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FINAL SCORE: Eagles show incredible heart to beat Giants and officially clinch the NFC East, 34 to 17

Playoffs!

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles advanced to 9-7 and clinched the NFC East title by beating the New York Giants in Week 17! Final score: 34 to 17.

The Eagles are going to the playoffs for the third year in a row!

Read on for a game recap and observations.

FIRST QUARTER

Coin toss: Giants win the toss, elect to defer. Eagles offense up first.

Eagles 1st drive: Boston Scott bobbles the opening kickoff in the rain and the Eagles are forced to start at their own 7-yard line. Can’t have special teams making things harder for a depleted offense like that. Miles Sanders runs for two yards and then Carson Wentz hits Greg Ward beyond the marker for a first down. Deontay Burnett is notably starting over JJ Arcega-Whiteside at wide receiver. Ward is hurt after getting rolled up on ... WTF. Sanders runs for a first down and then Wentz hits Joshua Perkins for another. The Eagles get to 3rd-and-7 and Wentz’s pass is tipped at the line of scrimmage. Feel like that happens too much for Wentz being a tall quarterback. The Eagles go for it on fourth down from the Giants’ 38-yard line ... and Wentz is pressured into an incompletion. Welp. Halapoulivaati Vaitai just blown up there, really missed Lane Johnson on that play. Still like the call to go for it since they were in no man’s land. That could’ve been at least a field goal drive if Scott doesn’t screw up the kick return. Or if they trusted Jake Elliott to make a 56-yarder.

Giants 1st drive: The Eagles start Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddox outside at cornerback with Cre’Von LeBlanc in the slot. No Sidney Jones. Douglas gets called for defensive holding to give New York their first first down. The Giants get set back with a holding penalty of their own. The Giants get to 3rd-and-7 and Daniel Jones’ pass attempt is knocked down by Cre’Von LeBlanc. Welcome back, Strap! Good start by Jim Schwartz’s defense.

Eagles 2nd drive: Ward fields the punt return so he’s back in the game, great to see. Wentz throws to Dallas Goedert for a first down. Sanders runs for a 21-yard gain, he’s looking pretty good early on. Sanders catches a pass to bring up 3rd-and-7 and it looks like he tweaked something. Please be okay. Wentz throws a STRIKE over the middle to Goedert for a first down into the red zone. What a heater. Sanders is back in the game with a carry to bring up 3rd-and-8. Wentz throws #ShortOfTheSticks to a covered Sanders in the flat for a 1-yard gain. What’s the point of that? Jake Elliott makes the 31-yard field goal attempt. EAGLES 3, GIANTS 0.

Giants 2nd drive: Rodney McLeod tackles Saquon Barkley in the backfield to bring up 3rd-and-8. McLeod is banged up. Jones hold on to the ball forever and Brandon Graham sacks him to force the punt. Another good showing from the defense. Graham needs 1.5 more sacks to reach his goal of at least 10 in his 10th NFL season.

Eagles 3rd drive: The Eagles get to 3rd-and-10 from their 30-yard line and Wentz throws to Sanders for 6-yard loss. Sure don’t love this horizontal offense! You kinda gotta throw beyond the sticks to get a first down.

Giants 3rd drive: Malcolm Jenkins makes a nice special teams tackle (!) on the punt return and the G-Men start at their own 32-yard line.

SECOND QUARTER

Giants 3rd drive (continued): Graham comes up with a big tackle for loss to knock the Giants back to 3rd-and-4. LeBlanc is hurt so Sidney Jones is in the game on the outside with Maddox playing nickel. On third down, Douglas is beat over the top but Daniel Jones’ pass is underthrown and Douglas recovers to break it up. Phew.

Eagles 4th drive: The Giants punt the ball down to the Eagles’ 1-yard line but New York is called for holding on Graham (monster game for BLG so far!) and the Giants have to punt again. Graham and Jenkins — two Eagles starters — helping out on special teams. Eagles take over are their own 19-yard line and Boston Scott runs for a first down. Robert Davis draws a pass interference penalty and it’s another first down for the Eagles. Wentz is immediately engulfed on play-action (Sanders misses the block) and the Eagles are facing 3rd-and-19. The Eagles take a delay of game with Jason Kelce failing to snap the ball with Wentz clapping for it. On 3rd-and-24, the Eagles go with the coward’s draw and Sanders runs for an 11-yard gain. Another punt. Surprise: this under-manned offense is having problems scoring.

Giants 4th drive: Cameron Johnston hits a nice punt that’s downed by Sidney Jones and the Giants take over at their own 3-yard line. Could really use a safety or defensive touchdown here! Strap is back in the game. Daniel Jones takes another shot down the field but Maddox breaks it up at the catch point, great play. The Giants face 3rd-and-3 and an open Golden Tate drops the ball. Eagles get help from a former player.

Eagles 5th drive: Sanders is getting looked at in the medical tent again. Ugh. A Wentz run and a Sanders run gets the Eagles to 3rd-and-4. On third down, Scott is open running down the field but Wentz overthrows him. Could’ve been a touchdown. Instead, it’s a punt. Looks like there was a miscommunication. Meanwhile, Sanders is heading back to the locker room. Still no touches for Jordan Howard thus far but that could change soon.

Giants 5th drive: Daniel Jones hits a wide open Kaden Smith and the Giants get 15 more yards from roughing the passer on Douglas. The Giants are into Eagles territory. Daniel Jones throws a bullet to an open Tate for another first down. Now Maddox is banged up after making a big hit. EVERYONE IS GETTING HURT!!! The Giants immediately target Sidney Jones and he breaks up a pass. Sidney’s playing out of his mind right now. The Giants get to 3rd-and-9 and Schwartz dials up a blitz to force an incompletion. Perfect call by the defensive coordinator. Giants settle for the 37-yard field goal and it’s a tie game. EAGLES 3, GIANTS 3.

Eagles 6th drive: The Birds need points here. Scott makes an impressive one-handed catch on an iffy screen throw by Wentz and takes it for a big gain into Giants territory. Huge play.

Deontay Burnett makes his first Eagles reception to set up 2nd-and-3. The Eagles get to 3rd-and-3 and hand off to Scott to bring up 4th-and-1. Eagles hurry up and Wentz sneaks forward for the first down, never a doubt. Wentz rolls out right ... and looks left ... and hits JOSHUA MF PERKINS for a touchdown! Lol, crazy. Wentz’s arm strength on display there. Great drive. Wentz is the first Eagles quarterback in franchise history to throw at least on touchdown pass in all 16 games. BUT NOW THERE’S ANOTHER INJURY WITH BRANDON BROOKS GETTING CARTED OFF AFTER HE’S HURT ON THE EXTRA POINT PROTECTION!? What the hell?!!? THis is insane. EAGLES 10, GIANTS 3.

Giants 6th drive: Here’s what the Eagles’ defense is most vulnerable — right after the offense gets a score. Can the Birds play some complementary football? The Giants get to 3rd-and-5 and Daniel Jones hits an open Kaden Smith for another first down with 0:47 left in the half. McLeod puts a BIG hit on Smith to force an incompletion that brings up 3rd-and-10. On third down, Daniel Jones throws off target and incompletion.

Eagles 7th drive: Matt Pryor is in for Brooks at right guard; it’s Pryor and Vaitai protecting Wentz’s right side. The Eagles get to 3rd-and-4 after the Giants take two timeouts and Wentz’s third down pass is incomplete. The Eagles punt with 10 seconds left and the ball isn’t fielded as the clock runs out on the first half.

HALFTIME

The Dallas Cowboys are up on Washington, 20 to 3. The Eagles can’t rely on the Cowboys to lose to make the playoffs.

Bad news:

THIRD QUARTER

Giants 7th drive: Maddox comes back in but then leaves right after tackling Barkley. Sidney Jones back in the game. And now Brandon Graham is getting looked at. Because why not. Barkley is tackled for a loss to bring up 3rd-and-10. Derek Barnett is called for being offside even though the play clock is zero. Should’ve been a delay of game, Pederson is rightfully furious with the refs. The Giants convert on 3rd-and-5. Such bullshit — should’ve been 3rd-and-15. Now Craig James is hurt too. EVERYONE IS HURT. Barkley is stopped on 2nd-and-1 and then 3rd-and-1 to bring up 4th-and-1. Good stuff by Timmy Jernigan on the third down, nice to see him show up big. The Giants burn their first timeout of the second half to talk over the fourth down play call. Daniel Jones keeps on a boot fake and easily picks up the first half. Jones scrambles and then throws to a contested Tate in the end zone for an impressive touchdown catch. Douglas was there, just a really good catch. Eagles really screwed by that missed delay of game call. Tie game. EAGLES 10, GIANTS 10.

Eagles 8th drive: Perkins gets horse collar tackled and the Eagles get a first down via penalty. (The ref said “horse collar tacker” during the call, real inspiring stuff!) Wentz simply throws short of Goedert to bring up second down. Then Ward is dropped for a 7-yard loss on that fufu flip forward toss. On 3rd-and-17, Wentz lofts it up for Deontay Burnett but it’s underthrown and incomplete. Almost picked off by the Giants but dropped. The Eagles are now 1/9 on third down. Kinda bad.

Giants 8th drive: The Eagles could really use a defensive score here because their offense sure isn’t anything to be counted on. Jones holds on to the ball and finds Darius Slayton down the field with Douglas beat. Reminder that the Eagles drafted Clayton Thorson over Slayton, cool stuff. Brandon Graham back in the game. Sidney Jones is burnt but Daniel Jones’ underthrown pass hits Sidney in the back and it’s incomplete. The Giants go for it on 4th-and-4 and STRAP comes up with another big pass breakup! Cre’von Clutch! Huge stop by the defense.

Eagles 9th drive: The Eagles take over at their own 38-yard line. Sanders and Brooks are officially OUT for the rest of the game. Welp. Scott runs for seven yards, still no Howard in the game. Ward catches a pass for a first down ... and then another. Crazy how invaluable he’s become to this offense. The Eagles are into Giants territory as Wentz passes Donovan McNabb for the most single-season passing yards in franchise history.

On 3rd-and-8, Wentz lofts it up and a covered Goedert makes a GREAT sideline catch. Awesome job of getting both feet in. HUGE play.

Scott takes a carry and the Eagles have goal-to-go from the 7-yard line. Scott breaks through contact on another carry for the TOUCHDOWN! THE SECRET CODE! HE’S UNSTOPPABLE! EAGLES 20, GIANTS 13.

Giants 9th drive: Barkley breaks off a 68-yard run to the end zone and it’s a tie game again. Must be nice to be able to actually score quickly as opposed to needing long drives all the the time! EAGLES 20, GIANTS 20.

Eagles 10th drive: Scott is tackled for a loss to bring up 3rd-and-6. On third down, Wentz throws to Ward for a first down. Who else but Mr. Reliable? ALERT: Jordan Howard is in for his first snap and it’s a play-fake ... to Robert Davis for a contested catch and a 39-yard gain! Or not, because holding on Big V brings it back. Killer penalty. Really a shame because that was such a nice grab!

FOURTH QUARTER

Eagles 10th drive (continued): But no matter! Wentz tosses a ball down the field and Burnett makes a really nice 41-yard grab! This is crazy.

The Eagles get to 3rd-and-10 and Wentz’s throw for Ward is incomplete as the Giants defender gets there a little early ... but no call. Eagles settle for a 50-yard Elliott field goal in the rain ... and he MAKES IT. Big time kick. EAGLES 20, GIANTS 17.

Giants 10th drive: Giants take over at their own 25-yard line with 13:58 left in the game. Need a Giants turnover here like hell. Pick six would be ideal. Graham pressures Daniel Jones into taking a sack from Barnett. Then Daniel Jones fumbles a snap, picks it up, gets stripped by Malcolm Jenkins, and Fletcher Cox recovers at the 3-yard line! GREAT JOB BY THE DEFENSE. Just what they needed to do! Incredible plays by this team’s leaders in the clutch.

Eagles 11th drive: Scott takes the handoff untouched into the end zone! TWO SCORE GAME! EAGLES 27, GIANTS 17.

Giants 11th drive: Douglas breaks up a pass at the catch point meant for Slayton. Good play. Nathan Gerry and Jernigan tackle Barkley for a loss to bring up 3rd-and-11. On third down, Barnett sacks Daniel Jones! The rookie quarterback just holds on to the ball forever ... and the Eagles sure don’t mind it.

Eagles 12th drive: The Eagles take over at their own 34-yard line with 11:36 to go. The Eagles get to 3rd-and-10 and Wentz throws short of the sticks to Perkins for a 7-yard gain. Three-and-out. That pass made history, though:

Giants 12th drive: Giants take over at their own 31-yard line with 10:01 to go. Daniel Jones avoids getting sacked by Barnett before taking one from Jernigan. Keep that clock running. The Giants get to 4th-and-2. On fourth down, it’s STRAP again with the clutch stop — this time tackling Barkley short of the first down!

Eagles 13th drive: Eagles take over at the Giants’ 38-yard line. Scott runs out of bounds for a loss to stop the clock. Bad! Wentz throws high and incomplete. On 3rd-and-13, the Eagles draw up a screen and Scott takes it down to the 2-yard line! Great play call, great blocking.

The Eagles hand off to Scott for another TOUCHDOWN. First Eagles running back with three touchdowns since LeSean McCoy back in 2011! Who would’ve thought? EAGLES 34, GIANTS 17.

Giants 13th drive: Douglas comes up with ANOTHER pass breakup down the field to bring up 3rd-and-8. Daniel Jones hits Smith for the first down. The Giants continue to slowly drive down the field as the Eagles let them kill clock. That is, until SIDNEY JONES picks off a bad Daniel Jones throw! The man is clutch!

Eagles 14th drive: The Eagles take over at their own 9-yard line with 3:09 remaining. They take the clock down to 2:12 before calling their first timeout before a punt.

Giants 14th drive: Tate makes a nice catch over the middle and spins the ball after taking a big hit. Lol, okay guy. The Giants move into the red zone. Jenkins has a pick go through his hands. On 4th-and-7, the Giants pick up a first down ... and the clock runs out. GAME OVER!

FINAL SCORE: 34 to 17, Eagles WIN

Side note: Congrats to Dallas on their blowout win over Washington that only served to damage their positioning in the 2020 NFL Draft!

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