, at his age, after his surgery? I dunno. Not 100%, again, I’d say.
How much were his struggles tonight tethered to health, and how much were they tethered to declining play? I dunno. Probably a bit in the middle.
Should Big V start above him? Heck no. Never that.