The Philadelphia Eagles came back from the 19-3 deficit to beat the New York Giants on Sunday, 25-22. It sure wasn’t pretty but the Eagles ultimately got the job done. Now let’s highlight the game’s biggest winners and losers.
Wentz finished the game with the following stat line: 20/28, 236 yards (8.4 average), 1 TD, 0 INT, 108.6 passer rating. The numbers look a little better than what the eye test showed but the big thing here is that he came up big when it counted most. Wentz completed all four of his attempts for 66 yards on the Eagles’ final two drives, which includes the one where he set up a Jake Elliott 43-yard field goal for the win. Wentz had never previously led the Eagles to a win after being down 8-plus points. The Eagles are now 1-13 in those situations. Progress!
Far from a perfect game for Dougie P. The Eagles’ offense got off to ANOTHER slow start. Philadelphia hasn’t scored a first quarter touchdown in their last five games. They’re only averaging 1.91 first quarter points this season. That’s still a huge issue moving forward. Pederson also deserves criticism for being too conservative at times in the first half.
But Pederson ultimately redeemed himself in the second half. He stuck with the run game and rode it to victory. He also drew up a money play for that clutch fourth-down conversion late in the fourth.
The Eagles could’ve folded when they were down 19-3. If they did, Pederson would rightfully be getting a ton of crap for that happening. But they didn’t fold. Instead, they fought back for their coach. Good to see.
Schwartz should get the game ball after this one. Despite missing four of the team’s top five cornerbacks (and the fifth one being an injured Rasul Douglas, who didn’t practice all week), the Eagles held the Giants to just 22 points. Credit to Schwartz for adjusting and keeping New York to just 56 yards and three points in the second half.
After the 51-yard TD run by Saquon Barkley (Eagles were caught in a check on the play), Malcolm Jenkins and a couple vets asked Jim Schwartz to simplify defense for inexperienced secondary. He did, and the defense stabilized.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) November 25, 2018
After calling out the team’s demeanor earlier this week, Jenkins proved he’s not just a talker. He went out and set the tone with his effort. Jenkins came up big with a pass deflection to break up a Giants 2-point conversion early in the game. Then he had the interception on Eli Manning to prevent New York from adding to their lead before halftime. Jenk came up clutch today.
Prior to the game, there was a report about how the Eagles view Adams as their bell-cow running back. Some were skeptical but the report did end up being accurate. Adams finished the game with 22 carries (!) for 84 yards and one touchdown. I really like the juice that Adams showed, especially on his 52-yard touchdown run that was unfortunately called back by an unnecessary hold from Jason Kelce. Keep feeding the rock to Adams, Doug.
Nice of 2017 Corey Clement to show up after a very disappointing season so far. He finished the game with five carries for 45 yards, including a long of 32. Clement also had two receptions for 31 receiving yards. One of those catches came on a big screen play to help set up the Eagles’ go-ahead touchdown drive. Liked seeing Clement make some guys miss on that play.
Another big game for No. 86. He led the team in receiving with seven receptions for 91 yards and one touchdown. He even broke some tackles (?!?) on his score. Unexpected in a good way.
Ertz is up to 84 catches this year, which means he now holds the Eagles’ single-season tight end receptions record previously held by Keith Jackson. Ertz has five more games to break Jason Witten’s NFL single-season reception record for tight ends. All he needs is 16 more, which comes out to 3.2 per game.
Hey, who could’ve guessed good things would happen when you target your stud rookie tight end? Goedert finished the game third in receiving with three catches for 33 yards. He looked dangerous after the catch. Pretty sad he only had one target in the Eagles’ last three games. Hopefully the coaching staff has learned their lesson.
Bennett has been the Eagles’ most productive pass rusher this season. He leads the team in sacks with 6.5. Bennett only logged one sack on the stat sheet today but he played a big part in the sack that Chris Long got credited with.
If you followed along with my training camp notes, you already know I’ve long been a fan of Kamu. He helped make me look smart for once with an active game today. Grugier-Hill finished second on the team in total tackles and had two tackles for loss. He somehow tackled two players at once on the final play of the game, which should’ve been a penalty but shut up it was awesome.
A generous inclusion here since he only had one catch but it was a huge one. Nelly got wide open on fourth down when the Eagles needed him most.
THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Wentz was sacked three times and hit six times but that wasn’t all on protection. Wentz wasn’t exactly quick to get rid of the ball, which seemed like a combination of him being hesistant and receivers not getting open. There were numerous ocassions when Wentz had plenty of time to throw.
The o-line also showed up big in the ground game. Philadelphia’s 27 rushing attempts went for 129 yards (4.8 average) and one touchdown. Good stuff.
THE NO-NAME DEFENSIVE BACKS
No one will be mistaking Chandon Sullivan, De’Vante Bausby, and Cre’Von LeBlanc as ideal full-time starters, but I will give them credit for battling out there. They held down the fort and ultimately played well enough to help this team win.
Had to save the game-winning field goal kicker for last. For the second season in a row, Elliott came up clutch with a big kick against the Giants. He was 3/3 on the day with his longest being from 43 yards out.
The Giants are now 3-8 after blowing a 16-point lead. They’re 18-4 in their last 22 games against the Eagles. They’re now in danger of being on the losing side of the all-time Eagles versus Giants series record with a loss in 2019. The Eagles might stink. But they don’t stink as bad as the Giants do.
THE EAGLES (BEYOND THIS YEAR)
Unfortunately, we may have seen Eli Manning’s last start against the Eagles. We’ll miss the interceptions fondly.
The Giants are going nowhere fast with Shurmur at the helm, in my opinion. He helped the Eagles win today by only giving Barkley four carries in the second half. Odell Beckham Jr. even threw shade at Shurmur after the game.
Odell Beckham: “Knowing they were struggling (with injuries) in the secondary, personally I would’ve loved to attack them. But that wasn’t in our game plan.”— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) November 25, 2018
Tate was targeted eight time but only had four receptions for 30 yards. He dropped a couple passes and almost fumbled a punt return.
Smallwood received exactly zero touches today. Good. Adams and Clement are clearly better. For the second season in a row, Smallwood has completely fallen out of the backfield picture.
EAGLES KICKOFF COVERAGE UNIT
The Eagles allowed Corey Coleman to gain 101 yards on three kick returns (33.7 average). Gotta clean that up.
Lots of bad calls on both sides. The refs missed LeBlanc having a fist full of OBJ’s jersey in the end zone. They also threw a terrible flag on Alshon Jeffery for incredibly weak pass interference. The crew picked up a flag they threw for Clement getting facemasked, citing that the Giants player merely grabbed Clement’s collar (he didn’t). Just not a good day by the officials.