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Eagles News: DeVonta Smith is “not happy” after Philly’s win over the Giants

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/26/23.

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NFL: DEC 25 Giants at Eagles Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Why DeVonta Smith was unhappy even after skid-snapping win - NBCSP
The Eagles improved to 11-4 but with just two games remaining in the 2023 regular season, they’re clearly not playing their best football. And one of their offensive captains, Devonta Smith, didn’t mince words. “Eleven wins?” Smith said. “We’re not playing good football right now. As an offense, we’re not where we want to be. I’m not satisfied. Yeah, we got 11 wins. I’m not happy. It needs to be better for what I want to do, what everybody else in here wants to do, what we want to be. We’re nowhere near that, so no, I’m not happy.” That sentiment was shared by plenty of Eagles after a win that snapped a three-game losing streak. There was some relief about getting a W but it wasn’t convincing and it did little to quell the fears that have popped up over the last month. In fact, it was the same kind of win we’ve seen plenty of times from the Eagles this season.

Eagles uneven in win vs. Giants: ‘Not where we want to be’ - ESPN
Fellow receiver A.J. Brown declined to talk to the media. And Hurts engaged in long, seemingly serious conversations throughout the locker room postgame, first with Smith, then offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and finally center Jason Kelce. “I think we’re hungry. I think we’re motivated, eager,” Hurts said. “It’s just a matter of being together and committing ourselves to that excellence and chasing that.” The Eagles held a players-only meeting during the week leading into the game, sources said, in the name of holding one another accountable. Smith talked of “uncomfortable conversations” that were had amongst the group. “You don’t expect to have a talk and then everything is clean, no,” Smith said. “You’re still going to have problems and things like that. But it’s going in the right direction.”

Eagles vs. Giants: The good, the bad, and the ugly - BGN
The victory moved the Eagles to 11-4 and gave them sole possession of first place atop the NFC East, beating the woeful Giants for the fifth-straight time and in 13 of the last 15 games. But questions still loom about this team. The 2023 Eagles were put on stage to audition for the Super Bowl. After Week 16, they still do not look like a Super Bowl-contending team, especially after just getting by teams like the Giants. This game was supposed to be set up where style points would have helped raise the confidence level of a coaching staff under fire, a flagging team looking for any morsel of its 2022 incarnation and a dubious, demanding fanbase. It did not boost anything. It only added more questions about an underachieving team.

BGN Instant Reaction Show - Week 16: Eagles beat Giants, 33-25 - BGN Radio
Shane Haff and Raichele Privette recap the Eagles Week 16 win over the Giants on Christmas Day.

Jalen Hurts breaks Cam Newton’s single-season QB rushing TD record - SB Nation
The Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to inch closer to a second-straight NFC East title on Christmas Day. With the Dallas Cowboys losing to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the Eagles now just need to run the table to secure the division, starting with a win over the New York Giants. Early in that game, their quarterback made a little NFL history. Jalen Hurts scored from one yard out on a Christmas edition of the “Brotherly Shove,” and it marked the QB’s 15th rushing touchdown of the season.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Giants game - PhillyVoice
With 18 seconds left in the half from the Giants’ 15 yard line, Hurts scrambled from the pocket and was in the midst of picking up a nice gain. He was clearly not going to score as several defenders had cut off his path to the end zone, but he could have easily stepped out of bounds and stopped the clock. Instead, he continued to try to run for more yards, was tackled in bounds, and the clock continued to run. Hurts was lucky that a dopey Giants player (Bobby Okereke) grabbed the football and would not let go, which led to a defensive delay of game penalty. Otherwise, the clock might have run out before the Eagles could have spiked the ball. The Eagles did kick a field goal to close the half, but by not running out of bounds Hurts squandered one last chance at taking a shot into the end zone for a touchdown. There’s no way to sugarcoat it — that was an extremely boneheaded play.

Socks - Iggles Blitz
I was frustrated with some of the stupidity and sloppiness in the game. There was a troubling sequence before halftime. Kenny Gainwell ran toward the sideline, but didn’t get out of bounds. The play ended at :50. Nick Sirianni must have thought he did get out. The Eagles didn’t call a timeout until the :31 second mark. They lost 19 valuable seconds. The Eagles then got the ball down to the 9-yard line. Jalen Hurts took a bad sack and the team had to use their final timeout. On the final play of the half, Hurts scrambled. He had a chance to go out of bounds inside the 10 with :12 left. Instead, he cut back to the inside. Only a horrible penalty by the Giants saved him. The clock should have run out, but the Eagles got to kick a FG to end the half. For a coach and team that preaches the importance of situational football, that is awful. The Eagles might have had to settle for a FG anyway, but they should have had several more chances to get into the end zone. Ugh.

Eagles won, but Nick Sirianni’s sideline eruptions and the locker room tenor still suggest a team that is tense - Inquirer
Brown was near the sideline fracas. It occurred after Sirianni called a timeout just before the Giants snapped the ball on fourth-and-8. Reddick ran toward the sideline and position coach Jeremiah Washburn. Sirianni came over, clearly agitated, and said something to extent of, “Get back in there.” Washburn and Sirianni had a back and forth before Smith chimed in. He was making a defensive suggestion, a team source said — probably not the time or place considering the circumstances — and his coach yelled at him. “I get animated a lot,” Sirianni said. “There are things that when mistakes are happening or trying to get the communication going, just a little bit of that. That happens throughout a game. It’s going to be between players and players, coaches and players, coaches and coaches. But when you have the relationships that we have and the connections that we have, we’re able to move on quickly. “The guys know all we’re trying to do and coaches know all we’re trying to do is get everybody to play their best and sometimes that’s with a smack on the butt and sometimes that’s with a yell.”

2023 NFL season, Week 16: What We Learned from Christmas tripleheader - NFL.com
Mistakes almost take down PHI again. There’s only two games left for the Eagles against the Cardinals and Giants again before they start postseason play, and Philly is still in contention for the No. 1 seed and the NFC East crown. But the mental miscues and on-field mistakes on Monday almost sunk them, and the way this win came about is not going to close the door on discussion over whether the Eagles are in playoff football mode. As has been the case in many games this year, simple mistakes by the Eagles turned the tide, with the Giants scoring two of their three touchdowns off turnovers. First it was the second-half kickoff, which Boston Scott fumbled and Isaiah Simmons recovered for the Giants. New York scored three plays later. And then it was a pass attempt by Hurts intended for Dallas Goedert, but with a slip by the tight end it instead fell into the arms of Adoree’ Jackson, who ran it 76 yards back for a pick-six, closing the Eagles’ advantage to just two points at that point. This game shouldn’t have been as close as it was, once again raising doubts about the readiness of these Eagles with the playoffs quickly approaching.

Eagles make Christmas green and bright after breaking skid against Giants, but what awaits after New Year? - PHLY
Brandon Graham did not want to hear it. The Eagles’ longest-tenured player — and an unabashed optimist — has little time for qualifying victories. He knows how Christmas night would have felt had the Eagles lost. He knows how long it has seemed since they won. So Graham savored the victory and dismissed any qualifiers. “We got to be building, building, and getting hot at the right time,” Graham said. “Like I told Jalen (Hurts), man, I love seeing you smiling out there, because we all feel that. That’s the biggest thing, making sure we’re having fun. We know we have the players. Let’s not make it not fun when we’re winning. Don’t let people on the outside make you feel like, ‘You all barely did this…’ There’s no almost, no barely. Did we win or did we lose?” Graham is correct in that it’s a zero-sum game. There’s a winner and loser, and any analysis about how they win (or how they lose) will not change the result. But the reason there’s so much scrutiny about the way they played — even from their own locker room, mind you — is the standard this season is not eeking past the Giants. They were two-touchdown favorites. This was the expected result. The way the Eagles played, even in victory, won’t extend the season into February. And that’s the curve on which the season is evaluated.

Despite win over Giants, Eagles show they still have much to clean up - The Athletic
“I probably wasted 15 seconds there,” Sirianni acknowledged. “That’s bad on my part. Really bad on my part.” Then, after the Eagles had already spent their third timeout, Hurts turned upfield on a 9-yard scramble instead of running out of bounds with 10 seconds left on the clock. Had Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke not been flagged for a delay of game penalty while holding Hurts down and keeping the ball away from the official, the clock would’ve almost certainly expired and prevented Philadelphia from salvaging any points. “Those combined for us not being able to get a full seven (points),” Sirianni said. “But I think it starts with me. I make that mistake. Then Jalen makes that mistake. We have to be better in that two-minute drive.”

Spadaro: A Merry Christmas indeed! 10 takeaways from a Giant win - PE.com
1. Early fourth quarter, and it was way too tight at 20-18 Eagles. Third and 20. Crowd all tense, chanting for the Eagles to run the ball. But it was time for quarterback Jalen Hurts, and he delivered with a 32-yard strike to wide receiver A.J. Brown on the right sideline for the first down and everyone kind of ... exhaled. The offense followed with a 22-yard Kenneth Gainwell run, a 3-yard Gainwell gain, another completion from Hurts to Brown for 12 yards to the New York 5-yard line, and then a juke-and-go run from running back D’Andre Swift for 5 yards into the end zone. The Eagles had a 27-18 lead after the Jake Elliott PAT. I know the fans were chanting for the run and I get it. But what has been missing too much from this offense is chunk plays, and the Eagles got one there, a huge one, on the 32-yard completion.

Giants-Eagles ‘things I think’: DeVito-mania screeches to a halt, Giants narrowly miss Christmas Miracle - Big Blue View
It was understandable that the Giants would ride DeVito during their three-game winning streak. The Giants, though, had not scored a touchdown in seven quarters when Daboll pulled DeVito, with the offense increasingly becoming a dink-and-dunk fest seemingly designed to limit opportunities for a mistake by the young quarterback. Daboll said he made the move to “spark the team.” Though I thought starting DeVito last week was the right decision, you can argue that Daboll should have made the move to Taylor at some point during that 24-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Giants only managed a pair of first-half field goals in that game and DeVito took seven sacks. The quarterback change wasn’t the reason for the second-half comeback. Taking advantage of Eagles’ mistakes for 14 gift points made that possible. Taylor’s experience, athleticism and willingness to push the ball down the field open up possibilities for the offense that DeVito just doesn’t right now. That’s not to say Taylor was perfect Monday, because he clearly missed some plays that should have been made. DeVito has certainly made the most of his sudden rise to fame the past few weeks, and good for him. In my view, though, this was a serious reality check for those holding on to the belief that DeVito can rise from undrafted player to franchise quarterback for the Giants.

Cowboys at Dolphins Stock Report: Mike McCarthy, offensive line hold team back - Blogging The Boys
Stock Down: Mike McCarthy. It can be true that Mike McCarthy has been exactly what this franchise needed and that he has done a poor job of readying his troops over the last couple of weeks. The penalties, including pre-snap ones, continue to persist and ultimately so does the disposition of not being willing to attack. What happened to this team’s “seize everything” motto that we heard back in the summer? This is supposed to be a team that has seen the depths of sorrow that the NFL has to offer and that is done with that for good. Obviously Sunday was not a playoff game and the Cowboys have the luxury of having had a spot assured in playing in one since their two-game losing streak began, but the head coach and play-caller have to be more ready to attack.

Washington Commanders Vs. New York Jets - Studs and Duds - Hogs Haven
Sam Howell - For the second game in a row, Sam Howell stunk. His reads were poor, his pocket presence was lacking, and he was not accurate with the balls that left his hand. His league-leading 17 interceptions stand out like a sore thumb.

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