The script to this game was not totally unlike the Eagles’ game just several days ago against the Washington Football Team. The Birds started way too slow (perhaps short rest was an issue?) and were very fortunate to avoid multiple turnovers. Jalen Hurts wasn’t the only culprit but his struggles were especially notable. The Eagles entered halftime tied with a clearly inferior opponent they previously lost to about a month ago.
Philly’s offense eventually came alive, however, and the Giants had absolutely nothing going when it came to their own scoring ability. The Eagles’ defense deserves credit but the Giants trotting out some truly awful quarterbacks in Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon helped matters.
As a result, the Eagles picked up an important win that improved their chances in the NFC playoff picture. The Birds also benefited from a Vikings loss to the Los Angeles Rams that dropped Minnesota out of the No. 7 seed.
Of course, the Eagles will need to be much sharper than they were early against the G-Men if they’re planning on actually winning against higher quality opponents in the postseason. Their second half explosion suggests they have it within them to be better.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage.
- The Giants won the coin toss and elected to defer. The Eagles were up on offense first. Kenneth Gainwell fumbled the opening kickoff but J.J. Arcega-Whiteside recovered it. Phew. Real fortunate break. The first play from scrimmage was Dallas Goedert dropping a Jalen Hurts pass. A completion to DeVonta Smith set up 3rd-and-3. On third down, Hurts held on to the ball for a long time, got flushed right, and threw a pretty bad pick after really forcing it to his target. After review, the play was ruled incomplete. So, it was a three-and-out instead. Still, not the start the Eagles were looking for. Not sure why Nick Sirianni didn’t decide to run the ball at all to start the game.
- Josh Sweat affected Jake Fromm’s third down throw to bring up a three-and-out for the Giants.
- Jalen Reagor got booed (again, with the first time coming during the Eagles’ pregame player intros) after running backwards and getting tackled for a 4-yard loss to start at Philly’s own 15-yard line. Cheers rang out after the Eagles’ first run of the game, a Miles Sanders carry for 11 yards. Hurts was strip-sacked on second down after the quarterback held the ball too long again but Dallas Goedert was able to recover. Hurts’ third down throw to Sanders was dropped but was short of the sticks anyway. Philly flirted with turning the ball over three times in under five minutes of game action. Less than ideal.
- Sweat forced another punt by hitting Fromm on third down again.
- The Eagles ran twice but it wasn’t the magical panacea for the offense with the Birds only picking up three yards. On 3rd-and-7, Hurts held on to the ball for forever yet again and was almost sacked but threw for a 2-yard completion to Jalen Reagor instead. Another three-and-out. Just a really bad start for the offense. Need the quarterback to be better than this.
- Sanders broke off a run for 15 yards but then the offense got set back with an illegal blocking penalty on Goedert. On 3rd-and-17, Hurts had a screen pass knocked down by a Giants defensive lineman. Four punts for Arryn Siposs in the first quarter alone.
- The Giants slowly moved into field goal range with some help from Derek Barnett being offside to turn a 2nd-and-4 into a first down. Darius Slay dropped a gift of an interception from a terrible Fromm throw with some pressure created by Milton Williams. Fromm way overthrew a wide open target. On 3rd-and-10, the Giants elected to run the ball ... for a 2-yard loss. Giants clearly without much trust in their quarterback. Graham Gano hit the field goal for the first points of the game. EAGLES 0, GIANTS 3.
- On 3rd-and-5, Hurts bought some time and took a shot across the field for DeVonta Smith for a 23-yard gain. Nice play. Hurts had another nice completion to Reagor (!) for another first down. Hurts almost threw an inexplicable pick right to James Bradberry but Smith helped to break it up. Reagor dropped a screen pass that had potential. The Eagles went back to the Reagor screen play and it resulted in a first down ... before it was called back due to pass interference on Smith. Started blocking too far down the field. The Eagles ran a coward’s draw on 3rd-and-15 and settled for a 41-yard field goal attempt. Jake Elliott missed it after what looked like a low snap from Rick Lovato. Pretty bad stuff. Elliott’s made FG streak ends at 17.
- Hurts had a clean pocket and aired it out to Smith, who made a very good leaping catch on an underthrown ball down the field for a 46-yard gain. Eagles NEED to keep feeding that man. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-goal from the 5-yard line. On third down, Hurts missed a wide open Goedert and instead threw to a crossing Quez Watkins who was immediately tackled for only a 1-yard gain. Sirianni brought in the field goal unit to tie the game. Should’ve went for the touchdown instead. EAGLES 3, GIANTS 3.
Jalen Hurts poor play continues. He doesn’t see Dallas Goedert who is WIDE open in the end zone. pic.twitter.com/reYoCD4VaO— Patrick (@76Iggles) December 26, 2021
That is a career-long 46-yard reception by DeVonta Smith (previously 37 yards on 10/3/21 vs. Kansas City). #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 26, 2021
A curious stat in the Eagles' season: Miles Sanders has the most rushing yards of any player in the NFL without a rushing TD. There are 59 players in the NFL with at least 300 rushing yards. Sanders is the only one who hasn't rushed for a score.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) December 26, 2021
Most Receiving Yards (@Eagles Rookie History)— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 26, 2021
912 . . . DeSean Jackson (2008)
872 . . . Jordan Matthews (2014)
869 . . . Keith Jackson (1988)
854 . . . Charle Young (1973)
816 . . . DeVonta Smith (2021)#FlyEaglesFly
- The Giants ran on third-and-long AGAIN but got bailed out by defensive holding on Javon Hargrave. New York got to 3rd-and-5 from midfield and Fromm’s pass went incomplete to bring up yet another punt.
- The Eagles took over at their own 17-yard line with 20 seconds remaining and one timeout to work with. They ran once and ended the half. Pretty ugly 30 minutes of football.
- Fromm threw a gift of a pick to Rodney McLeod. Genard Avery created some pressure on the play (and also got his hand on Fromm’s facemask but fortunately there was no call).
- Hurts threw a catch-and-run touchdown to Goedert that looked very easy ... but it was called back due to holding on Quez Watkins. The Eagles scored four plays later on a 3-yard Boston Scott rushing touchdown. The Giants Killer is back. EAGLES 10, GIANTS 3.
- Milton Williams sacked Fromm on a play-action rollout that didn’t fool him for a 10-yard loss. Then Avery came up with a back open field tackle to stop what could’ve been an explosive run. Fromm’s third down pass was #ShortOfTheSticks to bring up a punt.
- Reagor received loud cheers instead of boos as he returned a punt for 39 yards. Encouraging to see. The Eagles took over at the Giants’ 21-yard line but got set back to 3rd-and-14. On third down, Hurts threw short of the marker to bring up a 37-yard field goal. Elliott made it. EAGLES 13, GIANTS 3.
- The Giants benched Fromm for Mike Glennon, who got benched for Fromm after throwing three interceptions last week. They went three-and-out.
- Hurts rolled right and then threw left and deep to an originally wide open Watkins. An underthrow from Hurts allowed a defender to contest the catch and have a shot at a pick but Watkins came up with it anyway. Hurts fit a nice ball in to Smith along the right side of the end zone for a touchdown! Smith did a great job of keeping both feet in ... or not, according to the refs, who ruled it incomplete after review!?! The play was reviewed (again?!) and the official said the “ruling on the field stands, touchdown.” Weird officiating sequence but, nevertheless, an Eagles score! EAGLES 20, GIANTS 3.
I’m running out of words to describe just how good DeVonta Smith is. He’s only a rookie, but it’s safe to say he’s the best WR the Eagles have had in years. pic.twitter.com/L6HNOrJr9h— Patrick (@76Iggles) December 26, 2021
DeVonta Smith's 4-yard TD makes it a 20-3 score in the third quarter. Smith is now tied for the 5th-most receiving TDs (5) by a WR in @Eagles rookie history (most since Jordan Matthews' 8 TDs in 2014). #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 26, 2021
- Glennon threw behind a Giants receiver to bring up another punt. He stinks. The Giants stink.
- The Eagles drove to the red zone after starting out at their own 25-yard line. Hurts capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to a wide open ... Lane Johnson! Sirianni getting creative again. Nice to see Lane get a score after all these years. EAGLES 27, GIANTS 3.
Lane Johnson with a touchdown catch. I love everything about this. pic.twitter.com/KuGBaLDQZF— Patrick (@76Iggles) December 26, 2021
Lane’s Linc Leap— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 26, 2021
Lane Johnson is first Eagles OL to catch a TD since Todd Herremans 11 years ago pic.twitter.com/mY3eW9cgnE
- Glennon was picked off by Alex Singleton after a McLeod deflection. The linebacker returned it for a tuddy. Rout. EAGLES 34, GIANTS 3.
- The Eagles pulled most of their defensive starters (except T.J. Edwards and Alex Singleton) with the game in hand. Edwards dropped a pick. The Giants got to 4th-and-8 and Glennon’s completion was short of the sticks but Marcus Epps was called for unnecessary roughness to extend the drive. Womp. The Giants drove to goal-to-go and eventually got a garbage time passing touchdown. EAGLES 34, GIANTS 10.
- Gardner Minshew came in to finish out the game. The Eagles ran the ball and Joe Judge, not ready to give up on the day, called a timeout. Lol. And then two more even though the Eagles picked up a conversion. The Eagles got to 4th-and-1 and Scott was stopped short for a turnover on downs.
- The Giants took over with 1:51 remaining. They picked up some garbage time yardage before the clock ran out.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 34 to 10
- K’Von Wallace (hip) picked up an injury in the first quarter and was ruled questionable to return.
- Kenneth Gainwell was evaluated in the medical tent after getting hit on a kickoff return. He was able to come back in.
- Miles Sanders (hand) headed to the locker room before the first half ended. He was originally ruled questionable to return. Then he was ruled out early in the third quarter.
- Steve Nelson (hand) was ruled questionable to return early in the third quarter. He later returned.
- Jordan Howard (stinger) went to the locker room in the fourth quarter.
- Nate Herbig (knee) got banged up in the fourth quarter.