In a season filled with excruciating wins, this was another one of them.
It didn’t have to be that way.
Entering this game as 14-point home favorites, the conditions were ripe for a “feel-good, get-right” victory.
And it looked like it was going to go that way with the Eagles driving to potentially go up 21 points entering halftime.
But Jalen Hurts failed to get out of bounds after taking off running with zero timeouts remaining. The Eagles were fortunate the Giants got called for defensive delay of game to allow them to kick a field goal that put them up 17.
No worries, though, right? Up three possessions and getting the ball to start the second half with an opportunity to really put the game out of reach?
That’s when Olamide Zaccheaus ran into Boston Scott on the kick return to set up a Giants recovery and touchdown. What could’ve been a 21-point game instantly became a 10-point game.
With the Eagles driving into scoring range, they failed to get points when Dallas Goedert slipped and the Giants got a pick-six plus a two-point conversion to make it a two-point game.
Facing 3rd-and-20, it looked like things were really going to unravel for the Eagles.
But that’s when Hurts eluded pressure, stepped up, and delivered a strike just over the outstretched arm of an underneath Giants defender to A.J. Brown. The Eagles scored a touchdown to take a two-possession lead. Then they added another field goal to require the Giants to find the end zone twice.
New York immediately responded with a deep touchdown pass that made it a five-point game with just 42 seconds taken off the clock.
The Eagles then ran the clock down and kicked a field goal, failing to end the game on their own terms.
The Giants drove all the way to the Eagles’ 26-yard line before Tyrod Taylor’s pass was intercepted by Kelee Ringo to end the game.
Ultimately, the Eagles should be happy that their three-game losing streak is over. They can clinch the NFC East with two more wins ... or just one more if the Dallas Cowboys lose to the Detroit Lions and the Eagles win in Week 17.
But the Birds need to play much, MUCH better to win in the playoffs. Being less worse than inferior opponents isn’t going to suffice at that point. And there are real concerns this team can find their groove if they can’t even look good against a Giants team that ranks 32nd in point differential and DVOA.
Next up for the Eagles is a home game against the 3-12 Arizona Cardinals. The return of Jonathan Gannon.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage, including the BGN Radio postgame show.
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer, per usual. Shaq Leonard exploded into the backfield for a TFL to bring up third down. Facing 3rd-and-9, Tommy DeVito rolled left and threw the ball out of bounds for an opening three-and-out. Strong start by Matt Patricia’s defense.
- After an excellent 54-yard punt return by Britain Covey, the Eagles took over at the Giants’ 13-yard line. A D’Andre Swift carry was just short of the goal line at the 1. Brotherly Shove TD (despite the Giants being offside). Boom. Exactly the start this team needed. EAGLES 7, GIANTS 0.
Britain Covey with a career high 54 yard punt return!— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 25, 2023
- The Giants picked up a first down and the Eagles had to burn a timeout with Sydney Brown running off the field late. The Giants ran a flea flicker for a three-yard gain, lol. Facing 3rd-and-6, Bradley Roby whiffed on a tackle to get a stop and instead allow a quick screen to pick up a first down. Facing 3rd-and-7, Tommy DeVito’s pass was bobble and dropped by an open Darren Waller. Fortunate break. Mason Crosby made his field goal attempt from 52 yards out. EAGLES 7, GIANTS 3.
Mentioned the possibility of James Bradberry moving inside in small dime with Bradley Roby last week and Matt Patricia has utilized that package with Kelee Ringo and Eli Ricks on the outside.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 25, 2023
So that's 4 CBs on the field. Would seem to compel Giants to try and force #Eagles to…
Nolan Smith is the line stacked LB on the 5-1-5 big Penny snaps. First time we’ve seen that.— Deniz Selman (@denizselman33) December 25, 2023
- The combination of a special teams penalty on Eli Ricks and a false start on Jordan Mailata had the Eagles start out at their own 18-yard line. Jalen Hurts hit Dallas Goedert with a good throw along the left sideline for a chunk gain. Then Hurts found DeVonta Smith for a gain into Giants territory. Covey logged his first career catch on a bubble screen that helped to set up a successful Brotherly Shove on 4th-and-1. Hurts attempted a bubble screen throw to Olamide Zaccheaus to beat the blitz with a quick throw but it was nearly one-hand picked off in the backfield. Nick Sirianni correctly had the Eagles go for it on 4th-and-5 ... and Hurts found a leaping Goedert for another first down. Good job of being aggressive. Hurts had a high snap go over his head but he managed to pick it up off the ground and somehow find an open Grant Calcaterra (!), who broke a tackle to get to the 8-yard line. Near-disaster turned into first-and-goal with Calcaterra’s first target and catch of the entire season. A couple plays later, Swift broke a tackle in the backfield and cut back against the defense to find the end zone! The play went under review ... and it was ruled Swift’s knee was down before he cut back. Didn’t look conclusive to me. That run brought up the end of the first quarter.
That's the first completed pass the #Eagles offense has had from under center this season. Great throw from Jalen Hurts to Dallas Goedert.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 25, 2023
That was A.J. Brown's 96th reception of the season, breaking DeVonta Smith's 2022 record (95) for the most catches by a WR in #Eagles history.— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 25, 2023
From what are we doing to what are we watching to can you believe this….in a span of 5 seconds.— Kevin Negandhi (@KevinNegandhi) December 25, 2023
- Facing 3rd-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Hurts got hit hard on a blitz but got the ball out in time to Goedert, who couldn’t make a one-handed catch on a pass a little far out in front of him. Sirianni brought out the field goal team on 4th-and-goal despite just going for it on 4th-and-5 a few plays earlier. The Eagles motioned Calcaterra out wide on the field goal formation ... but the Giants were not threatened or confused. The Eagles took a delay of game penalty and Jake Elliott made the 28-yard attempt. Should have went for it. EAGLES 10, GIANTS 3.
- The Eagles’ defense came up with a three-and-out, highlighted by a nice Nolan Smith tackle in open space to limit the Giants to a 1-yard gain on first down.
- The Giants’ punter had another bad punt, this one for 30 yards, that was returned by Covey off the bounce for 11 yards. The Eagles took over at their own 48-yard line. Hurts followed his blocking on a designed QB run for 16 yards into Giants territory. Hurts hit a crossing DeVonta for a 36-yard catch-and-run TD, assisted by excellent blocking from OZ downfield to pave the way for the score. EAGLES 17, GIANTS 3.
DeVonta Smith went over 1,000 receiving yards for the season with that last catch. Back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for No. 6.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) December 25, 2023
DeVonta Smith has caught a TD in each of his last 4 games at Lincoln Financial Field. He now has 7 receiving TDs this season, tying his career high. #Eagles— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 25, 2023
- Haason Reddick pressured DeVito into a throwaway to bring up third down. Facing 3rd-and-8, the Eagles got pressure up the middle and Shaq Leonard tackled a scrambling DeVito for a sack. The Giants were flagged for holding but the Eagles obviously declined.
- Covey was able to recover his muffed punt to have the Eagles take over at their own 19-yard line. Swift got tackled for a 5-yard loss and Hurts ran out of bounds for a short gain. Facing 3rd-and-14, Hurts overthrew Julio Jones off his back foot. Three-and-out.
Weird offensive series. The Eagles go three-and-out after opening with 13 personnel for the first time since the Bills game (Nov. 26). That didn't go well.— Brooks Kubena (@BKubena) December 25, 2023
- Jordan Davis made a nice tackle on DeVito to prevent the QB from taking off upfield with a lot of room to run (due to a telegraphed blitzing safety). Facing 3rd-and-6, DeVito threw the ball away out of bounds. Another Giants three-and-out. Or not, because Jalen Carter got called offside for getting off the field too slowly to make it 4th-and-1 and the Giants put their offense back on the field to go for it. Saquon Barkley picked up not only a first down but a gain into Eagles territory. Facing 3rd-and-3, UDFA linebacker Ben VanSumeren (!) made a tackle in the hole to bring up fourth down. Facing 4th-and-1, Barkley took another carry for a first down. Facing 3rd-and-8, DeVito completed a pass just short of the sticks. Facing 4th-and-1, Reddick exploded into the backfield for a TFL and a turnover on downs! Crucial.
Huge play by Jordan Davis. Tommy DeVito had tons of open grass in front of him. pic.twitter.com/dOPm3dFw5V— Shane Haff (@ShaneHaffNFL) December 25, 2023
Giants punt team snapped the ball before Jalen Carter slowly jogged off the field. Flag came out and Nick Sirianni immediately ripped into Carter while the play was still going on.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) December 25, 2023
- The Eagles took over at their own 25-yard line with 2:47 left in the first quarter and two timeouts to work with. Hurts spun out of a sack and fired a pass to Gainwell for a gain of 19. Impressive play by QB1. Hurts hit Gainwell out of the backfield again for a gain into Giants territory to bring up the 2-minute warning. Facing 3rd-and-4, Hurts took off running for a first. The Eagles took their second timeout with 0:31 left. Facing 3rd-and-6, Hurts found an open DeVonta along the right sideline and he was able to get out of bounds at the 9-yard line. A telegraphed CB blitz by the Giants worked to sack Hurts (no recognition by the QB) and the Eagles called their final timeout with 0:18 left. Hurts took off running and inexplicably failed to get out of bounds, causing the offense to scramble to clock the ball. Fortunately for the Eagles, Bobby Okereke egregiously held the ball on the ground to try to prevent the Eagles from getting the snap off but he justifiably got flagged for a rare defensive delay of game. That penalty allowed the Eagles to kick a 21-yard field goal to make it a three-possession game. This team really struggles to make it look easy, huh? EAGLES 20, GIANTS 3.
The stakes are so low, but that is inexcusable situational awareness from a quarterback. WTF.— Bo Wulf (@Bo_Wulf) December 25, 2023
Bad couple of plays by Hurts at the end. Took a sack instead of throwing the ball away. Then failed to get out of bounds after scrambling on the next play. Should have cost the Eagles points, but a Giants penalty let them add a FG to go up 20-3.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) December 25, 2023
- Boston Scott fielded the kickoff to begin the second half and got inadvertently tackled by Olamide Zaccheaus, which caused Scott to fumble for a Giants recovery. Lmao wtf?!?!
- The Giants took over at the Eagles’ 14-yard line. Tyrod Taylor replaced DeVito at QB. Facing 3rd-and-3, Barkley went untouched up the gut for a score. Terrible. EAGLES 20, GIANTS 10.
- The Eagles went three-and-out after Swift had a 4-yard loss on a 3rd-and-1 run. Where is the Brotherly Shove?! Do it twice if you have to.
- Rick Lovato forced a fumble (!) on the Giants’ punt returner but New York was able to recover. Fletcher Cox drew a holding penalty that got wiped out wit Sydney Brown unwisely hitting Taylor during the QB’s slide. Unnecessary hit ruined a chance to set the Giants back. Facing 3rd-and-6, Taylor held the ball and then took off running for a first down. Shaq Leonard looked pretty slow trying to run after the Giants QB. Facing 3rd-and-4, Patricia sent a blitz that caused Taylor to throw early and miss the wide open RB who had a lot of room to run. Facing 4th-and-4, Brian Daboll kept the offense on a field ... but a false start prompted the punt team to come on. It originally looked like Jalen Carter was going to get called for being offside but the Birds got bailed out yet again.
- The Eagles took over at their own 6-yard line. Facing 3rd-and-6, Hurts dumped off to Gainwell for a first down right at the marker. Facing 3rd-and-1, the Eagles went Brotherly Shove this time and — shocker — it worked. Calcaterra made his second catch of the night and season for another first down. The Eagles moved into Giants territory. Hurts threw a hospital ball to Brown that was knocked out of the WR’s control due to a big hit. Looked to me like the QB threw the ball later than he had to, allowing the Giants’ coverage to close in on Brown. Facing 3rd-and-4, Hurts hit Goedert with a quick, accurate throw for a first down into the red zone. Jordan Mailata blocked Xavier McKinney in the back right in front of the ref to knock the offense out of the red zone to get set back to 1st-and-20. Hurts called a timeout with the offense seemingly not in sync when he probably could’ve snapped the ball and used his legs to run for a short gain to run out the quarter and not burn a timeout. Hurts threw a dangerous pass into traffic. Then he threw a pick six after Goedert tripped. Making matters worse, Hurts got called for a horse-collar penalty that set up a Giants 2-point conversion try from the 1-yard line. The Giants got it in with a Barkley carry. PRETTY PATHETIC! EAGLES 20, GIANTS 18.
Dallas Goedert slips, and the ball finds its way to Adoree Jackson for a long pick-six. Honestly, Hurts was lucky he threw way behind A.J. Brown on the prior play or it might've been picked by Bobby Okereke.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) December 25, 2023
Anything that can go wrong with this team will pic.twitter.com/Lzdz3bN1DN— Kyle Pagan (@CBKylePagan) December 26, 2023
- Lane Johnson got called for holding. Hurts missed a throw wide of Brown with the crowd at The Linc chanting “run the ball!” A screen to Julio Jones (lol) went for just five yards. Then Jason Kelce got called for a false start. Facing 3rd-and-20, Hurts stepped up and threw a pass JUST over a defender to Brown for a first down. “Wow” throw. With more “run the ball” chants, the Eagles obliged with a Gainwell carry that went for 22 yards. Brown broke out of a tackle after a short catch to get the Eagles to the 5-yard line. Swift fought through contact on his first down carry for a touchdown. MUCH-NEEDED 8-play, 75-yard drive to go back up two scores when it looked like they might give away control of the game. EAGLES 27, GIANTS 18.
Coming into today, the Eagles were 0-for-11 when facing a 3rd-and-20+ under Nick Sirianni. That conversion on the last drive was huge.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) December 26, 2023
- The Giants drove into Eagles territory. Facing 3rd-and-1, Taylor’s pass for a wide open target was just short due to pressure from Reddick chasing him down. Facing 4th-and-1, Daboll went for it ... and Taylor’s bubble screen throw was not caught. Turnover on downs.
- The Eagles took over at their own 42-yard line with 8:50 left in the game. Facing 3rd-and-3, the Eagles ran their favorite short-yardage play with a crossing Goedert open for a catch-and-run into field goal range. Instead of throwing the ball away, Hurts got tackled for a loss and a flag was thrown for a horse collar tackle but then picked up. Facing 3rd-and-6, the Giants sent the house on a blitz and Hurts’ scrambling throw was incomplete along the sideline. Jake Elliott made his 44-yard attempt to make it a two-touchdown game. Well, at least they got points. EAGLES 30, GIANTS 18.
- Taylor ran for five yards and then uncorked a deep throw to an open Darius Slayton with Reed Blankenship trailing. A touchdown in just 42 seconds to make it a five-point game. If you’re going to get beat for a touchdown there, it just can’t be that quickly. Maybe the Eagles should consider firing their defensive coordinator? EAGLES 30, GIANTS 25.
Just runs right by Reed Blankenship pic.twitter.com/KWBQOrMCA7— Shane Haff (@ShaneHaffNFL) December 26, 2023
- The Eagles took over at their own 25-yard line with 5:22 on the clock. Five straight runs for Swift, who picked up three first downs (one where he leapt over a Giants defender) to get down to the 23-yard line. The Giants called their penultimate timeout at 2:23. They called their final timeout at 2:14. Swift ran for a 4-yard loss to bring up the 2-minute warning. Need a design that goes forward there, not backwards. Facing 3rd-and-15, Hurts threw a quick screen to DeVonta for a 7-yard gain. The Eagles brought on Elliott for the 43-yard field goal attempt and he made it. EAGLES 33, GIANTS 25.
- The Giants took over at their own 25-yard line with 1:10 remaining and zero timeouts to work with. Reddick got called for roughing the passer on a Taylor incompletion. Facing 3rd-and-10 after two deep incompletions, the Giants moved the chains with a throw over the middle to Darren Waller. Facing 3rd-and-8, it looked like Bradley Roby could’ve got called for DPI on a deep throw but there was no flag from the ref nearby. Facing 4th-and-8, the Eagles called their final timeout to take a look at New York’s formation. Facing 4th-and-8 for real, Taylor completed a pass to Waller over the middle for a first down. The Giants spiked the ball with four seconds left. Final play of the game, Kelee Ringo picked off Taylor in the end zone to close it out. Sigh of relief.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 33 to 25
EAGLES LINEUP NOTES
- Nolan Smith saw some off-ball linebacker snaps.
- James Bradberry was utilized inside with Eli Ricks and Kelee Ringo playing outside CB at times.
EAGLES INJURY NEWS
- A.J. Brown went down after taking a big hit late in the third quarter. He shortly returned to the game.
- Sydney Brown entered the medical tent in the fourth quarter.